Jack Enright

This article was written by Darren Gibson

Jack Enright (BASEBALL-REFERENCE.COM)For a pitcher who appeared in exactly one major-league game, at the tail end of the sixth-place New York Yankees 1917 season, pitcher Jack Enright certainly crossed paths with some of the game’s elite. He played in a local Fort Worth, Texas, city league with Rogers Hornsby; followed Tris Speaker on the baseball team at Texas Polytechnic University (now Texas Wesleyan University); and later enjoyed summer ball in Maryland with, and was referred to the Yankees by, holdout Frank “Home Run” Baker. And in his one Yankees game, Enright picked off Ty Cobb!

Jackson Percy Enright was born on November 29, 1895, in Fort Worth, Texas, to Martin Enright, a Maine-born laborer and inspector for the U.S. Bureau of Animal Industry, and Fanny May (Stallings) Enright, born in Louisiana.1 Martin had played first base in semipro ball around New Orleans. Jack (named by the Enrights after General Stonewall Jackson) was the oldest of five children, before Enos, Johnnie, Edwin, and Leslie.

In 1912, the Enright family was on a winning Fort Worth amateur team called the Samaritans. Father Martin and Percy (as he was commonly known) were playing and younger brother Johnnie served as the team mascot.2 Percy later played for Swift & Co. in a Fort Worth Saturday city league.3 The next year, he won for having the best English Pouter pigeon at the National Feeders and Breeders Show.4

During 1913, Enright was deemed the best pitcher in the summer Supperless League after posting a 5-0 record for the Boulevard Baptist team.5 He also played with the semipro McNeil and Libby Canning Co., King Candy Company, and Armour and Company contingents. Lastly, he also played in same North Texas Sunday League as Rogers Hornsby, with Enright on the 20 th Street Drugstore team and Hornsby on the Stockyards team.

Enright, as quarterback, was “the bright star” for Polytechnic College’s football team in the fall of 1913.6 He also ran track for Poly. In the spring of 1914, he pitched for Poly’s baseball team,7 and would eventually become the second Poly player to make majors, after Speaker. By the summer of 1914, Enright had signed his first professional contract, with the San Antonio Bronchos of the Class B Texas League. The rookie posted an awful 1-8 record, with an erratic 62 walks in 85 1/3 innings. In August, he surrendered 15 runs on 10 hits and six walks and two hit batsmen against the local Fort Worth team, in front of many of his friends.8

In the fall, Enright headed east, enrolling at Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland, where he starred as an all-Maryland fullback on the gridiron. Enright’s San Antonio manager, Tom Kibler, was also the football coach for Washington. The next spring, Enright posted a sparkling 11-1 mark for the baseball team. Returning to Fort Worth in the summer, he debuted in the Saturday City League with a one-hit shutout for McCord’s Grocery over the Post Office nine.9 However, Enright refused to report back to the professional San Antonio squad when they wouldn’t pay for his transportation back from Maryland. While waiting, he pitched a perfect game for Washington Heights in a local amateur church league game.10 San Antonio eventually released him, whereupon he returned to the East Coast to play summer ball. He pitched in the semipro Delaware County (Pennsylvania) League on the Upland and Easton clubs, becoming good friends with Frank “Home Run” Baker, who was holding out in the summer of 1915 from Connie Mack’s Philadelphia Athletics. Baker and Enright helped Upland win the league.11

Enright received offers from the Athletics, the Chicago White Sox, and the Baltimore Terrapins of the new Federal League, but he wasn’t of age, so he left the negotiations to his father.12 Baker, after himself signing with the Yankees, advised Yankees manager Bill Donovan to sign Enright and to have the lad to report after schooling was completed in June 1916.13

Returning to Washington College, Enright posted a wonderful 14-2 mark, losing only a complete-game decision to Georgetown and Mike Cantwell in April,14 and a one-hit loss on an unearned run to Johns Hopkins, 1-0. In his final collegiate game, on May 31, 1916, Enright shut out rival St. John’s of Annapolis, Maryland, on three hits. The next day, he left Chestertown, heading to the Yankees.15

