Baker, Bill

Primary Position: Catcher
Birthplace: Paw Creek

Full Name: William Presley

Date of Birth:  Feb. 22, 1911  Date and Place of Death: April 13, 2006, Myrtle Beach, SC
Burial: Unity Church Cemetery, Woodleaf

High School: Boyden High School, Salisbury, NC
College: Did not attend

Bats: R             Throws: R        Height and Weight: 6-0, 200
Debut Year: 1940       Final Year: 1949          Years Played: 7
Teams and Years: Cincinnati Reds, 1940-41; Pittsburgh Pirates, 1941-43, 1946; St. Louis Cardinals, 1948-49

Career Summary
G         AB       H         R          RBI      HR       BA.      OBP.    SLG.     WAR
263    588    145    45       68       2         .247     .328     .316     +0.6

Bill Baker spent a decade in the minor leagues as an everyday catcher before getting his shot in the majors in 1940. Though he would spend seven years with three National League clubs, Baker was never more than a backup catcher.

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Altman, George

Primary Position: Outfield
Birthplace: Goldsboro

Full Name: George Lee           Nicknames: Daddy Long Legs

Date of Birth:  March 20, 1933                     

Current Residence: O’Fallon, Missouri

High School: Dillard High School, Goldsboro
College: Tennessee State University, Nashville, Tenn.

Bats: L             Throws: R        Height and Weight: 6-4, 200
Debut Year: 1959       Final Year: 1967          Years Played: 9
Team(s) and Years: Chicago Cubs, 1959-62; St. Louis Cardinals, 1963; N.Y. Mets, 1964; Cubs, 1965-67

Awards/Honors: All-Star, 1961-62; Boys of Summer Top 100

Career Summary
G         AB         H         R          RBI        HR       BA.      OBP.    SLG.     WAR
991    3091    832   409    403      101      .269     .329     432     +13.0

Awards/Honors: Boys of Summer Top 100

George Altman’s playing career spanned almost three decades, crossed two continents and embraced white, black and Asian cultures. It was a journey that started in the Negro Leagues, where he played under the universally beloved Buck O’Neil, made a nine-year stop in the major leagues, where he was an all-star, and ended finally in Tokyo, where he swatted home runs into his 40s.

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Alston, Tom

Primary Position: First base
Birthplace: Greensboro

First, Last Names: Thomas Edison    

Date of Birth: Jan. 31, 1926   Date and Place of Death: Dec 30, 1993, Winston-Salem, NC
Burial: New Goshen United Methodist Church Cemetery, Greensboro

High School: Dudley High School, Greensboro
College: N.C. A&T State University, Greensboro

Bats: L             Throws: R        Height and Weight: 6-5, 210
Debut Year: 1954       Final Year: 1957          Years Played: 4
Team and Years: St. Louis Cardinals, 1954-57

Career Summary
G         AB       H         R          RBI      HR       BA.      OBP.    SLG.     WAR
91        271    66      30        36       4         .244     .311      .358     -0.1

Tom Alston’s story isn’t a happy one. He possessed a tormented soul. He heard voices that told him to slit his wrists and to set a church on fire. He was sent off to mental hospitals where electrodes were attached to his head. He couldn’t hold a job, never married. He lived in abject poverty until rescued by friends he didn’t know he had. And in the end, cancer got him.

This should be an inspiring story. Because Tom Alston was among the pioneers of baseball. He was the first black man from North Carolina to play in the major leagues, the first to don a uniform for the St. Louis Cardinals.

But, no, this is not a Jackie Robinson tale of courage and perseverance. Maybe it could have been had Alston stuck around the majors for a while. Yes, maybe Tom Alston’s story would be different if he could have only hit an inside fastball.

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Allie, Gair

Primary Position: Shortstop
Birthplace: Statesville

First, Last Names: Gair Roosevelt     
Date of Birth:  Oct. 28, 1931  Date and Place of Death: Oct 14, 2016, Tucson, AZ
Burial: Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery, San Antonio, TX

High School: Statesville High School
College: Wake Forest University, Wake Forest, NC

Bats: R             Throws: R        Height and Weight: 6-1, 190
Debut Year: 1954       Final Year: 1954          Years Played: 1
Team and Year: Pittsburgh Pirates, 1954

Career Summary
G         AB       H         R          RBI      HR       BA.      OBP.    SLG.     WAR
121      418    83      38        30        3          ,199     .294     .268     -1.5

Marjorie Allie had seen the name in a movie magazine. She liked it so much that she decided to give it her only son. Her husband, Kermit, apparently didn’t mind.[1]

Gair grew up to be a strapping six-footer by the time he went to high school, lettering in football, baseball and basketball. He may be one of the best athletes to ever play at Statesville High. He was co-captain of the football and basketball teams and made the all-conference and all-state teams. Six colleges offered him football scholarships when he graduated in 1950, but Allie chose Wake Forest College because there he would play baseball.

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Aderholt, Morrie

Position: Pinch hitter, Leftfield
Birthplace: Mount Olive

First, Last Names: Morris Woodrow
Date of Birth:  Sept. 13, 1915            Date and Place of Death: March 18, 1955, Sarasota, Fla.  
Burial: Appomattox Cemetery, Hopewell, Va.

High School: Undetermined  
College:  Wake Forest College, Wake Forest, NC

Bats: L             Throws: R        Height and Weight: 6-1, 188
Debut Year: 1939       Final Year: 1945          Years Played: 5
Teams and Years: Washington Senators, 1939-41; Brooklyn Dodgers, 1944-45; Boston Braves, 1945

Career Summary
G         AB       H         R          RBI      HR       BA.      OBP.    SLG.     WAR
106    262    70      36         32       3          .267    .317      .351      -0.2

Morrie Aderholt could hit a ball pretty good. Catching one, though, was another matter.

“He’s the world’s worst third baseman,” Brooklyn Dodgers’ President Branch Rickey bluntly told the press shortly after he brought Aderholt up from the minors in September 1944.[I]

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