Date and Place of Birth:
March 18, 1919 Utica, New York
Died: April 21, 2001 Venice, Florida
Military Unit: US Navy
Pacific Theater of Operations
Harold G “Hal” White was born on March 18, 1919 in Utica, New York.
He signed with the Rome Colonels of the Canadian-American League in
1937, appearing in three games for a 1-0 record. The following year
he was 14-11 in 29 appearances and joined the Cleveland Indians’
organization, playing with Wilkes-Barre Barons of the Eastern League
in 1939. A 10-11 record with a 3.27 ERA saw White advance to the
Buffalo Bisons of the International League at the tail end of the
season. In 1940, the Indians ended their working agreement with the Buffalo club and the
Detroit Tigers took over the team.
White was 16-4 with
in 1940 and made his major league debut with the Tigers on April 22,
1941. He made four relief appearances in Detroit
before returning to Buffalo
where he again won 16 games. In 1942 he was back with the Tigers and
had his best season in the majors with a 12-12 record and 2.91 ERA
in 34 appearances, including 25 starts. He also threw shutouts in
his first two starts. In 1943 – his last season before entering
military service with the Navy - White was 7-12.
He entered military service on January 3, 1944
and was based at Sampson Naval Training Station in New York, where he played
on the same service team as Del Ennis and Johnny Vander Meer. He
later went to the Pacific as part of the Navy’s Western Pacific
Tour. Following the tour, White was appointed recreation director on
Guam. "I was assigned on the island with Pee Wee Reese,"
he later recalled. "Mickey Vernon was assigned to Ulithi, which is a
tiny island all by itself.
"We were lucky. We ran baseball leagues,
basketball, and umpired in softball. We were fortunate. We didn't
see any action."
White returned to the Tigers in 1946 and worked
primarily in a relief role. He was traded to the Browns for the
start of the 1953 season but was sent on waivers to the Cardinals in
June, where he finished his major league playing career the
following year. He had a 46-54 record and a 3.78 ERA.
White remained in baseball for many years as a
minor league coach and scout. In 1975, he managed
in the New York-Penn League. He was one of 90 veterans who attended
the closing of Tiger Stadium in 1999. Hal White passed away at the
age of 82, in Venice, Florida
on April 21, 2001.
Created August 25, 2008.
Copyright © 2008 Gary Bedingfield (Baseball
in Wartime). All Rights Reserved.