Miscellaneous Facts

  • 11% of all Arkansas-born players to make it to the Major Leagues played in only one game. They are:

Sid Benton (April 18, 1922)
Bill Bradford (April 24, 1956)
Joe Brown (May 17th, 1927)
Mays Copeland (April 27, 1935)
Al Cypert (June 27, 1914)
Chuck Daniel (September 21, 1957)
Otis Davis (April 22, 1946)
Sherman Edwards (September 21, 1934)
Herb Herring (September 4, 1912)
Leroy Reams (May 7, 1969)
Pat Tobin (August 21, 1941)
Chuck Tompkins (June 25, 1912)
Al Williamson (April 27, 1928)

  • 5 of the 6 Hall of Famers born in Arkansas were inducted between 1982-1985 (1 in ‘82, 2 in ‘83 and 2 in ‘85).
  • In 1908, future Hall Of Famer Tris Speaker was traded to the Little Rock Travelers by the Boston Red Sox in exchange for the use of Little Rock’ spring training facilities. After spending half a season with Little Rock, batting .350, the Red Sox resigned him.
  • There have been 5 Baseball Hall of Famers that that spent some time with the Arkansas
    Travelers. They Jim Bunning, Bill Dickey, Travis Jackson, Fergie Jenkins and Tris Speaker. In addition, Hall of Famer Chick Hafey played with the 1923 Fort Smith Twins, and Freddie Lindstrom managed the 1942 Fort Smith Giants.
  • Hot Springs, AR, was used for Major League spring training from 1886-1942, while Little Rock, AR was used MLB spring training from 1907-1910. Some other cities in Arkansas, including Arkadelphia, Fort Smith an Pine Bluff, were used for minor league spring training.
  • During the 1950’s, Preacher Roe and other professional baseball players, including Bill Virdon and Marlin Stuart, would pitch an exhibition game in Salem (Fulton County), AR every year for 8 straight years. They were charity games to help the city of Salem buy a lighting system for their ballpark, which was later named “Preacher Roe Park”.
  • Solly Drake was the first African-American from Arkansas to play in the Majors. His brother, Sammy Drake, also played in the in the big leagues. Together, they were the first African-American brothers to play in the Major Leagues.
  • On April 16th, 2009, Benton, AR native Cliff Lee won the very first ever game at the New Yankee Stadium, home of the New York Yankees, which replaced the original 86-year Yankee Stadium. Later that year on October 28th, Lee won the first World Series game at the ballpark also.
  • Two players in history, Arky Vaughan and Pea Ridge Day, were most commonly known by their nicknames that directly tied them to Arkansas. Ironically, Vaughan lived in Arkansas for only a matter of months while an infant, and Day was actually born in McDonald County, Missouri.
  • When Major League Baseball instituted the inaugural First Year Player Draft in 1965, Arkansas native Rick Monday was the first player every selected, going 1st overall in the 1st round to the Kansas City Athletics. Monday was born in Batesville, AR.
  • In 2010, historic Andrews Field in Fort Smith, AR, was razed to make room for the expansion of the Fort Smith National Cemetery across the street. Mutt Williams, a former major leaguer, was buried in the cemetery in 1962, ironically, after playing next door at Andrew’s Field with the Fort Smith Twins in 1923 and 1927.
  • In 1948, Paragould, AR native Marlin Stuart pitched a game barefooted for the Mayfield Browns, class D team of the St. Louis Browns. Stuart is, perhaps, the only known player to ever pitch a minor league game barefooted.
  • The 1934 World Series has been called “The Arkansas World Series”. Dizzy and Paul Dean, brothers from Lucas, AR, along with Schoolboy Rowe, a native of El Dorado, AR, started 6 of the 7 series games to account for more than half of the total innings pitched during the series. Combined, the three won 5 games, threw 6 complete games, and posted a 1.92 ERA.
  • When Jackie Robinson broke the color line on April 15th, 1947 at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, NY, the first pitcher to ever throw a pitch to him was Havana, AR native Johnny Sain of the Boston Braves.
  • Lon Warneke, a long-time pitching in the majors, was known as “The Arkansas Hummingbird”. He was born in Mount Ida, AR and went on to pitch his way into 5 MLB All-Star games. Following his pitching career, he became a major league umpire, and even umpired in the 1952 All-star game. Warneke is the only person in history to play and umpire in an All-Star game.
  • In 1920, a small town baseball team in Arkansas City, AR featured one of the best hitters in baseball history. “Shoeless Joe” Jackson, who had been banned from baseball after his participation in 1918 Chicago “Black Sox” scandal, was playing wherever he could, including the small semi-pro team in Arkansas.