The irony of these two lives is that Dean, more than Martin, had reason to be bitter. By his 28th birthday he had thrown out his arm, but he kept grinning and gabbing and wound up a star again, tormenting the English language as a baseball broadcaster. In his Hall of Fame speech, in 1953, Dean thanked the Lord "for givin' me a good right arm, a strong back and a weak mind."
Martin, of course, never got to make a Hall of Fame speech. His last words, according to Falkner, were, "Hang on! Look out!"—shouted an instant before the pickup-truck crash on Christmas Day, 1989, that killed him.
Not a bad epitaph, when you think about it.