The defending World Champion Pittsburgh Pirates were in need of another pitcher early in the 1910 season. They traded a pair of players to the Boston Doves for a 26-year-old right-hander with one of the best curve balls in the league. Early in the 1911 season, an arm injury ended Kirby White's major league career. Just the season before, Boston had acquired the curve ball specialist on waivers from the Chicago Cubs who'd drafted him from the Lancaster, Ohio team of the Class D Ohio State League. In just over two seasons at Lancaster, White had pitched a pair of no hitters and won an 18 inning game.
John White was born in Pennsylvania at about the time of the Revolutionary War. By 1830, he moved his wife and five children to southern Ohio. The family settled in Liberty Township in Highland County near the town of Hillsboro. Shortly before the Civil War, John's grandson and namesake was a farmer in the same area. In October of 1859, John's wife Rachel gave birth to a son named Jacob.
Jacob White worked on the family farm before marrying Maggie Hogsett in 1883. On January 3, 1884 their first child Oliver Kirby White was born in Hillsboro. As he began to raise a family, Jacob became a teamster. Young Kirby eventually had six siblings. John born in 1885 was also a professional baseball player. The other White children were: Edward (born 1887), Wilbur (1890), Julia (1891), Mary (1893), and Maude (1897).
By the time he was sixteen, Kirby quit school to work in a machine factory. He was also becoming a talented pitcher. By 1905 he was playing semipro ball in the Cincinnati area. In 1906, he was with a Covington, Kentucky team. Before season's end, injuries would lead to his entry into professional baseball.
In the spring of 1906, the Class C Ohio Pennsylvania League was beginning its first season in organized ball. The Lancaster team's pitching staff was so strong they released a 20-year-old left-hander from Cleveland, Rube Marquard, after a single unsuccessful relief appearance. Including Marquard and White, seven men with previous or subsequent major league experience pitched for Lancaster during the 1906 season. Jack Compton, Rube Geyer, Walter Justis and George Upp and southpaw Harold Johns who later pitched in the Southern Association were the Lancaster pitchers for most of the season. By early September, Geyer and Compton had sore arms and Justis was out of action due to an epileptic seizure.
Catcher Harry Kunkle was also out of the lineup with a broken finger. While recuperating, Kunkle returned to his home in Cincinnati. He recommended White to Lancaster management. The Lancaster Eagle of August 31 said: "Red White of Hillsboro arrived here today and will be given a tryout with the locals. He is a big strapping fellow standing over six feet and weighing a few hundred pounds. He has been pitching for a Covington, Ky., team and has won nineteen straight games."
White was not initially signed, but after another pitcher failed to make good White and Lancaster area semipro Gene Woodburn (another future major leaguer) accompanied the Lanks on an eastern road trip. Woodburn walked thirteen in a 5-0 loss at New Castle and wasn't used again that season. White was more successful at Sharon on September 13.
After watching his team win the first game of a doubleheader 8-0, White got even better support in the second game. Lancaster scored two runs in the first and ten in the second; winning the game 16-2. The Eagle was impressed with his debut. "Red White, an amateur of Cincinnati, pitched for Lancaster and showed up well. They had the game won in the second after piling up ten runs and 'Red' didn't have to leave himself out after that." White allowed seven hits, struck out four and walked four in his professional debut. He also had two hits, one of them a triple. White lost his next start and was ineffective in a relief appearance but was reserved by Lancaster for the 1907 season.
The biggest baseball story in Lancaster that offseason had nothing and everything to do with the team's playing personnel. Early in 1907, a man named Harry Smith was arrested for embezzling from the bank he worked for. Smith was also Fairfield County's treasurer and principal owner of the baseball team. Smith apparently financed his purchase of baseball stock with the embezzled funds. The crisis cast some doubt as to the team's future and created what would be season long financial struggles.
In the weeks before the scandal was exposed, Kirby White's chances of remaining with the Lancaster team improved. Compton was drafted by the St. Louis Browns and Geyer was selected by Columbus of the American Association. Upp had signed a non-reserve contract with Lancaster in 1906, and joined Columbus as a free agent. Still, expectations for White weren't high. The Eagle said the Lanks "[would] be a little lame in the pitching department unless the wise ones get busy and land a few strong ones."
White signed his contract in late March but didn't immediately report. His absence attracted little attention during spring training. A preseason preview didn't list him among those likely to make the team's roster. In early May, The Eagle reported: "Red White blue in last night. He has been laid up with a sore hand. This will give Manager [Jimmy] Breen six pitchers. He looks to be in fine shape."
He didn't pitch until the season's seventh game at New Castle. A New Castle report quoted by The Eagle said: "The big Kentucky boy certainly had something up his sleeve and the Knocks could only get five hits and these were scattered and counted for little. He struck out nine men. It was supposed here that White was not in condition as he only joined Lancaster when they started abroad." White won that game 3-1. His next start and home debut was against Sharon and he was equally impressive. The Eagle felt the presence of a veteran catcher helped the young pitcher. "The White-Fox battery was selected by manager Breen to pilot the Lanks to victory and it was a pleasure to see how well they performed. It was White's first appearance on the Lancaster diamond and you could hear nothing but praise for his good work. He has a good variety of balls and with the aid of veteran George Fox dished them up in all kinds of style, allowing the northerners to connect safely but twice."
White's third start of 1907 was the true test of his ability, and he passed the test in impressive fashion. The team opened a series in Youngstown against the two time defending champions. Youngstown was a veteran team, including many with major league experience. They'd win the pennant again in 1907, but that afternoon they were helpless against the Lancaster rookie. The Youngstown Vindicator offered comment on White's third straight win. "Red White gave the champs the blues Tuesday afternoon. Two hits, neither one of which was of the sound ringing sort that denotes the pitcher's delivery is solved, was the sum and substance of the poor satisfaction which the Lank boxman gave the local batters. Besides being decidedly parsimonious in permitting bingles he whiffed eight and apparently allowed six men to walk and hit another just to tease. For he was absolutely an undiscovered country on the several occasions that the Champs had opportunities to score the wherewithal that wins pennants." White won that game 2-1, but lost his next two decisions despite pitching well on both occasions.
On June 9, White shut out Mansfield; allowing just one hit. The Eagle described White's dominance: "The White-Fox battery was picked two make it two straight from the Tigers and they certainly did show 'em up. Only one measly hit, one man as far as third and two as far as second was all there was to the Mansfield side of the game except the error column in which they did fairly well." The Mansfield News headlined their account of the loss: "Wow What's This? One Hit, Seven Errors!" The News commented on the baffling nature of White's curve ball.
