That Time a New York Yankee Faced Off Against an Ostrich in a Spaghetti Eating Contest | Summary and Q&A

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December 13, 2018
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Today I Found Out
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That Time a New York Yankee Faced Off Against an Ostrich in a Spaghetti Eating Contest

TL;DR

In a bizarre competition in 1919, New York Yankee outfielder Ping Bodie faced off against an ostrich named Percy in a spaghetti-eating contest, ultimately emerging as the victor.

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Questions & Answers

Q: How did Ping Bodie earn his nickname?

There are different stories surrounding Bodie's nickname, with one claiming that it was given to him by a family friend, while another suggests that the name originated from the sound his bat made when hitting the ball.

Q: What was the significance of Ping Bodie's roommate, Babe Ruth?

Bodie roomed with Babe Ruth during their time on the New York Yankees, with the former jokingly stating that he only roomed with the Babe's suitcase due to Ruth's wild social life.

Q: Why did Ping Bodie compete against an ostrich in a spaghetti-eating contest?

The contest was organized by the New York Yankees' co-owner, Colonel T.L. Huston, to play along with the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce's claim that Percy, the ostrich, was the world's greatest eater.

Q: Did the ostrich really die during the spaghetti-eating contest?

While reports differ on the exact details, it is widely agreed that Bodie emerged as the victor of the contest. Whether Percy actually died or not remains uncertain, but the legend states that the ostrich keeled over after the tenth bowl of spaghetti.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Ping Bodie, born as Francito Sanguenitta Pezzolo, was a gregarious Italian-American baseball player who played for the New York Yankees in the early 1900s.

  • Bodie's fame led to him rooming with Babe Ruth and being the inspiration for a famous book and comic strip character.

  • In a promotional event organized by the New York Yankees' co-owner, Bodie competed against a famous ostrich named Percy in a spaghetti-eating contest, winning the match.

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