Hedgpeth, Harry

Position: Relief pitcher
Birthplace: Fayetteville
First, Middle Names: Harry Malcolm

Date of Birth:  Sept. 4, 1888 Date and Place of Death: July 30, 1966, Richmond, VA
Burial: Westhampton Memorial Park, Richmond, VA

High School: Undetermined
Colleges: University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC; Medical College of Virginia, Richmond, VA

Bats: L Throws: L         Height and Weight: 6-1, 194
Debut Year: 1913        Final Year: 1913    Years Played: 1
Team and Year: Washington Senators, 1913

Career Summary
G          W         L           Sv         ERA             IP          SO        WAR
1           0           0           1           0.00             1.0        0           0.1

When he wasn’t studying to be a doctor in 1913, Harry Hedgpeth was pitching his minor-league team to a pennant, throwing two no-hitters in the process. His major-league career by contrast lasted all of one inning in the penultimate game of a season.

Born in Fayetteville, North Carolina, in 1888, Harry Malcolm Hedgpeth was the oldest of three surviving children. Their father, Charles, a talented amateur pitcher, died when Harry was 19. He worked as a stenographer to help his mother, Josephine, or Josie, support the family.

Hedgpeth pitched for the University of Carolina in Chapel Hill in 1910-11 and then enrolled in the Medical College of Virginia, now Virginia Commonwealth University Medical School, in Richmond.

He started pitching professionally in 1912 for the Goobers, a Class C club in nearby Petersburg, Virginia. Hedgpeth won 21 games the following season when the Goobers won the Virginia League pennant. His hometown newspaper in Fayetteville breathlessly reported that he pitched back-to-back no-hitters in a doubleheader that season, “setting a world record.”[I] He did pitch two but not on the same day. His first no-hitter was against Roanoke, Virginia, on Aug. 2. The other came against Richmond 11 days later.

The Washington Senators gave him a look, buying him for $2,000, or the equivalent of $60,000 in 2022. He took the mound in the eighth inning against the Boston Red Sox on October 3, the next-to-last game of the 1913 season. He pitched one inning and was credited with the save in an 11-3 Washington win.

The Senators sent him to the Crackers, a minor-league team in Atlanta, Georgia, for the 1914 season, but Hedgpeth refused to go. In a letter to Clark Griffith, the Washington manager, Hedgpeth explained that playing for a team so far from Richmond would interfere with his studies. He asked to be sent to Newport News, Virginia, instead.

Griffith sold him back to the Goobers. Hedgpeth played one more season in Petersburg before retiring from baseball and settling in Richmond. There’s no evidence that he ever graduated from medical school. He was never licensed as a doctor or worked in the medical profession.

Hedgpeth sold insurance and used cars in Richmond for more than two decades and was a fixture at local amateur and professional boxing matches, where he was a referee and judge. By 1950, he was an instructor and lecturer for the U.S. Department of Transportation in Virginia.

He married Anna Welch of Wilson, North Carolina, in 1925. They had one son. Hedgpeth died of a stroke in 1966.

Reference
[I] “Fayetteville in Baseball.” Fayetteville (NC) Observer, Aug. 6, 1913.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.