Enright saw no action with the Yankees and did not accompany them on a three-week road trip, being farmed out to Newark shortly after he arrived in New York. He shut out Toronto 2-0 in his Bears debut on June 5.16 He posted a woeful 6-18 mark for Newark. For the season, the erratic Enright issued the fourth-most walks in the IL, in many fewer innings than the three category leaders.17

Nonetheless, Enright was recalled by the Yankees in September, but again saw no game action. He suffered a railroad accident later in the month, being hospitalized for ten days with a deep laceration on the back of his head. In October, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram printed a picture with the caption “Yankee Pitcher Buys Overland for His Mother.” Young Jack (now his preferred first name) had purchased an Overland “Six” automobile for his mother, May.18 He also got married, to Christine Peterson, three years younger and born in Germany. The couple welcomed a son, Earl Rolling Enright, born March 23, 1917, in Connecticut. Daughter Jacqueline was born in 1925, also in Connecticut.

A January 1917 article in the Star-Telegram touted three major-leaguers hailing from the greater Fort Worth area: Hornsby of the St. Louis Cardinals, Claude Cooper of the Philadelphia Phillies, and Enright.19 In February, Enright re-signed with the Yankees after resigning from the short-lived Players Fraternity.20 However, Players Fraternity leader Dave Fultz sought to refuse to accept Enright’s resignation, claiming that a member could not resign during times of a strike.21

Enright stated he had been staying in shape by “roping and riding” on his grandfather’s ranch all winter. In spring training with the Yankees, it was asserted that “Enright has the best curve ball in the Macon [Georgia] camp.”22 Unfortunately, his “big league aspirations…were at least beclouded” as he gave up eight runs to the Yannigans (second-string) squad.23 He was soon dispatched to the Toronto Maple Leafs of the International League.24 He was just as quickly returned by Toronto and new manager Nap Lajoie to the Yankees,25 who finally flipped Enright on option to the Richmond Virginians, also in the IL.26

On July 2, Enright, pressed into outfield service for Richmond, was the “star of (the) battle” in the opener of a doubleheader sweep over Baltimore. He made a “corking catch” in the 14 th and hit a game-winning three-run homer (counted only as a double during those days) in the 15th.”27 Two days later, on Independence Day, his IL season highlight was a two-hit shutout over Newark, being painted as “the little toy god of the local baseball world.”28 Enright pulled an “ironman stunt” in mid-September, pitching both ends of a doubleheader for manager Otto Knabe in a split against the Baltimore Orioles in Maryland.29

Still, how did a guy like Enright earn a start in The Show? He had a minor-league record of 18-45 up to that point in his career, which was actually improved by his 11-19 season mark in 1917 (albeit on a last-place squad). He was also “the wildest pitcher in captivity” with 168 walks, the most in organized ball.30

Fortuitously for Enright, the Yankees were going nowhere in 1917, firmly entrenched in sixth place, 30 games behind the Chicago White Sox, as the season wound down. Thus, recruits given trials by Donovan included “catcher Muddy Ruel from Memphis, pitchers Enright of Richmond and Walt Smallwood and Bob McGraw of Newark, outfielders Sammy Vick of Memphis and Howie Camp of Newark, and infielder Billy Hamilton of Toledo.”31

Upon his promotion, Enright was rocked for seven runs in an intrasquad game on September 23 held for troops at Camp Plattsburg, New York.32 He debuted in a regular-season game three days later, as Donovan decided to put Enright “through the real test of battle.”33 Against the Detroit Tigers in front of only a reported 1,000 fans at the Polo Grounds, Enright pitched five innings, giving up five runs and five hits, including a first-inning two-run Ty Cobb double, in the Yankees’ 5-1 loss to Bernie Boland. The Tigers stole four bases off the rookie, including Cobb’s 53rd of the season, but the debutant also picked Cobb off second base.

