John Henderson Whitehead (Silent John)
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 2", Weight 195 lb.
- Debut April 19, 1935
- Final Game May 13, 1942
- Born April 27, 1909 in Coleman, TX USA
- Died October 20, 1964 in Bonham, TX USA
Nicknamed "Silent John" due to his introverted nature, John Whitehead pitched parts of seven years in the majors, most notably with the Chicago White Sox.
Before reaching the majors, Whitehead played several seasons with the Dallas Steers of the Texas League. After winning 19 games for the Steers in 1934, his contract was purchased by the White Sox. He made his big league debut on April 19th, 1935, starting and going the distance to earn a win against the Detroit Tigers. He won his first 8 major league starts, throwing complete games in 7 of them. However, his luck soon changed, as he lost his next 6 games, and he ended his rookie campaign with a 13-13 record and a 3.72 ERA. He was Chicago's Opening Day starter in 1936, and he ended that year with the same 13-13 record as the season prior (but with an ERA of 4.64, nearly a run higher than the summer before).
Whitehead went 11-8 in 1937 to post the only winning record of his big league career. He was again on the mound for the Sox on Opening Day 1938 but ended the summer with a 10-11 record and a 4.76 ERA. Midway through the next season, he was dealt to the St. Louis Browns for Johnny Marcum. He split 1940 between St. Louis and the minors. On August 5th of that year, he threw a rain-shortened, six-inning no-hitter against the Tigers to record his only big league win of the year. It would also prove to be his final victory in the majors, as he appeared in just 4 more games for the Browns in 1942. He did continue to play in the minors for nearly another decade. As a 39-year-old for the Sherman-Denison Twins in 1948, he won 19 games and led the Big State League with a 2.73 ERA.