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That guy who could throw that speedball by you? His name is Joe DePugh

Jul 18, 2011, 1:05 PM EDT

Glory Days

This was apparently in the New York Times last week, but I missed it. Reader Bill S. emailed me to let me know that it’s running again over at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The story: the real life identity of that pitcher Bruce Springsteen knew back in high school who could through that speedball by ya and make ya look like a fool.

Short version: his name is Joe DePugh, and his life pretty much follows the arc of your typical Springsteen character. His wife is mentioned in the story, but no word if her name is Mary and if they each long for something better in life while finding their only moments of transcendence on the open highway or something.

Next assignment to the writer: find out what happened to that girl who lives up the block who used to turn the boys’ heads back in high school.  Oh, and tell the guys who operate the PA system at ballparks that “Glory Days” really isn’t about baseball, because that bugs the hell out of me.

  1. Jonny 5 - Jul 18, 2011 at 1:16 PM

    I still can’t believe his guitarist actually killed Adriana La Cerva. I mean damn!

    • ditto65 - Jul 18, 2011 at 1:27 PM

      It had to be done. The family did NOT need a gossip columnist.

    • aceshigh11 - Jul 18, 2011 at 1:30 PM

      That was hardcore, man. You don’t mess with a man who’s got a toupee like that.

      Seriously, I was wrecked after that episode…I just sat there in silence. That’s the mark of a great movie or television show.

    • Tim's Neighbor - Jul 18, 2011 at 1:43 PM

      I scrolled down to make the same reference. It makes my little heart go pitter-patter that someone beat me to it. It really did weird me out to see Sil in the background.

  2. aceshigh11 - Jul 18, 2011 at 1:33 PM

    I still don’t know what the hell Springsteen was thinking using the term “speedball” instead of “fastball.”

    Although I do imagine that using one too many speedballs could make you look like a fool.

    Exhibit A: Chris Farley.

  3. coachbrew - Jul 18, 2011 at 1:35 PM

    I like Glory Days, but the “speedball” line always bugged me. Why not just say fastball? Has speedball ever been a common word in baseball?

    • coachbrew - Jul 18, 2011 at 1:37 PM

      Haha, aceshigh beat me to it by 2 minutes.

    • aceshigh11 - Jul 18, 2011 at 1:40 PM


      I don’t think “speedball” was ever used in baseball terminology, but it’s street slang for a shot of cocaine and heroin.

      It’s what killed John Belushi and Chris Farley.

    • Jonny 5 - Jul 18, 2011 at 1:43 PM

      Do you guys have a clue as to how many speedballs pitchers used to throw back when this song came out? I hear 1 per inning.

      • aceshigh11 - Jul 18, 2011 at 1:47 PM

        Are you referring to Doc Gooden and Steve Howe?

      • bloodysock - Jul 18, 2011 at 2:00 PM

        Steve Howe did ‘high cheese’

  4. parlorboss - Jul 18, 2011 at 1:49 PM

    Here’s a link to the original NYT article with a picture of The Boss and DePugh:

  5. jimbo1949 - Jul 18, 2011 at 1:55 PM

    Oh, and tell the guys who operate the PA system at ballparks that “Glory Days” really isn’t about baseball,
    Just like Raygun had to be told “Born in the USA” wasn’t what he thought it was.

  6. Innocent Bystander - Jul 18, 2011 at 4:37 PM

    Ah…can’t think of Glory Days without recalling Springsteen’s appearance on ESPN2’s 7th Inning Stretch…you know, the show where Smithereens singer Pat Di­Nizio tries to become a pro­fes­sion­al base­ball play­er. This is all I could find:

    Anyway, he asks Bruce about the inspiration for Glory Days. Bruce starts recalling, but is basically just reciting the lyrics. Half way through the first verse he stops and says to Di­Nizio, “It’s just like the song says!!!”

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