Lack of control was sometimes a problem for White in 1907. He apparently was still learning to control his curve ball. In a June loss to Sharon, two of the runs he allowed were due to walks and the other run was when a runner reached base after Fox couldn't handle a third strike. In his next start, a fourteen inning loss against Youngstown, he walked four but according to the Eagle pitched "magnificent ball. White worked with perfect ease and seemed just as good at the end as when he picked up the first ball." Starts like that were the exception in June and the first half of July. After a loss at Youngstown on July 10, White's record dropped to 6-10.
He won his next start against third place Akron, but was in the midst of a horrific season at the plate. At one point he went 3-55 and his batting average dipped below .100. In another game against Akron, White left after three innings due to illness. If he hadn't already been sick, the umpiring of the legendary Arlie Latham would have turned the trick. After Lancaster tied the game in the top of the ninth, it started to rain. After thirty minutes, Latham called the game and the score reverted to the eighth inning score and an Akron victory. League President Charlie Morton fired Latham the next day.
White's next start against Akron was more successful. On Saturday August 10, he pitched a no-hitter in the second game of a doubleheader; winning the game 4-1. The Eagle said: "Red is one of the top notch pitchers of the league but has been in hard luck on a number of occasions. He has probably shaken off the hoodoo and will be on the winning side more frequently." White walked five that day. Akron loaded the bases twice, but scored their only run on an error by the Lancaster first baseman.
White' next start was far less successful. The Eagle colorfully described the ill-advised grounds keeping efforts of a Mansfield pitcher. "Dr. Harvey Bailey of the Mansfield team attempted to build a raised box in the diamond of their ball ground the other day and had it completed for 'Booster's Day'. What the doctor was aiming at and what he accomplished were two different things. When he finished his job he had a pile of dirt about 18 inches high covering perhaps six square feet of space. When the pitcher was working from this young Mt. Pleasant he looked like he was up in a second story. During the first inning of the second game of the double header Wednesday that White started and when he was passing men as fast as they came up, Buster Brown came over to cheer Red up and he had to look straight up at him. This freak mound was the cause of two of the worst games ever witnessed in one afternoon. The first inning White pitched he passed five men." The Mansfield News blamed Bailey's Hill for loss of the first game. "It was a case of walking right up a hill and walking right down again. A new pitchers' mound had been placed in the box and from the elevated position the flingers were not able to have anywhere near as good control."
A month later, White got revenge of sorts against Bailey. Bailey beat Lancaster in the first game of a doubleheader at Lancaster's Eagle Park, and got the start in the second game as well. The Eagle commented on Bailey's downfall. "Red White opposed the good natured tooth extractor in the second section and the Tigers were not in it at any stage of the game. When Red is right he can come pretty near showing up any team. His work was so near perfect that only one man saw second base and he got there by a high throw by [Catcher Fred] Piper." White shut out Mansfield on two hits winning the game 3-0. It was White's fifth shutout and fifteenth win of the season.
Final Ohio Pennsylvania League statistics were sketchy for pitchers, showing simply White's 15-16 record, .140 batting average and .959 fielding percentage. A closer examination of box scores indicate that he completed 25 of 33 starts, pitched 253 innings, allowed 195 hits, struck out 142 and walked 84.
Kirby White was "demoted" to Class D for the 1908 season, but in reality it wasn't a demotion at all. The O-P's southern clubs: Mansfield, Marion, Newark and Lancaster joined with Lima and Springfield (replaced by Portsmouth at mid season) to form the Ohio State League. A minor league's classification was based on population rather than caliber of play and the new league received Class D designation. Many contemporary observers who saw both leagues that season believed that the new league was the stronger of the two.
The new league chose Bob Quinn, Business Manager of the American Association's Columbus Senators, as President. Quinn was determined that the new league not repeat mistakes made by the O-P. One of those mistakes had been a general disdain for the league's salary limit. Quinn promised to enforce the Ohio State League's team salary limit of $1,500 a month. As a result, holdouts were frequent as the start of the season neared. One of the players holding out the longest was Kirby White. White finally signed his contract at the end of March and reported to Lancaster a week later.
Lancaster played a short exhibition schedule in 1908. White pitched four innings each in games against Zanesville of the Central League, and the semipro Columbus Interurbans. Among the players for the semipro team were former major leaguer Kido Wilson and future head of the National Association (governing body of the minor leagues) George "Red" Trautman.
When the Lanks opened the 1908 season at Newark on April 23, White was the starting pitcher. The Opening Day ceremonies were memorable, but were overshadowed by one of the great pitching duels in Ohio minor league history. White's mound opponent was veteran Joe Locke, a Southeastern Ohio coal miner. Lancaster scored a run in the third on a home run by John "Nick" Carter. Newark tied the game in the sixth on a triple by Frank Gygli. For the next eleven innings, both White and Locke pitched shutout ball. Finally, in the top of the eighteenth, Charles "Buster" Brown tripled and Lancaster third baseman Fred Heller executed the suicide squeeze to put Lancaster ahead. White retired Newark in order in the bottom of the inning for the win. Red struck out eleven, walked three, and gave up just nine hits. At bat he had three hits including a triple. The Eagle said White "was there with the goods. He had the best of control and didn't pass a man until the twelfth inning. His speed was terrific, and fanned an even dozen [two other accounts say eleven] of the Molders during the fray, and then Red was there at the bat." The Lancaster Gazette noted: "All this time White, who had been pitching great ball, seemed to get better. His control throughout the game was perfect and in the fifteenth he struck out two Molders." The Newark Advocate said: "White is a great twirler and will win many games for the Lanks this year if he pitches as he did yesterday." White's baseball card, issued in 1911, also mentions the game.
A poor hitter in 1907, White was much improved at the plate in 1908. In his second start of the year, he beat Springfield 2-1 driving in both runs. White's first start in Lancaster was delayed after the Hocking River flooded covering Eagle Park "to the depth of two feet." The field was described as "a lake of yellow rushing waters." After the field was flooded by a second storm, the Gazette sportswriter was inspired to write poetry about the flood. An almost two week layoff due to the flooding didn't seem to affect White. In his next start, he allowed Mansfield only two hits but lost on a pair of unearned runs. That loss would be his last as a pitcher for awhile.
