Gordon Houston (minors01)

From BR Bullpen

Gordon Enloe Houston

  • Bats Right
  • Height 5' 8", Weight 156 lb.

BR minors page

Biographical Information[edit]

Outfielder Gordon Houston was a minor league batting champion who lost his life in World War II. His brother C.L. Houston played in the minors.

Houston hit .320/?/.417 in his pro debut for the 1937 Monroe Twins. In 1938, he batted .384/.457/.618 with 100 runs, 25 steals, 32 doubles, 7 triples and 18 home runs for the Texarkana Liners and also briefly appeared for the Oklahoma City Indians (2 H in 4 G). He led the East Texas League in average, tied Buck Frierson for 9th in hits (164), tied for 9th in doubles, tied for 10th in triples, tied Guy Curtright, Bob Neighbors and Clair Bates for 10th in homers and was second to Lou Frierson in slugging. He was named the league's All-Star left fielder.

In 1939, he was spiked badly and missed time due to injury; he struggled when he was on the field (.219/?/.301, 3 HR). He rebounded in 1940 to hit .304 with 30 doubles. He was 7th in the ETL with 158 hits.

Gordon enlisted in the Army Air Corps in November 1940. He practiced as a fighter pilot, patrolling the coast for Japanese ships. He was preparing to land in February 1942 when another plane was coming in right after him. He opted to head for the head of the runway and overrun, not knowing that a ditch had been dug that day to put sewer tile in. His plane hit the ditch and flipped over, killing him. He was the first American baseball player to die during service in World War II.