Max Baer, born Maximilian Adalbert Baer, is a well known American boxer, cemented into popular culture through his son, Max Baer, jr of Beverly Hillbillies fame where he played Jethro Bodine. With the death of Ellie May, Donna Douglas, Baer fils, is the latest surviving member of the cast.
Marc Jones just notes CST time for boxer Baer, but the Boxing Register, the International Boxing Hall of Fame’s book , cites that he was born in Omaha, Nebraska on February 11 1909 not February 16 as Jones and Astro.com cite.
His setup is similar to Max Schmeling, air and earth with little water and in a fateful bout at Yankee Stadium in front of a crowd of 60,000 fans Baer hammered Schmeling until the latter cried to stop (similar to Roberto Duran’s No Mas fight against Sugar Ray Leonard in the Superdome at NOLA fifty years later) and while Baer, the Livermore Larruper, had great talent, he also had bad luck. The Schmeling battle was a major blow to Aryan Germany as Baer was descended from German Jews¹ and the newspapers lost no time in ballyhooing that link.
In 1930, as Pluto was coming onto the scene, Baer knocked out Frankie Campbell (his real name was Francisco Camilli), brother of baseball player Dolph Camilli on August 25, 1930 in San Francisco; Campbell died shortly afterward.
This shook up Baer and he semi-retired when #264 Jack Dempsey helped him control his punches and tighten up his style. While Dempsey, Tunney and Louis made the list, Tony Zale and Rocky Marchiano did not, rather gaping holes in 40’s boxing. But then he does not cover any of post WWII boxing, and thereby ignores Jack Lamotta (Scorsese’s Raging Bull), Floyd Patterson and Sugar Ray Robinson either. While Jones handles many 19th Century notables, he does not mention Gentleman Jim Corbett — notable if only for the Errol Flynn movie — the Ninth Marquess of Queensbury (born 1844) , John L. Sullivan or Mike Donovan, all predominant boxers of the previous century. It is an unfortunate choice considering he plasters his list with royalty.
To be fair, he treats boxers better than other sportsmen for he totally ignores baseball, football, hockey and basketball. He has a few jockeys, no cricketers (they are now travellers), no swimmers, Johnny Weismuller & Esther Williams are both listed for their acting credits not swimming feats, and one ice skater, the graceful Sonje Heine, and odd golfer and tennis player here and there.
While we go through the 1000 we will be readjusting their groups as well as others we find miscast, so many will return to the sports arena and leave Hollywood or the travelling life behind. As Charles Jayne wrote in The Best of Chas. Jayne, it is an uneven list at best; we may add it is definitely idiosyncratic as well.
Using the same time but the Rec’s chart we get the map above. Pluto hovers on the ninth house cusp depicting his lethal punches, but next to the North Node, he is safe from them in return. Neptune and Jupiter are sextile making at yod point at his Part of Fortune 09.10 Aquarius that ends up in his Cancerian tenth house; his blows were hard & plummeting and Mars in the second suggest his native talent was his power, but conjunct the Dragon’s tail intimates at his lethalness — besides Campbell, Ernie Schaaf met his Maker through Baer’s blows in 1932 when Pluto was discovered.
Technically, when Baer was born, Pluto had not been discovered, so he was originally a Locomotive, but with the advent of Pluto found his humanist and secular Splash Temperament, just in time for Hollywood. This is redoubled by the Sun on the fifth house cusp, showing that after becoming Heavyweight Champion he frittered himself away and lost interest in the sport. It is hard to blame him with two deaths to his name and it is doubtless that played a major role in his title loss.
In 1933 Baer divorced his first wife actress Dorothy Dunbar, & got mentioned by all the gossip columnists for his romances with the latest starlet like Jean Harlow, Mae West, & Greta Garbo. He still fought but barely trained, culminating in the loss of his title to James Braddock where Baer sleepwalked through the rounds and Braddock came out fighting (he would later lose to #597 Joe Louis).
He retired a year or so later and became a nightclub owner with Slapsie Maxie Rosenbloom — a typical route for ex-boxers. On June 29, 1935 he settle down for good, marrying Mary Ellen Sullivan (born 1903 in Ithaca New York) , the mother of the actor and two others Maudie and James who was widowed when Baer died in 1959. Mrs. Baer died in 1978 and is buried beside her husband.