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Jim Derrington

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1958 Topps #129 Jim Derrington

Charles James Derrington
(Blackie)

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[edit] Biographical Information

"Jim Derrington is a 17-year-old whiz of a bonus pitcher . . ." - Sports Illustrated in April 1957

Jim Derrington was the last major league player to break in at the age of 16 when he started a game for the Chicago White Sox late in the 1956 season. He was the youngest pitcher to start a game, at the age of 16, and may have been the youngest player in the American League to get a hit. He pitched a bit more in 1957, getting into 20 games with a 4.86 ERA. In total, he was 0-2, 5.23 in 43 innings for his big league career.

He never played in another major league game after age 17; his minor league career ended when he was just 21. He had a serious arm injury in 1960 so he became a position player for the Charleston White Sox that year. He learned to throw primarily off-speed pitches but was not as effective in 1961.

He might have made his major league debut at an even earlier age, since he played semi-pro ball at age 13, but a rule at the time required him to play some American Legion ball before he could turn professional.

After baseball he ran a TV/appliance store, managed a produce business and brokered produce. From 1995 on, he coached and managed in independent ball.

One source: LA Times article June 29, 1991.

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