Two days after the loss however, any thoughts of a pugilistic career Kirby may have entertained vanished. In the ninth inning of a game at Marion, the Lancaster base runner nearly collided with Marion first baseman Andrew "Windy" Lotshaw. After allegedly being egged on by Lank manager Fox, the runner argued with Lotshaw. F.L. Kraner of the Marion Star described what happened next and White's ignominious role in the events. "Justus [sic] grabbed a bat and ran out to hit Lotshaw. The players got between the men, but Justus pulled away and reaching around the men between them, hit Lotshaw in the face with the end of the bat. Lotshaw started around the crowd for the bench to get himself a bat and as he passed 'Red' White, the latter without warning struck him on the eye. Lotshaw turned and met White with a returning blow that sent him down. White took the count." Lotshaw suffered a broken hand hitting White and was out of the lineup for several weeks. In the Lancaster version of the fight, White was slugged by a spectator, but the Youngstown Vindicator noted: "Lotshaw will be out of the game two and possibly four weeks as a result of having cracked one of the bones of his left hand when he knocked Pitcher White out during the assault on Lotshaw Monday." Windy Lotshaw was later the trainer for the Chicago Cubs.
Instead of suspending White for his role in the near riot, Quinn was interested in purchasing him for Columbus. In late May, the Gazette said: "One of the officials of the Columbus American Association team phoned President [James] Davidson and wanted to know what price the local club would put upon White. He was told that White was not for sale; that we needed him in our rush for the flag, and that no proposition would be considered."
White's last start in May 1908 was his best of the season. It was also the beginning of a trend for the Lancaster pitching staff. On the afternoon of May 31, Lancaster began a home series against last place Newark. The Eagle offered an excellent description of White's performance. "Red White the pride of the Ohio State [League] pitching staff made a league record Sunday when he blanked the Newark team in the hit and run column. The only thing that looked like a hit, was when 'Doc' Abbott hit a hot one down to [Hank] Gowdy that the lanky first baseman let get past him, after he had his hands on the ball. Another feature of the game was that he struck out eleven Newark batters, [Lefty] Snyder, [Bob] Williams and [Tom] Qualley performing the feat three times each. The big pitcher had everything. The Newark batters would go up to the plate and on several instances would step back when the ball would come up, thinking it was going to hit them, but it was square over the plate." Lancaster won the game 9-0, and duplicated the feat the next day when Homer "Blinky" Mock no-hit Newark in the first game of a doubleheader. Unlike White, Mock was a veteran who'd pitched for Toledo of the American Association before injuring his arm playing the outfield.
The consecutive no-hitters and dwindling attendance in Newark soon forced an ownership and managerial change. Cleveland, through their Toledo farm club, purchased the Newark team and installed pitcher Harry Eells as Manager. Dismissed Manager Bob Berryhill had previously been responsible at least in part for the signing of several future major leaguers including Topsy Hartsel and Larry Doyle. The Chicago Cubs signed Berryhill as a scout. That signing would soon impact the career of Kirby White.
White lost his first start after the no-hitter, but again he was in top form. The Gazette said: "White's curves looked like the figure eight railroad at Olentangy park and his speedy ones like peas. Actually the players on the visitors' bench would sometimes dodge thinking that White was going to hit them but with a quick swerve the ball would glide over the plate and the umpire would roar strike one." Starting with the no hitter, White struck out 11, 9, 10, 9, 10 and 10 during a three week period. Somehow he lost three of those starts.
White also suffered a minor injury in early June when hit on the finger by a line drive while throwing batting practice. By the middle of June he was also leading the league in batting, though his .372 average covered just 43 at bats.
In his last June start, a solid performance was overshadowed by a spectacular effort by former major leaguer Frank "Peggy" Moore. Moore struck out 17 batters in a 3-2 Newark win over White. That loss dropped White's record to 9-7. The Eagle was still impressed with his effort. "If Red White pitches ball the rest of his days like he did in Sunday's game he will not lose another game."
The quote was prophetic. Just over a month later, he was 19-8. Four of those ten wins were shutouts. On July 4, he allowed five hits at Lima. In the other three July shutouts, he surrendered five hits--combined. Less than a week later, he allowed Lima just two hits. The Gazette thought he "was in rare form and had the beaneaters on his staff completely. His delivery yesterday was varied, he having excellent control, speed and his curves broke nicely." He gave Mansfield one hit on the 17th, "White though not seemingly exerting himself pitched magnificent ball." He shut Lima out for the third time in as many weeks July 26 allowing a pair of hits in a seven inning 1-0 game.
The last shutout almost didn't happen. After a win at Portsmouth on July 20, "White was in a hurry to get on the [interurban] car, and while it was traveling at a good speed, grabbed hold of the back of a seat. He was thrown violently against a telephone pole and knocked off the car. His leg was severely cut and bruised and he was injured about the shoulders. He was knocked completely out for a few moments, and the wonder is he was not more severely injured."
White struck out eleven in the win at Portsmouth, a day after Justis no hit Mansfield. Portsmouth sportswriter Frank Sheridan believed White "one of the most effective pitchers in the Ohio State league, although he is not the sensational artist that his side partner, Justus [sic], has turned out to be. White has a very quick delivery, which makes it difficult to steal on him." Sheridan noted that Columbus and Cincinnati were interested in purchasing White for the 1909 season.
When Lancaster returned from that road trip, more scouts were at Eagle Park. The Gazette said: "[Jack] McAllister of the New York State league and Howard Earle, of the Pittsburg team were present at the game and watched the work of the clever twirler. Red seemed somewhat excited by their presence and did not work in his usual style." Despite that, he allowed Newark just five hits, striking out four and walking one. He also "caught Smith napping off first in the third inning. White has a quick throw to first and a runner has to be on his mettle all the time with the wily Red watching him." White likely impressed Earle a notably tough scout to impress. Contemporary accounts said Earle's greatest value to Barney Dreyfuss was the relatively few players he recommended. McAllister was previously and subsequently connected with Quinn and Columbus and may have passed his recommendation to Quinn as well.
Kirby White began August with his easiest victory of the season, 18-1 over Portsmouth. The Gazette compared the Shoemakers to a vaudeville troupe. "The pitchers of the river ball tossers were the chief comedians while the infield all had speaking parts. A small lad walked up to [Chester] Spencer on the way home from the park and said; 'Mr. Spencer can we have a game with your team?' The boy should be gratified and it would be a good bet to wager on the kid team." Even without the poor performances, Portsmouth would have struggled against White. "For the first three innings White pitched a most remarkable game. Out of the first nine men that faced him he struck out eight. He would have easily shattered the league record if Manager Fox had not ordered him to slow up." The next afternoon, Justis pitched a no hitter against Portsmouth.
