Outlaw Ballplayers: Interviews and Profiles from the Independent Carolina Baseball League

Overview

The players of the independent Carolina League were outlaws. A diverse lot that included preachers and ex-cons, with many former and future Major Leaguers, they played ball during the desperate years of the Great Depression, when half of organized professional baseball's minor leagues went broke and ceased operations. Despite the number of defaulting leagues and teams, the players were held to their prior contracts, and many found themselves unemployed, unable to play without violating the reserve clause that ...

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Overview

The players of the independent Carolina League were outlaws. A diverse lot that included preachers and ex-cons, with many former and future Major Leaguers, they played ball during the desperate years of the Great Depression, when half of organized professional baseball's minor leagues went broke and ceased operations. Despite the number of defaulting leagues and teams, the players were held to their prior contracts, and many found themselves unemployed, unable to play without violating the reserve clause that bound them to their previous club. The threat of being blackballed by organized baseball notwithstanding, hundreds of players went to bat for the independent Carolina League, and their stories offer unique glimpses into the pastime's—and America's—most difficult years.

This follow-up to the immensely popular and award-winning The Independent Carolina Baseball League, 1936-1938 (McFarland, 1999) takes the story of outlaw baseball into extra innings, offering a wealth of previously unpublished interviews with the key players and personnel associated with the league. With outstanding coverage of nearly 20 players, including the notorious Edwin Collins "Alabama" Pitts and well-known Lawrence Columbus "Crash" Davis, this book also offers the unique perspectives of umpires, journalists and players' wives. Appendices include a Pitts family history, the Kannapolis Towelers team record book, player records, and the history of the Carolina Victory League.

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Editorial Reviews

Shield & Diamond
offering a wealth of previously unpublished interviews...outstanding
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786426140
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/28/2006
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

R.G. (Hank) Utley is a member of the Society for American Baseball Research and the author of The Independent Carolina Baseball League, 1936-1938 (1999, Seymour Medal runner-up). He lives in High Point, North Carolina. Tim Peeler is a lecturer in English, journal editor, essayist and poet. He is a winner of the Jim Harrison Award for his contributions to baseball poetry and lives in Hickory, North Carolina. Aaron Peeler, also a member of the Society for American Baseball Research, covers sports for the Durham Herald-Sun. He lives in Raleigh, North Carolina.

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Table of Contents

Epigraph vi
Acknowledgments viii
Preface by Tim Peeler 1
Introduction 3
1. The Judge: Clement Manley Llewellyn 7
2. The Preacher: Glenn Allen "Razz" Miller 14
3. The Slugger: Norman Woodnut Small 21
4. Cause Célèbre: Edwin Collins "Alabama" Pitts 33
5. The Showman: Charles M. "Struttin' Bud" Shaney 53
6. The Manager: Bobby Hipps 60
7. A Gang of Two 66
The Forgotten: Richard Grey Clarke 66
The Scout: Edwin "Cy" Williams 69
8. The Brain: Richard Broadus Culler 71
9. The Wives 81
Winnie Taylor 81
Edna Carrier 84
10. The Star: Lawrence Columbus "Crash" Davis 86
11. The Pro: Lee Ravon "Buck" Ross 97
12. The Phenom: George Barley 103
13. The Truth: Ulmont Baker 111
14. Umpires 117
15. The Canadian Tornado: Vince Barton 120
16. Mr. Henry: William Henry Whitley 125
17. Home Boys 133
Who's on First?: Frank Hopkins 133
Brother: Marvin Watts 135
The Sandlapper: Houston Hines 139
18. Rebels 144
The Pitcher: Tracey Hitchner 144
The Tramp Athlete: Robert Merritt "Pat" Shores 149
The Batboy: Harold Lail 154
Appendix A: Pitts Family History by Myrtice Ann Carr 161
Appendix B: Henry Whitley's Team Record Book 169
Appendix C: Selected Batting and Pitching Statistics 171
Appendix D: The Carolina Victory League 177
Bibliography 193
Index 195
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