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Early Wynn Autographs, Memorabilia & Collectibles

Born: January 06, 1920 in Hartford, Alabama
Died: April 04, 1999 in Venice, Florida
Biography | show moreshow less

Full name Early Wynn
Born January 6, 1920, Hartford, Alabama
Died April 4, 1999, Venice, Florida
First Game: September 13, 1939; Final Game: September 13, 1963
Bat: Both Throw: Right Height: 6' 0" Weight: 190
Bats right from 1941 to 1944

Selected to the Hall of Fame in 1972
Named Major League Player of the Year by The Sporting News (1959)
Named Major League Cy Young Award Winner by Baseball Writers' Association of America (1959)
Named AL Pitcher of the Year by The Sporting News (1959)
Named pitcher on The Sporting News Major League All-Star Team (1959)

This article was written by David Fleitz and is presented in part, courtesy of the Society for American Baseball Research

Chicago fans were outraged when the White Sox traded their most popular player, Minnie Minoso, to Cleveland in December 1957 with Fred Hatfield for Early Wynn and Al Smith. Wynn was a 37-year-old right-handed pitcher who had posted a losing record for the Indians that season, and his best days appeared to be behind him. However, Wynn joined with Billy Pierce to give the White Sox a formidable one-two punch at the top of their rotation, and his Cy Young Award-winning performance in 1959 led the club to its first American League pennant since 1919. Four years later, at age 43, he became the 14th member of baseball’s 300-win club.

Early Wynn Jr., whose family claimed Scotch-Irish and Native American descent, was born in Hartford, Alabama, on January 6, 1920, to Early Wynn Sr. and his wife, Blanche. Hartford is a small town surrounded by peanut and cotton fields in Geneva County, which borders the Florida Panhandle in the southeastern part of the state. Early Jr., whose father was an auto mechanic and a semipro ballplayer, earned 10 cents an hour hauling 500-pound bales of cotton after school. He concentrated on baseball after breaking his leg in a high school football practice, and at age 17 he traveled to Sanford, Florida, to attend a baseball camp operated by the Washington Senators. Legend has it that Early, a husky six-footer who weighed about 200 pounds, arrived at camp in his bare feet. He did not, said Early years later to writer Roger Kahn, “but I was wearing coveralls.” A Washington scout, Clyde Milan, was impressed with his fastball and signed Early to a contract. The young pitcher dropped out of high school and began his professional career in 1937 with the Senators’ Class D Florida State League farm team in Sanford.

After a 16-11 season in Sanford, Early advanced to the Charlotte Hornets of the Class B Piedmont League, where he remained for the next three years. The Senators gave him a trial in Washington at the end of the 1939 season, though Early was not yet ready for major-league action, going 0-2 in three games. He spent all of 1940 in Charlotte, and a good season at Springfield in the Class A Eastern League in 1941 (16-12, 2.56) brought him to Washington to stay. In 1942 he made 28 starts for the Senators, posting a 10-16 mark with a 5.12 ERA as a 22-year-old with little more than a fastball in his arsenal.

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