Van Alstyne Grays - Monty Stratton, Lloyd Douglas, Ned
Thomas, W.T. Crook, Irvie Williams, Kenneth Williams, John Whitehead.
Front row. Perry Hunter, Lefty Lumpkin, Doak Grider, Carl McMahan
and Winn Blassingame.
Monty Franklin Pierce Stratton (May 21, 1912 ? September
29, 1982), nicknamed "Gander", was a Major League Baseball pitcher. He
was born in Wagner, Texas, USA, but lived in Greenville, Texas for a part
of his life.
Stratton began his career with the Van Alstyne Grays before playing
for the Chicago White Sox. Stratton pitched five years with the Chicago
White Sox (1934?38), compiling a career 36?23 record with 196 strikeouts
and a 3.71 ERA in 487.1 innings. His major league career ended prematurely
when a hunting accident in 1938 forced doctors to amputate his right leg.
A 6-foot-5-inch right-hander, Stratton made his debut with the White
Sox on June 2, 1934. He became a starter in 1937, winning 15 games with
a 2.40 ERA and five shutouts, and made the American League All-Star squad.
The following season, he again won 15 and completed 17 of his 22 starts.
On November 27, 1938, Stratton was hunting rabbits on his family
farm when he fell, accidentally discharging a holstered pistol. The bullet
struck his right leg, damaging a main artery enough to require amputation.
Equipped with a wooden leg, Stratton worked with the White Sox the next
two years as a coach and batting practice pitcher. When World War II started,
he tried to enlist but was rejected. Then, he organized a semipro baseball
team at Greenville, Texas, and constantly practiced coordination on the
Throughout the early- and mid-1940s, Stratton attempted to come
back from his injury, pitching in the minors and semi-pro games. His
return to baseball encountered difficulties because other teams persistently
bunted balls out of his reach, but Stratton finally was able to make a
successful comeback, winning 18 games with the Class-C Sherman Twins of
the East Texas League.
His comeback attempt was the subject of the film The Stratton Story
which starred Jimmy Stewart and June Allyson, with big-leaguers Gene Bearden,
Bill Dickey and Jimmy Dykes in cameo appearances.
Stratton died in Greenville, Texas, on September 29, 1982, at the
age of 70.