Of Cobb’s fifth inning adventure, one account related that he “was having plenty of fun showing up the young members of Bill Donovan’s flock with his daring on the bases. That is, until Jack Enright, one of the many recruit pitchers of the Yankees made a quick throw to Chick] Fewster at second, catching Tyrus flatfooted off the bag. Seeing that he had no chance to get back to second, Cobb made a wild dash for third. He came into the bag with his spikes in the air. (Frank) Baker tagged him with the ball, and the umpire waved him out amid joyous shouts from the multitude.”34

Tigers catcher Oscar Stanage was Enright’s only strikeout victim. Only two regulars, including Enright’s buddy Baker, started for the Yankees, with the rest of the lineup sprinkled with recruits. This would be Enright’s only major-league appearance. Still, after the 1917 season, “Handsome Jack” was included in a list of Yankees pitching prospects which included Smallwood, McGraw, and Hank Thormahlen.35

By February 1918, Enright was placed in Class 1 by his local Fort Worth home exemption war draft board.36 In April, he began with Chattanooga, debuting for the Lookouts of the Southern Association in an exhibition against the local Post Hospital squad.37 Enright lost his only decision in work spanning 10 innings and seven games.38 Manager Mique Finn released him in May, as Enright was “unable to discover the whereabouts of home plate.”39 Later in the month, Enright moved on to the Shreveport Gassers of the Texas League, where on May 21 against San Antonio he got shelled for 12 first-inning runs in a 24-4 blowout.40 Two days later, he surrendered six more runs in three innings of a loss to Waco.41 He enlisted in the army soon thereafter.

Enright served initially with the Headquarters Field Hospital on the 111 th Sanitary Train, with his personal letter proclaiming he had witnessed over 30,000 prisoners since coming “to the front.”42 According to a report, Enright was wounded in his hand, had shrapnel in one knee, and spent time in a hospital recovering from shell shock.43 He was later in the 23 rd Infantry of the Second Division. Based on his collegiate studies at Poly, he was assigned to a chemical unit, studying gases.44 He served in the Battle of Chateau-Thierry and then three weeks on the Champagne front, suffering wounds in his thigh and knee.

Enright was discharged in April 1919. To start the year, he had a bad arm, but he wrote Chattanooga President Nicklin to request a return to the Lookouts. The report stated that “Enright had a world of stuff last year but he was unable to find the plate.”45 However, Enright was awarded to Newark by Secretary John Farrell of the National Association of Base Ball Clubs in a disputed case for the pitcher’s services. Apparently the Yankees had ceded control of his contract to the Bears.46 Enright had a short stint with Newark, playing alongside his battery mate and friend Tom Madden. He then bounced to Jersey City (where he lost all three decisions), followed by New Haven. He allowed but one single, but also six walks and two hit batsmen, in a July win over Hartford, after being stateside for a little over a month.47

Late in the summer, old Fort Worth friend Rogers Hornsby suggested that the St. Louis Cardinals pick up Enright, but it was a no-go. By September, he was pitching for the semipro Paterson (New Jersey) Silk Sox, where he shut out Juan Padrón and a barnstorming Cuban Stars contingent.48

In early 1920, Enright was awarded the American Expeditionary Forces athletic war medal for his exploits on the successful Thirty-Sixth Division football team (which finished second nationally to the 89 th Division). He was slated to rejoin the Yankees.49 He also disclosed that he had an operation in hope of fixing bone trouble in his arm that he had suffered through for three years. It was reported that the Yanks spent more than $20,000 on Enright’s arm.50 In the end, they finally viewed it as a sunk cost and released Enright.

Enright moved to a Boonton, New Jersey semipro team, then back to the Silk Sox, all while being “disgusted with the manner in which the ‘charley horse’ in his arm continued to hamper him.” He even visited Bonesetter Reese, the noted physical therapist, but to no avail. Desperate, Enright sought out a Newark chiropractor in late 1920, who allegedly “snapped a misplaced vertebra in the spine back to normal.”51

Early in 1921, Enright pitched for the All Ridgewoods in Ridgewood, New Jersey, then the Jersey City Elks.52 In June, he re-signed with the Silk Sox, and lived in nearby Haskell. It was reported that Enright was a “prince chap,” being well-spoken, quiet, and unassuming, the “personification of the Southern hospitality and courtesy.”53 He also started working with the Federal Truck Agency of Broadway, New Jersey as a salesman. Reulof Kierstead, an old co-worker when both were employed by the DuPont Company, recruited Enright over to Federal. The next year, Enright left the Silk Sox, joining the Peerless Plush team out of Riverside, New Jersey. Later in the decade he played for the Englewood Field Club, another New Jersey outfit.

