Monty Stratton

Relying primarily on a trick pitch called the “Gander,” Stratton posted 15-5 and 15-9 marks for the White Sox in 1937-38 before his major league career was tragically ended at age 26. While he was hunting rabbits near Greenville, Texas in November 1938, his pistol accidentally discharged, sending a bullet into his right knee, severing the femoral artery. The leg was amputated the next day. In 1939 White Sox management sponsored a charity game in Comiskey Park between the Cubs and the White Sox, the proceeds of which (about $28,000) went to Stratton. In a touching, courageous display, Stratton took the mound to demonstrate that he could still pitch, though he was unable to transfer his weight effectively to the artificial leg. After coaching for the White Sox, he was given a minor league contract; in 1946 he posted an 18-8 record in the East Texas League. Stratton’s story was made into a fictionalized Hollywood movie starring Jimmy Stewart and June Allyson which was a 1949 box office smash.