Tyson, Turkey

Primary Position: Pinch hitter
Birthplace: Elm City

First, Middle Names: Cecil Washington        Nicknames: Turkey
Date of Birth: Dec. 6, 1914     Date and Place of Death: Feb. 17, 2000
Burial: Cedar Grove Cemetery, Elm City

High School: Undetermined
College: Oak Ridge Military Institute, Oak Ridge, NC

Bats: L             Throws: R        Height and Weight: 6-5, 225
Debut Year: 1944       Final Year: 1944          Years Played: 1
Team and Year: Philadelphia Phillies, 1944

Career Summary
G         AB       H         R          RBI      HR       BA.      OBP.    SLG.     WAR
1          1          0          0          0          0        .000     .000     .000     0.0

Turkey Tyson had one day in the big leagues. He pinch hit in the ninth inning of a meaningless game and popped out to third. It was a brief interlude to a 15-year career down on the farms. Tyson bounced around minor-league clubs, from Tallahassee, Florida, to Utica, New York, accumulating a .300 career batting average and acquiring a reputation as a boisterous, fan favorite. After a very public feud with Cuban opponents that had a nasty, racial overtone, Tyson wore out his welcome up North and returned to North Carolina where he became a minor-league legend as a player and manager.

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Gulley, Tom

Primary Positions: Right field, pinch hitter
Birthplace: Garner

First, Middle Names: Thomas Jefferson
Date of Birth:  Dec. 25, 1899  Date and Place of Death: Nov. 24, 1966, St. Charles, AK
Burial: Roselawn Memorial Park, Little Rock, AK

High School: Tallahatchie Agricultural High School, Charleston, MS
College: Mississippi College, Clinton, MS

Bats: L             Throws: R        Height and Weight: 5-11, 178
Debut Year: 1923       Final Year: 1926          Years Played: 3
Teams and Years: Cleveland Indians, 1923-24; Chicago White Sox, 1926

Career Summary
G         AB       H         R          RBI      HR       BA.      OBP.    SLG.     WAR
25      58        12       10        9          0         .207     .303     .345     -0.1

Tom Gulley was born on Christmas Day and drowned in a freak accident on Thanksgiving 66 years later. In between, he had a brief major-league career and a more substantial one in the minors where he often challenged for batting titles. After baseball, he spent two decades in Arkansas politics, winning elections as a sheriff, alderman, tax collector, and judge.

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Watlington, Neal

Primary Positions: Catcher, pinch hitter
Birthplace: Yanceyville

First, Middle Names: Julius Neal
Date of Birth:  Dec. 25, 1922  Date and Place of Death: Dec. 29, 2019, Yanceyville
Burial: Yanceyville Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Yanceyville

High School: Bartlett Yancey High School, Yanceyville
College: Did Not Attend

Bats: L             Throws: R        Height and Weight: 6-0. 195
Debut Year: 1953       Final Year: 1953          Years Played: 1
Team and Year: Philadelphia Athletics, 1953

Career Summary
G         AB       H         R          RBI      HR       BA.      OBP.    SLG.     WAR
21        44        7          4          3          0        .159     .213     .182     -0.3

Neal Watlington went off to war in 1943. Unlike other ballplayers of his generation, Watlington actually fought the enemy. He didn’t play ball to entertain the troops. He was one of them who slogged through France and Germany. He went back home to Yanceyville in Caswell County when it was all over with a Purple Heart for wounds he would always pass off as mere “nicks.” He later played a few weeks in the big leagues and then settled in to become a pillar of his hometown. He died in 2019, a few days past his 97th birthday, as one of the oldest-living ballplayers.

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Deal, Lindsay

Primary Positions: Right field, pinch hitter
Birthplace: Lenoir

First, Middle Names: Fred Lindsay
Date of Birth:  Sept. 3, 1911    Date and Place of Death: April 18, 1979, Little Rock, AK
Burial: Pine Crest Memorial Park, Alexander, AK.

High School: Oak Hill High School, Lenoir
College: Rutherford College, Rutherford College, NC; Lenoir-Rhyne University, Hickory, NC

Bats: L             Throws: R        Height and Weight: 6-0, 175
Debut Year: 1939       Final Year: 1939          Years Played: 1
Team and Year: Brooklyn Dodgers, 1939

Career Summary
G         AB       H         R          RBI      HR       BA.      OBP.    SLG.     WAR
4          7          0          0          0          0      .000     .000     .000     -0.2

Though he played just three weeks in the major leagues, Lindsay Deal shocked the barons of baseball and captured headlines on sports pages around the country by persuading the sport’s authoritarian commissioner, who had a soft spot for minor leaguers, to come to his aid in a contract dispute with a major-league owner. Even with such help, Deal lost the argument and may have killed his career in the process by earning the owners’ lasting enmity. Though he was an excellent defensive outfielder who hit .300 in the minor leagues, Deal only got that one, brief shot at the big leagues at a time when players routinely journeyed to and from the minors.

He quit after 13 years in professional baseball and became a law-enforcement officer in Little Rock, Arkansas, where he was positioned to write what might be the most important letter in the history of the Baltimore Orioles.

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Crouch, Jack

Primary Positions: Catcher, pinch hitter
Birthplace: Cooleemee

First, Middle Names: Jack Albert            Nickname: Roxy
Date of Birth:  Oct. 12, 1903  Date and Place of Death: Aug. 25, 1972, Leesburg, Fla.
Burial: Woodlawn Park Cemetery, Miami, Fla.

High School: Undetermined  
College: Did not attend

Bats: R            Throws: R        Height and Weight: 5-9, 165
Debut Year: 1930       Final Year: 1933          Years Played: 3
Teams and Years: St. Louis Browns, 1930-31, 1933; Cincinnati Reds, 1933

Career Summary
G         AB       H         R          RBI      HR       BA.      OBP.    SLG.     WAR
43        72        9          7          8          1          .125     .182     .181     -0.9     

Jack Crouch spent parts of three seasons as a backup catcher and pinch hitter and then spent his life in the lumber business in Georgia and Florida.

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