If there was a way to beat Red White in 1908, it was to take the game into extra innings. After the Opening Day win, White lost three of the remaining four extra inning games he pitched that season. He also had difficulty winning at Mansfield. On August 5, the two jinxes combined. Phil Wolfe of the Mansfield News described the game. "Red was going along right during the early innings of the game, for the Tigers managed to secure but two hits off his delivery during the first ten innings. He weakened, however, in the closing innings of the game, and a single and a triple in the fourteenth put across the winning run for the Tigers. 'Red' passed but three batters and hit another, but fortunately none of them figured in the run getting. Fourteen of the batters who faced him were sent back to the bench on hitless swings, but considerable of the glory attached to this is taken away when it is stated that it was a player-umpire who helped him along." Justis was the home plate umpire after the scheduled umpire didn't show up. Wolfe felt White's wildness would have ended the game in nine with a less sympathetic official. Mansfield won 2-1. On the season, he lost five of seven decisions to Mansfield.
Mansfield and Marion were the two hardest hitting teams in the 1908 Ohio State League. In fact by Deadball Era standards, both fielded strong offenses. All five of the league's .300 hitters who appeared in twenty or more games were with the two teams. While White struggled against the Tigers, he was six and two on the season against Marion, the team that battled with the Lanks most of the season for the pennant.
White was involved in a pair of mid August pitching duels against the Diggers. He won a one hit shutout for his 20th win. Marion's Kraner said White had "the reputation of being the best pitcher in the league. Whether he is or not is not yet known, but the Diggers must admit that he certainly has something, for there seems to be nothing doing in the scoring line for the locals when White is on the firing line." A week later he lost a 1-0 duel to future major leaguer Elmer Brown who ironically pitched a one hitter himself.
On August 19, Quinn recalled eight players from his Lima farm team and purchased eight other Ohio State League players for Columbus. Among those purchased were Lancaster aces Justis and White. According to the Ohio State Journal Columbus outbid several major league teams for White.
Unfortunately for Columbus and Lancaster and fortunately for White, Quinn made a critical mistake that cost him the two Lancaster pitchers and Mansfield's Les Channell. A recent ruling by National Association Secretary John Farrell said purchased players had to be recalled by Class A teams such as Columbus by August 20 or be subject to draft from their previous minor league teams. Each Class A team could lose just one player by draft to the major leagues, while Class D teams like Lancaster could lose an unlimited number of players to draft. Quinn's lack of familiarity with the new rule wasn't unique. Atlanta of the Southern Association had their purchase of Marion slugger Hugh Tate nullified.
Meanwhile, White and Justis would turn in some of their best performances in the season's last three weeks. On August 27, Justis pitched and won his second doubleheader in eleven days. The next day it was Kirby White's turn. The Gazette described the double win. "The pitching of White was a great feature of the [first] game, and the Shoemakers were only able to touch him up for one single. So well did he finish the first game that Manager Fox decided to send him in again to work in the second. He was hit a little more freely in the second, but nevertheless pitched magnificent ball and easily got away with a victory." The second game was shortened to seven innings. In White's 16 innings of pitching that afternoon, Portsmouth managed just six hits and three runs. Only one of those runs was earned.
On September 1, the work of new Chicago Cubs scout Berryhill paid off. Since White hadn't been ordered to immediately report to Columbus, Chicago was able to draft him for the Class D draft price of $100. In addition to Berryhill, James Murphy brother of the Cubs president Charles Murphy had likely seen White. He scouted Ohio minor league clubs including at least a day in Lancaster less than a week before White was drafted.
By this time, Lancaster had wrapped up the pennant and White would be overshadowed by teammate Justis. White defeated Lima twice, but Justis pitched his third and fourth no hitters of the season, still a minor league record. Lancaster even used first baseman Gowdy to pitch a late season game. Gowdy reportedly "had steam to burn and a monster curve," but lost his lone start 2-1 to Mansfield. The Tigers also beat White in his last regular season start.
White joined the Cubs in late September while the team was in Cincinnati. With his new team involved in the pennant race, he wasn't used in any of the late season games. Perhaps that was for the best, as his workload was heavy even by 1908 standards. When the official Ohio State League averages were published in late November, the pitching statistics were more complete than usual for the time, and they showed how dominant Red had been. Kirby White appeared in 43 games, pitching in 40 of them. His 363 innings was only four less than Justis and 59 ahead of Marion's Sanford Burk third in the category. He struck out 262 again trailing Justis but significantly ahead of Burk. White had eight starts where he surrendered three or fewer hits, tied with Justis and two more than the third place finisher; Fred Linke of Lima. White's 28 wins were three more than Justis, and his .700 winning percentage tied him for the league lead with Lima's Charlie Pickett (21-9).
At the end of 1908, it looked like Kirby White might pitch in Columbus after all. The Ohio State Journal reported that Columbus President E. L. Schoenborn spoke to Charles Murphy about acquiring White while in Chicago for the American Association's annual meeting. The article quoted Murphy as saying it was "likely the Lancaster star will be sold to Columbus." Once again a Columbus effort to acquire White failed. In early 1909, the Cubs asked waivers on White in order to sell him to Columbus. The right hander was claimed by one of the National League's struggling franchises, the Boston Doves; named after owner George Dovey.
White was one of the first players reporting to Boston's Augusta, Georgia spring training site in early March of 1909. Early comment on White in the Boston Globe was mostly favorable. "White has a peculiar delivery, but manages to get his whole body into the swing and gives promise of becoming a good man for the Doves." In addition to his promise, Red was noted for what he didn't say. "White is one of the quietest men in the squad and does not have a word to say. It is hard to get him into conversation."
On the afternoon of March 9, Kirby White made his spring debut, allowing two runs in three innings of an intrasquad game. More notable was a brief appearance by Ty Cobb in a Doves uniform. Cobb worked out with the team before leaving for Detroit's spring training camp in San Antonio, Texas. In his first outing against Boston's regulars, he allowed seven hits and two runs in four innings. The Globe said "he had instructions to take it easy, and the practice will have its good effect on his salary whip. He used a deceptive floater to fine advantage, and once or twice uncorked brief samples of the fast saliva brand." Pitching for the regulars a few days later, he blanked the Yannigans during his five innings of work. When the team split into two squads for the barnstorming trip north, White remained with manager Frank Bowerman's first squad.
