Dick Whitworth (Negro Leagues)

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Richard Whitworth (Big)

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Dick Whitworth was Negro League pitcher for about a decade. He was known for his fastball.

Whitworth debuted in 1915 for the Chicago American Giants, going 5-2 against other top black teams. His 3.33 RA was second to Dizzy Dismukes among teams in the midwest. Whitworth threw a no-hitter on September 19 against the Chicago Union Giants. He spent the winter in the California Winter League, throwing one inning only. Whitworth went 3-1 in 1916.

Dick was 6-2 for the American Giants in 1918 in the Negro Leagues. He led the western teams in wins and RA (2.50, .12 ahead of Frank Wickware). In 1919, "Big" Whitworth held out for part of the year due to a salary dispute but still finished 5-1 with a 3.73 RA. He tied Cristobal Torriente for third in the midwest in wins and was third in RA as well. He also hit .227 that season.

In 1920, Whitworth jumped to the Philadelphia Hilldales. Rube Foster claims it was theft and asked teams to boycott the Hilldales. Whitworth went 4-2 that year. He lost an exhibition game to Bill Hubbell, backed by Bob Meusel, Irish Meusel, Joe Dugan, Casey Stengel, Possum Whitted, Johnny Rawlings and Tony Boeckel; the final was 5-2.

In 1921, the veteran went 7-4 with a 3.19 RA. He tied for third in the east in wins and was second to Connie Rector in RA. He beat the Atlantic City Bacharach Giants in his only playoff appearance. In a final series against the American Giants, he lost 5-2 in game 3 but came back to win game 6 by a 7-1 margin to give Hilldale a 3-2-1 win of the series.

Whitworth returned to the American Giants in 1922, falling to 11-10 as his club's least effective hurler. A heavy drinker in the past, even when scheduled to pitch, his alcoholism was now clearly affecting his play.

In 1924, the former hard-throwing right-hander was 1-1. He was released the next year.

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