According to the 1930 census, the Enrights lived in Little Falls, in Passaic County, New Jersey. His father-in-law Rollin Lee and mother-in-law Anna Lee also lived with them. Jack was a sales manager at an auto dealership. His father Martin, a salesman and “proficient baseball expert,” passed away in January 1930 in Little Falls at the age of 53.54

By 1936, “Handsome Jack” had become the mayor of Little Falls. By 1940, he was an automotive sales executive. In 1942, he was listed as a vice president at the General Motors Truck factory in Newark, servicing over 100 dealerships in three states. The next year, he was appointed a member of the National Industrial Advisory Committee for the Motor Vehicle Retail Trade, working with topics from dealers to labor conditions.55 Enright’s son, also named Jack, enlisted in the army and was a first lieutenant with the Army Air Corps during World War II, then was stationed in New Mexico. By 1950, Jack Sr. was named President of the Newark Athletic Club, citing his fame with the Doherty Silk Sox and Yankees.56

Upon retirement, Enright moved to Florida. Jack Enright passed away on August 17, 1975, in Pompano Beach, Florida, and is buried at the Star of David Memorial Gardens in North Lauderdale, Florida.



This biography was reviewed by Bill Lamb and Rory Costello and fact-checked by Tony Oliver.



In addition to the sources shown in the Notes, the author used Baseball-Reference.com, StatsCrew.com, and MyHeritage.com



1 The Sporting News player card lists Enright as John Percy Enright, but all census information corroborates the correct full name of Jackson Percy Enright. Enright’s Sporting News player card shows the year of his birth as 1896. However, Enright’s 1900’s census item shows 1895.

2 “Strong Samaritan Baseball Team,” Fort Worth StarTelegram, May 2, 1912: 11.

3 “Saturday City League,” StarTelegram, May 12, 1912: 18.

4 “Final Awards are Made for Pigeons,” Star-Telegram, March 12, 1913: 36.

5 “Four Fast Games Played Tuesday in Twilight League,” Star-Telegram, July 9, 1913: 10.

6 “Daniel Baker is Routed by Poly,” Star-Telegram, November 8, 1913: 5.

7 “Enright Has One Bad Inning and Baylor Beats Poly,” Star-Telegram, April 4, 1914: 3.

8 “Panthers Pound Enright to Four Corners and Win,” StarTelegram, August 23, 1914: 14.

9 “Bankers and Grocers Win in Saturday City League,” StarTelegram, June 20, 1915: 15.

10 “Enright Released by San Antonio; Has Good Record,” Star-Telegram, July 2, 1915: 12.

11 “Home Run Baker Figures in Winning Flag for Upland,” Delaware County Daily Times (Chester, Pennsylvania), August 30, 1915: 8.

12 “Candidate for Big League Honors Here with Parents,” Star-Telegram, January 3, 1916: 8.

13 “Yanks’ Pitcher is Wonder,” Carbondale (Pennsylvania) News, September 2, 1916: 7.

14 “Cantwell a Puzzle,” Baltimore Sun, April 20, 1916: 10.

15 Washington College Defeats St. John’s,” Daily Banner (Cambridge, Maryland), June 1, 1916: 3.

16 “Percy Enright,” StarTelegram, June 8, 1916: 10.

17 “Insignificant Player Causes Two B.B. Wars,” Tulsa Democrat, February 19, 1917: 8.

18 “Yankee Pitcher Buys Overland for His Mother,” StarTelegram, October 8, 1916: 39.

19 ‘Kike,’ “Fort Worth Has Three Native Sons in Major Leagues,” StarTelegram, January 7, 1917: 14.

20 “Enright Signs with Yankees; Ignores Frat,” StarTelegram, February 2, 1917: 12.

21 Bozeman Bulger, “Frat Refuses Resignation of Hurler,” Los Angeles Evening Express, February 13, 1917: 18.

22 “Few Changes in Pitching Staffs of Yankees and Giants,” Fresno (California) Morning Republican, March 30, 1917: 13.