With the already small roster split, White saw action every day as the team played exhibitions in Georgia and South Carolina. He pitched and won against Augusta Spartanburg, South Carolina and Roanoke Virginia. The Doves scored 18, 9 and seventeen runs in the three games. That trend would not continue once the regular season started. When not pitching, he was generally used in center field. Perhaps his most memorable game was one of the starts in center. On April 3, at Greenville, South Carolina, Kirby doubled twice, stole a base and scored three runs in a 9-2 win over the local minor league team.
Once the regular season started, Kirby White was initially an afterthought. He was used in a late April exhibition at Waterbury, Connecticut losing 1-0 allowing just five hits. His regular season debut didn't come until the Doves' 12th game. On May 4, he started the first game of a doubleheader at Brooklyn. Red White struggled in his first inning as a major leaguer. Leadoff batter Al Burch singled. After a sacrifice, John Hummel singled in a run. White then walked the bases loaded before Tim Jordan scored Hummel with a sacrifice fly. White pitched five more innings that afternoon, allowing an unearned run and three hits in those innings. Boston held on for a 7-6 win, giving the rookie a win in his first major league appearance. At the plate, he had a hit in two at bats and scored a run after being hit by a Nap Rucker pitch in the fifth.
His second major league start was against the Giants, and it was a preview of his major league future. May 10 was the final game of a home series and he was matched up against Bugs Raymond. The two were evenly matched. The Globe was impressed by his performance: "Young White pitched a very clever game for Boston, pulling out of several tight places and keeping cool under fire, while Raymond was laboring hard during the last three innings and won out simply because the home boys failed to take advantage of wide openings." Red allowed eight hits, walked five and struck out three in a 2-1 loss. Success against New York and Chicago would be the hallmarks of his major league career.
Inconsistency and inexperience would be a factor throughout White's rookie season. Pitching for a bad ball club was also a problem. After the loss to New York, White was knocked out in the second inning against Cincinnati and lost a 2-0 decision to St. Louis. In a June loss to Pittsburgh, he surrendered eight hits and walked seven, but still impressed. The Globe was impressed with his effort against the Pirates' top player. "While White lost his game, he is not without glory. White paid special attention to Wagner and, though every other member of the Pittsburgs [sic.] made a hit, Wagner did not, although he got three passes. This is perhaps the first occurrence of this kind in the National league since the big Dutchman broke in. There have been many games in which he did not get a hit, but never before one in which everyone save him got a bingle." The loss dropped his record to 1-4.
White's next start was probably the best of his rookie season, and it came against his former team. On June 11, he was the starting pitcher for the Doves at Chicago's West Side Park. The account in the next day's Globe commented on his work as a hitter as well as pitcher. "Dazzled by the blinding color of "Red" White, the Boston pitcher, the Cubs were downed this afternoon 4-2. The product of Highland county, Ohio, used the shears unmercifully on the champions at the West Side park. Just because Pres. [Charles] Murphy let White go early in the season, the pitcher wanted to show Chicago what it lost--and he did. Overall was chased to the clubhouse, while White was greeted with ever increasing rounds of bravos. He made an instant hit. A pitcher who can step into the breach and slug out the ball for three bases, when two are occupying the sacks, is worth while." The seventh inning triple was crucial to the win. A pair of Cub errors put Bill Dahlen and Harry Smith on base. White's hit to deep center scored both runners. White scored on a sacrifice fly by Beals Becker. Earlier in the game, he'd walked and reached on an error. Ring Lardner was less impressed by the triple. "He hit it off Orval Overall, who had absolutely nothing which was not easy to hit except the balls he wasted." He allowed five hits, struck out two and walked six. The Globe was impressed with White's potential, but still felt he needed further development. "[He] has a good control and fair control, but will probably require a couple of more seasons before he is a finished pitcher."
A week later, the Boston owner Dovey died while on a train trip to Cincinnati. White returned to action in a doubleheader at New York, and was knocked out by the Giants in the third, allowing seven hits and six runs. That loss dropped his record to 3-7, but he won his next two starts including an early July 5-1 victory at Brooklyn. The win was evidence White was improving. He allowed five hits and walked three. He also pitched well in his next start against the Cubs, though he lost the game 3-2.
On July 16, Manager Frank Bowerman resigned and was replaced by catcher Harry Smith. Kirby White was the starting pitcher in Smith's debut. White received excellent defensive support and pitched an outstanding game, shutting out the Reds 1-0. The game was his only shutout and sixth and final win of his rookie season. He lost his next start against the Pirates 9-0 after shutting them out for seven innings. The Globe said: "Young White was giving a masterly exhibition of pitching, using speed, a clever change of pace and a drop that had the Pirates breaking their backs trying to reach it." In those seven innings, only three Pittsburgh batters reached base, White striking out six. Red once again stopped Wagner from hitting safely. The Pirate star even tried batting left handed without success.
In many ways, that Pittsburgh loss was typical of the latter part of White's rookie season. He pitched effectively, but late inning fatigue or poor defensive support would cost him a chance at a win. He didn't appear in a game for Boston over the last month of the season, finishing with a 6-13 record in 23 appearances, 19 of them starts. His ERA was a rather ordinary 3.22 and 80 walks in 148 innings was evidence he hadn't quite mastered control of his curve.
The following spring, White was one of the first Boston players to report to Augusta. He appeared sparingly through much of spring training due to soreness in his right shoulder. The injury would bring a premature end to his major league career a year later. White made his first real pitching appearance against the New York Highlanders at Athens, Georgia allowing six runs in five innings. The Doves took a different route north than in 1909. After stops in Chattanooga and Knoxville, the team went to Louisville to play the American Association team. The team's was involved in a train wreck near Louisville, but there were no serious injuries. The following day Kirby White pitched in the game and was effective. On the way from Louisville to Boston, the team passed through southern Ohio and played a couple of exhibitions against Ohio minor league teams. White pitched in neither contest apparently still bothered by the sore shoulder.
Kirby White made his debut in the Doves' third game. The opponent was the Giants' Christy Mathewson. Surprisingly Boston had won the first two games at the South End Grounds and Matty was moved up in the rotation. The two were evenly matched. Unfortunately for Red White, the two teams were not evenly matched defensively. New York scored twice in the first on a Larry Doyle double and four errors, one by White. The other Giant run was a home run by Mathewson in the sixth. Both starters surrendered six hits, and White drove in the only run with a seventh inning single, his second of the game off the league's best pitcher. White walked just two batters on the afternoon.
