Williams: Deacon White’s last games

From SABR member Joe Williams at Overlooked Legends on December 2, 2017:

Today is Deacon White’s 170th birthday so I thought I take a brief look at his last games.

James Laurie White began playing baseball in his hometown of Caton, New York in 1865. The 17-year-old didn’t stop playing regularly until 1891 after a stint with the Elmira Club of the New York-Pennsylvania League. In June 1891, White signed for around $300 a month to manage, captain and play catcher for the Gladiators. The Elmira Star-Gazette and Free Press liked the signing and thought “his connection with the team will bring about a boom which will cause a shower of sheckels to pour into the coffers of the club.” The team was 10-13 when the story broke. Elmira fired Manager J.C. “Doc” Velder to hire White. Velder would later sue the club for $89.04 for unpaid wages.

After a few weeks of mixed team success, on July 4, by mutual consent, White left Elmira to retire from the game and go back to Buffalo to “spend the remainder of his days’ enjoying the fortune of $40,000 which he has accumulated on the diamond.” In ten games, Deacon batted .229 with eight singles and no extra-base hits. The team could not afford to pay White for his name alone. It was time to walk away from the game.

Read the full article here: http://overlookedlegends.com/deacon-whites-last-games/

Originally published: December 11, 2017. Last Updated: December 11, 2017.