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Sammy Hairston

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Samuel Harding Hairston

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[edit] Biographical Information

Sammy Hairston, progenitor of a large baseball family, played 4 games in the major leagues for the 1951 Chicago White Sox in July and August, hitting .400 with a .571 on-base percentage. He was a 31-year-old catcher and one of the earlier black players in the major leagues. He and Minnie Minoso both had their initial seasons with the White Sox in 1951 (Minoso came from Cleveland). Hairston had been signed by the White Sox as a free agent in 1950. He had previously played seven seasons in the Negro Leagues with the Birmingham Black Barons and Indianapolis Clowns.

After Sam's minor-league career ended in 1960, he became a scout for the White Sox. The team drafted Carlos May on his recommendation. Four other men became White Sox thanks to Sam: Jerry Hairston Sr., Lee Richard, Lamar Johnson, and Reggie Patterson. Sam was also a longtime instructor in minor-league spring training and served as Chisox bullpen coach in 1978. For the last 12 years of his life, he was a coach with the Birmingham Barons.

He is also the father of Johnny Hairston, and Sam Hairston Jr. (2B in White Sox chain 1966), and the grandfather of Jason Hairston, Jerry Hairston Jr., John Hairston Jr., Scott Hairston.

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