In his next start, Boston played solid defense, but managed just one run against Earl Moore and Bert Humphries of the Phillies. White allowed six hits but walked seven. His next start on April 27, 1910 would be his last with Boston. It was an outstanding effort. White didn't allow Brooklyn a run until the ninth, surrendering four hits. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh needed a pitcher and had a first baseman to trade.
John Flynn, acquired from St. Paul of the American Association, had won the Pirate first base job from Bud Sharpe. In Boston, Doc Martel neither hit nor played solid defense for the Doves. Pirate Manager Fred Clarke's pitching staff was aging and the defending World Champions needed another starting pitcher. A couple of days after the Brooklyn win, Kirby White was dealt to Pittsburgh for Sharpe and pitcher Sam Frock.
White's first two appearances for the Pirates would be a microcosm of his season. His Pittsburgh debut was against the Cubs on May 4, and he was effective. White allowed seven hits, struck out three, and walked four in an 8-3 win. In his next appearance, he gave up five hits in 2 1/3 innings of relief against Brooklyn. He also didn't pitch for nearly three weeks in late May and early June; possibly due to injury.
Kirby White moved back into the Pirate starting rotation in mid June after six strong innings of relief against Boston. Even after returning to starting, White completed a surprisingly small number of his starts. Partly this was due to inconsistency, but Fred Clarke used relief pitchers more often than most Deadball Era managers. In a mid June win at Philadelphia, Howard Camnitz replaced White with one out in the ninth saving a 6-3 win. Red White had three hits that afternoon leading all Pittsburgh batters. His final 1910 batting average was .269.
Bases on balls would be a problem throughout Kirby White's second major league season. In a series at St. Louis, he walked three batters and committed a balk in the first inning before being replaced by Camnitz. Given another chance the next afternoon, he wasn't much better, passing four and allowing six hits in less than five innings. On the same road trip he walked three and allowed two hits in one inning at Cincinnati.
After the loss at Cincinnati, he was again removed from the rotation, mopping up games after other relievers failed. One of those mop-up appearances would be the turning point of his season. On July 15, Nick Maddox and Sam Leever allowed a combined seven runs in three innings when Clarke turned to White because he had no other option. Trailing 7-5, White allowed just two hits, struck out four and walked two in six shutout innings. His hitting was the big story. A sixth inning double drove in a pair of runs to tie the game. In the ninth, he started the game winning rally with a single, Bugs Raymond walking Clarke with the bases loaded to win the game for White.
For the rest of July, Kirby White was probably the best pitcher in the National League. On the 18th, he blanked Boston on eight hits striking out three and walking just one. Three days later he whitewashed Brooklyn 7-0. His control was even better. Red allowed eight hits, struck out two and didn't walk a batter. Both wins were the second game of a doubleheader. On July 26, Kirby extended his scoreless innings streak to 32 against the Phillies. The win over the Phillies might have been the best outing of his major league career. He allowed a single each by John Titus and Kitty Bransfield and struck out five batters. White also starred at the plate, doubling twice and driving in three of Pittsburgh's five runs. Ninth inning throwing errors by Bobby Byrne and Flynn were responsible for both Philadelphia runs. All the games in White's scoreless inning streak were played at Forbes Field. Red's last start of the home stand was one of his worst. He allowed five hits to the Reds failing to get out of the first inning before being replaced by Maddox.
Kirby White was effective during Pittsburgh's eastern road trip in August. After a loss at Philadelphia, he scattered twelve hits in a 10-2 win at Boston. On August 11, he shut Brooklyn out for the second time in less than a month. Zack Wheat had half of Brooklyn's six hits. His next start against the Giants at the Polo Grounds would turn out to be his last effective outing as a major leaguer. The New York Times said: "The Pirates struck while the iron was hot, and that was in the second inning, when they bunched three hits off young [Louis] Drucke for two runs. Pinky White, on the Pirate slab, pitched just a shade better while he was at it, and in the last inning, when he walked the first man that faced him, Fred Clarke halted the game while he led White from the mound and sent the veteran Phillippe to the firing line to stall the Giants." White won that start 2-1 surrendering nine hits and four walks.
When the Pirates returned home, fans had high expectations for Kirby White. Those expectations would not be realized. On August 22nd, he allowed five hits and three walks in 1 1/3 innings before being replaced by Sam Leever. Ineffective starts followed against the Giants, Reds, and Cardinals. In all four starts he failed to last five, exhibiting poor control and failing to fool opposing batters. Though not certain, it's likely that the shoulder injury that limited his spring training work had resurfaced.
Briefly removed from the starting rotation in early September, an effective relief appearance and a decent effort in a losing start to the Reds gave him another chance in the first game of a doubleheader at New York. White blanked the Giants for three innings before allowing a pair of runs in the fourth, reducing the Pirate lead to 3-2. The Times described White's downfall in the fifth. "The real explosion went off in the fifth inning. After [Beals] Becker popped, [John] Meyers ambled and [Doc] Crandall pumped out a single. [Larry] Doyle walked, filling the bases. Red White was as wild as Harry Whitney's polar bear and couldn't get them over with [Fred] Snodgrass at the bat. He walked and Meyers was forced home. White was derricked after that, and Phillippie took up the hurling task." White allowed four hits and walked six that afternoon.
He wasn't much better in his last two starts of 1910. After a loss at Brooklyn, he allowed nine hits and seven walks in eight innings of Pittsburgh's season finale at Cincinnati.
A winter of rest did Kirby White little good. During the Pirates 1911 exhibition season, it was hoped he'd pitch when Pittsburgh visited Columbus. He wasn't healthy enough to return to the Pittsburgh lineup until May 19 when he worked a scoreless inning at New York. Five days later Red White was the Pirate starter at Brooklyn's Washington Park. The account in the New York Times demonstrated that he still wasn't able to pitch effectively. "The Superbas were presented the game in the opening inning on Kirb White's wildness. He opened by passing Stark and a sacrifice and an infield out put Dolly on third. A wild pitch by White tore up the dirt in front of the plate and Stark came across." Errors and an inside the park home run by Eddie Zimmerman gave Brooklyn three more in the second and Kirby White's major league career was over.
