Taft S “Taffy” Wright was born on August 10,
1911 in Tabor City, North
Carolina. He signed with Charlotte of the Piedmont League in 1933 and
batted .330 in 124 games with 90 RBIs. He moved up to
of the Class A Southern Association in 1934 and Albany of the Class AA International League
the next year.
Wright – a left-handed hitting outfielder – was
with Chattanooga in 1936 and
1937. He batted over .300 each year and made his major league debut
with the Washington Senators on April 18, 1938. Wright played 100
games his rookie year and hit the ball at a sensational .350 mark.
He batted .309 in 1939 and was traded to the White Sox in 1940. He
continued to hit above .300 each season, and when he entered
military service on September 4, 1942, Wright had a major league
career batting average of .328.
Fort Bragg, North Carolina
in 1942 and 1943, he was assigned to the Greensboro Overseas
Replacement Depot in 1944 and played ball for the Greensboro ORD
Tech-Hawks. Wright was at Wheeler Army Air Field, Hawaii in 1945, and playing for the Wheeler
Wingmen he was selected to an Army Air Force all-star team.
In the late summer of 1945, Sergeant Wright
played for the 73rd Wing Bombers led by Buster Mills during a tour
of the Marianas, but according to
one observer of the time, he was "saving himself for when he could
return to the big leagues. He was not much of an asset."
Wright was discharged from service at Fort Bragg
on November 15, 1945. He was back with the White Sox in 1946, and
for the first time in his career he batted below .300, at .275. He
was back to his old form in 1947, hitting .324 in 124 games, but
dropped to .279 in 1948, prompting a sale to the Philadelphia
Athletics. The 37-year-old played just 59 games with the Athletics,
batted a lowly .235 and was released at the end of the year.
Wright continued to play in the minors into his
mid-40s and had outstanding seasons with
Louisville of the American Association and
of the West Texas-New Mexico League.
Taffy Wright passed away on October 22, 1981 in Orlando, Florida.
He was 70 years old.
to Deuce Niven at the Tabor-Loris Tribune, O Richard Wright, Jr and
Taft Wright, Jr for help with this biography.