To the Major Leagues
A number of players from the textile leagues went on to play in the major leagues. This page of the web site gives more details about some of these players from the Pacolet area and the vicinity close by in Spartanburg County. The names of these players and some of the details about their career are from the interesting book “Textile League Baseball - South Carolina’s Mill Teams 1880-1955” by Thomas K. Perry. It is published by McFarland and Company, Inc.
According to the book, there was one player that played for Glendale and in the major leagues. He was Charles (Charlie) Asher Wood. He played for the Pittsburg Pirates in 1930 as a pitcher. In 1932, after his major league career, he played with the Glendale team. He was born in Spartanburg on Jan. 13, 1909 and died on May 18, 1886 in Wichita, Kansas.
There were two brothers that played in the major leagues that had a close connection to the town of Glendale and relatives that lived there. They were Jesse Peter Fowler and his younger brother, John Arthur Fowler.
Jesse Fowler, nicknamed “Pete”, was born on Oct. 30, 1898 in Spartanburg. In the textile leagues he played for Converse, Chester and Clifton. His major league debut was in 1924 as a pitcher with the Saint Louis Cardinals. He had a long career in the minor leagues after leaving the Cardinals. He was a team mate of Dizzy Dean with the Houston Buffaloes in 1931. Jesse died on Sept. 23, 1973 in Columbia, S.C. at the age of 72.
John Arthur Fowler, nicknamed “Art” had one of the longest and most successful careers of any of the textile league players. He was born on July 3, 1922. He was a very talented player. He played for Pacolet, Clifton and Converse before He signed with the New York Giants in 1944 as a free agent. However, it took him almost 10 years in the minor leagues before he got to play in the major leagues. His major league debut was with the Cincinnati Redlegs in April of 1954. He also played, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Los Angeles Angels. His last year of playing in the majors was in 1964. Fowler pitched in the major leagues for nine seasons, compiling a 54-51 record and a 4.03 ERA in 1,024 innings pitched. His career numbers include 32 saves and 539 strikeouts. Art went on to have a very successful career as a pitching coach after his playing days were over. In 1970, while playing with the minor league Denver team, Art met Billy Martin, who was destined to be a successful coach in the majors. Art served as a player - pitching coach under Martin that year and had a very successful season. After that season, Art followed Billy Martin to several major league teams and worked as a pitching coach. Those stops included the New York Yankees -- two of which were World Series winners (1977 and 1978). He worked as a pitching coach for 14 years and worked with the Yankees, Minnesota, Detroit, Texas and Oakland. Art died in Spartanburg on January 29, 2007 at the age of 84.
Ernest (Ernie) Daniel White was born in Pacolet Mills, SC on September 5, 1916. He played for the Pacolet Mills team starting in 1934. Ernie was 23 years old when he broke into the big leagues on May 9, 1940, with the St. Louis Cardinals as a left handed pitcher. Ernie White's major league career included one stellar year for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1941. Arm problems, however, cut his career short. After finishing with a 1-1 record in 8 games for the Cardinals in 1940, White responded to his first full season in 1941 by pitching 210 innings and finished with a 17-7 record. He had 12 complete games and 117 strikeouts as well. In 1942, he pitched 128.1 innings and had a 7-5 record. However, he was sidelined for part of the season with a sore arm. In the 1942 World Series, he pitched a complete game to get the win against the New York Yankees. White was the first pitcher since 1926 to shut out the Yankees in a World Series game. He played with the Cardinals for 4 years. He missed two year due to serving in the army in WWII. In 1946, he went to the Boston Braves where he played for 3 more years. His last game was in October, 1948.
(Ernie White put Pacolet on the map long after his playing days. In September, 1956 I was registering for classes at the University of South Carolina in Columbia. My professor, reading my hometown of Pacolet said "That is where Ernie White is from!")
See more photos of Ernie at Ernie White.
Paul McLaughlin Campbell was born September 1, 1917 in Charlotte, North Carolina. He played with Pacolet and Arcadia before going on to professional baseball. He signed with the Red Sox in 1936 and spent five seasons in the minor leagues. He made his debut in the majors on April 15, 1941 with Boston. He spent six seasons in the major leagues. His career totals include a .255 batting average with 4 home runs. He went into service and missed two seasons. After the war, and following his career as a player, he worked as a coach and manager in the minor leagues. In 1957, he was the business and general manager of the Louisville Colonels and, in 1958, he became a scout for the Reds. Except for the War, he spent 57 continuous years in professional baseball. He died June 22, 2006 in Charlotte at the age of 85.
George Edward Banks was born in Pacolet Mills on September 24, 1938. He graduated from Pacolet High School and played textile league baseball for Pacolet and Clifton. He began his major league career with the Minnesota Twins in 1962. He played for the Twins in 1962, 1963 and part of 1964. In 1964, he was traded to the Cleveland Indians and played with them in 1964, 1965 and 1965. He hit 9 home runs during his major league career. After his playing days, George became ill and tragically died young on March 1, 1985 at the age of 46.
(I have a family connection to George. He was the first cousin to Craig Banks, my brother-in-law. In addition, I had the good fortune to play alongside George on the little league teams in Pacolet Mills during the late 1940’s and early 1950’s. I remember George not only as a talented baseball player but as a fine young man who was always in good spirits.)
See more information and photos of George at George Banks.
This web site has been started as a public service to share the story of Pacolet. The web master and person to contact about putting information on the web site is me, Gerald Teaster. Contact me at:
email@example.com or by telephone at (843) 873-8117. My regular mail adress is:
1311 Jahnz Ave.
Summerville, SC 29485
See more information about my Pacolet connection at Gerald Teaster.