On May 28, 1911, Barney Dreyfuss of the Pirates sold Kirby White to Indianapolis of the American Association. It may have been an optional sale, as the Pirates had sent players to Indianapolis under similar terms that season. The Indianapolis Star thought he'd be an asset to the Indians' pitching staff. "White.... possesses some of the most deceptive curves imaginable There are few better curve ball artists than he--that is, when he has control. He was considered the [Boston] Rustlers' star twirler and for awhile gave promise of becoming a star with the Pittsburg aggregation. He pitched thirty [actually 32] innings last year without a score being made against him. This year, however, he has rounded into shape slowly." The Star's baseball writer noted that White had "filled out a lot since his maiden days with Lancaster, in the Ohio State League."
The Star quoted Dreyfuss as saying White was "in fine physical condition and believes he will be a big winner in the American Association." White's Indianapolis debut proved Dreyfuss was either mistaken or intentionally misrepresenting White's health.
Red White made his first appearance when the Indians were in Columbus on June 3. It was a short unsuccessful appearance. "After [Jim] O'Rourke was called out on a questionable third strike, [Bill] Hinchman with better luck, getting a walk for his pains. With two strikes called on him, [Bunk] Congalton picked out one to his liking and sent it to right center for a single. White was unable to locate the pan and a pass to [Red] Downs filled the bases. At this juncture [Indianapolis Manager Jimmie] Burke scented trouble and started [Victor] Schlitzer toward center field to warm up. Schlitzer never got as far as the warming up place, for [Ralph] Lattimore winged the first ball pitched for a drive between McCarty and Woodruff [scoring all three runners]." White was removed from the game allowing a fourth run when Lattimore scored in just one third of an inning.
White tried to pitch on a couple of more occasions in June before shutting it down for a couple of months. He rejoined the Indians in mid August. Instead of pitching for Indianapolis' Springfield farm team in the Ohio State League to regain his pitching form, he pitched a few games for independent and semipro teams.
Burke felt he showed improved form in practice, and started him at home against Minneapolis on August 19. The Millers starter was Rube Waddell. This time he was much more effective. H. G. Copeland of the Star commented on White's surprising return. "Red was regarded as more or less of a lemon, but the fans to the number of almost 5,000 went out to greet the Champs [Minneapolis] and take a chance on the mysterious White. What they saw was big league pitching. White's work was a revelation, and although he lasted only seven innings and began to weaken fast he made the slugging Champs look like bush leaguers for seven rounds." White shut out the Millers on three hits over the first six innings, allowing two runs on seven hits in 7 1/3 innings.
White was ineffective in his next couple of starts and lost an exhibition game to the Indians' Springfield farm team. His other strong effort was a 9-3 win at home against Columbus. Columbus scored all three runs in the last three innings. It was White's only complete game win of 1911. In ten appearances for Indianapolis, White compiled a 2-2 record surrendering 44 hits, striking out 11 and walking 14.
During the Deadball Era, pitchers seldom returned to the major leagues after being sent to the minor leagues following an injury. Kirby White wasn't one of the lucky few. In fact he didn't remain in the American Association in 1912. White began 1912 out of baseball but was signed by the Sioux City Packers of the Class A Western League. He lost his late May debut to Topeka 8-2.
When he faced the Kaws at Topeka, he was more successful. Topeka Daily Capital sportswriter Jay House was surprised by White's effort. "The other factor in the game was Pitcher White, who came unheralded and unsung. White leaning most of the way on a quick curve, held the Kaws to three hits. About one of these there was some question. Kindhearted scorers chose to believe [James] Walsh beat out his own dinky grounder in the first rather than give [Tommy] Reilly an error for a bad throw." In that first inning, White barely escaped trouble. House said: "Although they did not score, the Kaws made White look like a candidate for the tall grass in the first inning. Walsh started the local half with his scratch single. On a hit and run play [Bert] King faked a double between [first baseman Tom] Tennant and [second baseman] French and there were men on second and third with nobody in the discard. But [Joe] Rickert rolled to White, [Walter] Frantz whiffed on a low curve ball and [Al] Lee grounded out to French." White won the game 3-1.
That win was his second straight. White would improve his record to 6-1 before a relief loss to Topeka On July 10. That stretch in June and early July was Red's season highlight. Used as a starter and a relief pitcher, he continued to pitch solid baseball for the Packers into early August, winning 12 of his first 17 Western League decisions. Unofficial league statistics placed his final record at 17-10, though when the official numbers were released Kirby White was credited with a 16-12 record, pitching 259 innings in 38 appearances over the last four months of the season. The Western League schedule consisted of 168 games in 1912.
Kirby White spent the rest of his career in professional baseball with Sioux City. In 1913 He split duties between starting and relief. In early May, he beat Des Moines as much with his bat and his glove. The Des Moines News commented on his effort against another pitcher nicknamed Red. "White not only held the visitors to six scattered hits but also banged out two doubles and a single, driving in two runs. Faber occupied the mound for the Battlers [Des Moines] and the Soos lambasted his offerings for twelve hits. The locals took the lead early and were never in serious danger, White's effective pitching preventing Des Moines from completing the circuit more than twice."
Two of White's best efforts that season were in consecutive starts during a July road trip. On the fourth, he lost 2-0 at Omaha, but had better luck during his next start at Topeka. House of the Topeka Daily Capital was impressed with the efforts of both pitchers that afternoon. "'Red' White shaded 'Doc' Reynolds in the greatest pitching combat thrown on the films at the local park this year. 'Red' scattered the attack, distributing the five hits made off his firing through three innings of play. [Sioux City] compiled three of the four registered off 'Doc' in one inning, and that after two batsmen had sung their swan song. It was an airtight game with both pitchers receiving perfect support and the scales so evenly balanced that the final score was 2-1. The 'Red' one really was entitled to a shutout, breaks in the luck giving the Kaws their only run."
When the team went to Denver, White nearly spoiled the home team's pennant raising ceremony. He tripled as a pinch hitter scoring a run in a 9-7 loss and defeating the eventual repeat champions 5-4 the next day.
Late in July, he won at Des Moines. The Daily News said: "Kirby White aided by some nifty fielding, baffled [Frank] Isbell's athletes for nine rounds, allowing five hits and a single run." He was nearly as strong his next start at St. Joseph, Missouri, losing 2-1 in thirteen innings. On the last day of July, he beat Topeka in a 12 inning contest, driving in the winning run. Despite the strong outings, Sioux City ended the month of July in seventh place. Attendance at home games was also a problem. House described the Sioux City ballpark as being "four miles from human habitation."