23 “Jack Enright Falls Short,” Harrisburg (Pennsylvania) Telegraph, March 21, 1917: 20.

24 “Jack Enright Released,” Dispatch (Moline, Illinois), April 20, 1917: 16.

25 “Enright is Back,” Times Union (Brooklyn, New York), May 2, 1917: 8.

26 “Jack Enright Sold to Richmond Club,” Charlotte Observer, May 8, 1917: 8.

27 “Richmond Takes Both Games from Baltimore,” Times Dispatch (Richmond, Virginia), July 3, 1917: 4.

28 “Even Break in Dandy Contests of Pitchers,” Times Dispatch, July 5, 1917: 3.

29 “Local Team Gets Even Break with Baltimore,” Times Dispatch, September 13, 1917: 4. Otto Knabe had replaced outgoing manager Billy Smith late in Richmond’s season.

30 “He Pitched 34 Complete Games,” Leader Post (Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada), February 13, 1918: 5.

31 “Yanks to Try Recruits,” Pittsburgh Press, September 18, 1917: 32.

32 W.J. Macbeth, “Ten Thousand See Yankees Play at Plattsburg Camp,” New York Tribune, September 24, 1917: 13.

33 George Underwood, “Cobb Thrills Fans in Farewell Game,” New York Press, September 27, 1917: 14.

34 Bridgeport (Connecticut) Times and Evening Farmer, September 27, 1917: 8.

35 “Owner of Yanks Insist on Winner,” Lincoln (Nebraska) Star, October 7, 1917: 6.

36 “Pitcher Jack Enright in Class A,” Democrat and Chronicle (Rochester, New York), March 1, 1918: 22.

37 “Locals Fed on Curves,” Chattanooga Daily Times, April 4, 1918: 8.

38 “Southern League Pitching,” Nashville Banner, July 7, 1918: 7.

39 “No Game in Chattanooga Monday; Team Back Tuesday,” Daily Times, May 19, 1918: 18.

40 “Enright Has Weird Start with Gassers,” Star-Telegram, May 22, 1918: 15.

41 “Navs Drive Enright from Hill and Win,” StarTelegram, May 24, 1918: 14.

42 “Sends Back Cards from Dead German,” StarTelegram, November 14, 1918: 10.

43 “Line-Up for Today’s Game at Oriole Park,” Evening Sun (Baltimore), September 9, 1919: 15.

44 “Throwing Hand Grenades Ended Jack Enright’s Baseball Tossing with Yanks, Doherty Silk Sox,” News (Paterson, New Jersey), April 19, 1932: 19.

45 “Texas Berth for Phelan,” Chattanooga Times, April 19, 1919: 8.

46 “Notes,” Muscatine (Iowa) Journal, May 23, 1919: 6.

47 “Senators Drop Both to Weissmen,” Hartford (Connecticut) Courant, July 26, 1919: 9.

48 “Sox Score Two Shut Outs over Week-End,” Morning Call (Paterson, New Jersey), September 15, 1919: 3.

49 “Enright Receives A.E.F. Medal; Joins Yanks This Season,” StarTelegram, January 25, 1920: 47.

50 “Throwing Hand Grenades Ended Jack Enright’s Baseball Tossing with Yanks, Doherty Silk Sox,” 19.

51 “Silk Sox Sign Jack Enright as Pitcher,” News (Patterson, New Jersey), June 9, 1921: 10.

52 “Silk Sox Sign Jack Enright as Pitcher.”

53 “Enright Back in Big League Form,” News (Paterson, New Jersey), May 10, 1921: 10.

54 “Hold Rites for Martin W. Enright,” News (Paterson, New Jersey), January 27, 1930: 2.

55 “Enright Named to US Motor Group,” News (Paterson, New Jersey), July 23, 1943: 22.

56 “Local Angles,” News (Paterson, New Jersey), June 30, 1950: 24.

Full Name

Jackson Percy Enright


November 29, 1895 at Fort Worth, TX (USA)


August 17, 1975 at Pompano Beach, FL (USA)

If you can help us improve this player’s biography, contact us.