Several Short Bios from the Central Illinois Area

This is the final post on major league players born in Central Illinois. I could have included many of the stars of the game from these counties such as Jim Thome, Joe Girardi, Robin Roberts, Ben Zobrist, Dick Schofield and many more. I made the decision to stick with the lesser-known players. Here are some of their bios. In a few months, I will begin a series on the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) and highlight the girls and teams from the Central Illinois area. If you have any personal information on those ladies, feel free to send me a message. 

I hope you have enjoyed this series.

John Louis “Lou” Johnson was born in Pekin, Illinois on  November 18, 1869. In his major league career with the Phillies, Johnson posted a 1–1 record with a 6.06 ERA in four appearances, including three starts and two complete games, giving up 22 earned runs on 44 hits and 15 walks while striking out 10 in 32 ⅔ innings of work.

Red Dorman was born as Charles Dwight “Red” Dorman in Jacksonville, Illinois on October 3, 1900, and played for the Cleveland Indians for 28 games during the 1928 Cleveland Indians season. He made his debut on August 21, 1928, and doubled in his first at-bat. He hit .364. in that season.

Joe Sullivan was born on September 26, 1910, in Mason City, Illinois, and the family moved west towards the State of Washington shortly after his birth. He played five seasons in the Major Leagues with the Detroit Tigers (1935–1936), Boston Red Sox (1939–1940), Boston Braves (1941), and Pittsburgh Pirates (1941). In five major league seasons, Sullivan had a record of 30–37 with a 4.01 ERA. A knuckleball specialist, Sullivan once pitched 12 straight innings of scoreless relief.

Darby O’Brien was born on September 1, 1863 – June 15, 1893) He played outfield for the New York Metropolitans in 1887 and the Brooklyn Bridegrooms/Grooms from 1888–1892. O’Brien developed lung problems during his playing career and continued to play, despite his ill health. When he reported to spring training for the 1893 season, the team found that he was too ill to play and sent him to Colorado to try to recover. They played a benefit game to raise money for him. He died later that year of typhoid fever at the age of 29 in his hometown.

Bernie Neis was born in Bloomington, Illinois on September 26, 1895. He played for the Brooklyn Robins, Boston Braves, Cleveland Indians, and Chicago White Sox between 1920 and 1927. He later managed in the minor leagues in 1932 and 1933. His lifetime average was .272 with 25 home runs.

Jim Cox was born May 28, 1950, in Bloomington, Illinois. He played for the Montreal Expos between 1973 and 1976. He batted and threw right-handed. In a four-season career, Cox was a .215 hitter (66-for-307) with three home runs and 33 RBI in 110 games played, including 33 runs, 11 doubles, two triples, and three stolen bases.

James Abner “Stub” Smith was born in Elmwood, Illinois on November 24, 1873.  He played in few games for the Boston Beaneaters in 1898 and got one hit in ten at-bats.

Roy Ogden Wise was born in Springfield, Illinois on November 18, 1923. He played for the Pittsburgh Pirates during the 1944 Pittsburgh Pirates season appearing in two games on May 12 and May 13. He finished with a 9.00 ERA and one strikeout.

George (Lucky) Whiteman was born on December 23, 1884, in Peoria, Illinois. He played mainly as a left fielder for the Boston Americans (1907), New York Yankees (1913) and Boston Red Sox (1918) between the 1907 and 1918. Whiteman filled in the outfield for the Boston Red Sox whenever Babe Ruth was pitching. He finished a .271 batting average with one home run and 31 runs batted in in 85 games played.

Jack Brittin was born in Athens, Illinois on March 4, 1924. In six total games pitched in the big leagues, all in relief, Brittin had a 0–0 record with a 6.75 earned run average. He allowed seven hits, six earned runs and nine bases on balls in eight full innings pitched.

 

Got a thought? Email me at tknuppel@gmail.com

 

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