In August there was talk the team would be sold and a request to the league for help in acquiring an outfielder and a pitcher. Despite the turmoil, Kirby White was having a successful season with a 15-8 record by the end of the month. White pitched little during the season's last month, as the Packers tried out young pitchers acquired from lower classification minor leagues.
White finished 1913 with a 16-8 record according to the unofficial league statistics. When official averages were issued, won-loss records for pitchers were omitted. The final stats show Kirby White appeared in 43 games (several as a pinch hitter) and compiled a 3.03 ERA in 258 innings.
Kirby White was the starting pitcher when Sioux City opened the 1914 season at St. Joseph, Missouri. He won the game 6-5 beginning what would be a memorable season for White and his team. The Packers opened their home season and a new Mizzou ballpark on April 22. White was the pitcher. The Des Moines News described White's performance: "The honor of pitching the curtain raiser always falls to Deacon 'Red' Kerby [sic] White, master of the slow curve ball for otherwise the deacon would not play for the Packers. Responsibility for at least part of the Rattlers' defeat may be laid at the door of the aforesaid White although his slow curve was hit harder than it has been in many a day." Despite his curve being hit harder, White won the game 7-2.
Sioux City gradually moved up in the standings, challenging three time defending champion Denver for first place. Red White was basically an average pitcher the first couple months of the 1914 season. He also was occasionally used as a pinch hitter or outfielder. On June 10, he pitched the Packers into first place with a 3-1 win at Topeka. Jay House in the Topeka Daily Capital was impressed with White's performance in the win. "The Kaws never hit Kerby [sic] White hard, although occasionally they managed to beat him. But beating Kerby [sic] White when he is right is quite a task and the six hits the Kaws accumulated off him is about their métier when he is pitching." He struck out five and walked two that day. His next start was even better. He beat Omaha 5-1, allowing three hits and striking out ten. The wins improved his won loss record to 6-6.
In a late June win at Des Moines his pitching and hitting were important. The Des Moines News said: "Kirbye [sic] White covered the course on the knoll for the visitors, and aside from a slip in the first inning, which allowed the locals their two runs, he pitched airtight baseball." White tripled and scored Sioux City's final run in a 4-2 victory.
Denver and Sioux City took turns in first place much of the summer. White pitched his team back into the league in the first game of a July series at Denver. A few days before, Sioux City and Wichita played the longest game in Western League history. Sioux City lost 3-2 in 22 innings. White did not play that afternoon. Knocked out in his next start, he shut out Lincoln on five hits, striking out six and not allowing a walk. White closed July with a five game winning streak, one hitting Wichita for the first eight innings of a 7-2 win.
Although he pitched in a Class A minor league, White was effected by the Federal League and the labor situation in baseball. It's not known if he received an offer from the new league, but many Western Leaguers jumped to the new league, and a few not good enough for the Federal League were optioned to Western League clubs. Dave Fultz also brought his Baseball Players' Fraternity to the Western League. White almost certainly attended an early August organizational meeting while Sioux City was visiting Topeka in early August.
During August, Sioux City pulled away from Denver taking firm control of first place. Kirby White's pitching was a major factor. Between mid July and Labor Day, he won ten of twelve decisions. The last of those victories was at Des Moines. The News felt White had a little outside help in the 3-2 win. "With the aid of Jimmy Kane, Kirbye [sic] White, and the arbitrators the Battlers lost the first game of the double bill yesterday, and tied in the second contest. [White] was on the mound for the opening battle and was easily the master of the situation, defeating the locals in a close and interesting combat. White held the Isbells to three hits and some timely boots by his teammates enabled us to count the two."
By the time White shut Wichita out for his 18th win on September 17, the Packers led the league by eight games. In a late September start at Topeka, there were signs that despite the strong season that Kirby White's effectiveness was on the wane. House said: "In former years 'Red' White was one of the Kaws' worst stumbling blocks in the league. This year he has been a little easier. Yesterday White started like he was approaching a massacre, but the Kaws had to exert themselves to win." White lost that game 4-3. Two days later Sioux City clinched the Western League Pennant. White finished 1914 with an 18-10 record in 38 games most of them as a starting pitcher. He worked 261 innings and his ERA was 3.14. He was second to Harry Gaspar among Packer pitchers in wins, innings and earned run average.
It was also his last season as an effective professional pitcher. Returning to Sioux City for 1915, he appeared in 33 games pitching in just 15. Used mostly in relief, his record was 2-7 with a 4.58 ERA. Also in 1915, he married Margie Cooper also of Hillsboro. Kirby White continued to play semipro ball for a team in the Cincinnati suburb of Norwood "for a number of years."
Kirby and Margie had no children but raised a nephew Earl. In addition to semipro baseball, Red White became a skilled craftsman. He was noted as a woodworker and owned a shop in Hillsboro where he repaired and refinished antique furniture.
By the early 1940's Kirby White was suffering from heart disease although he continued to operate his business. On Thursday April 22, 1943 he died at his home in Hillsboro. At the time of his death he'd been "confined to his home for over a week." He was buried in the Hillsboro cemetery.
Lancaster (Ohio) Eagle, 1906-09.
Lancaster (Ohio) Gazette, 1906-09
Lima (Ohio) News, 1908.
Mansfield (Ohio) News, 1907-08.
Marion (Ohio) Star, 1907-08.
Newark (Ohio) Advocate, 1906-08.
Newark, (Ohio) American Tribune, 1906-08
Portsmouth (Ohio) Times, 1908.
Boston Globe, 1909-10.
Chicago Tribune, 1909-10
New York Times, 1909-11.
Washington Post, 1910-11.
The Sporting News, 1909-11.
Indianapolis Star, 1911.
Topeka (Kansas) Daily Capital, 1912-15
Des Moines (Iowa) News, 1912-14.
Hillsboro (Ohio) Press Gazette, 1939-1976.
United States Census Highland County Ohio: 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930.
Lee, Bill. Baseball Necrology. McFarland, 2003.
The defending World Champion Pittsburgh Pirates were in need of another pitcher early in the 1910 season. They traded a pair of players to the Boston Doves for a 26-year-old right-hander with one of the best curve balls in the league. Early in the 1911 season, an arm injury ended Kirby White's major league career. Just the season before, Boston had acquired the curve ball specialist on waivers from the Chicago Cubs who'd drafted him from the Lancaster, Ohio team of the Class D Ohio State League. In just over two seasons at Lancaster, White had pitched a pair of no hitters and won an 18 inning game.