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James Head Winford
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 1", Weight 180 lb.
- High School Meeker High School
- Debut September 10, 1932
- Final Game September 22, 1938
- Born October 9, 1909 in Shelbyville, TN USA
- Died December 16, 1970 in Miami, OK USA
Jim Winford was a pitcher for 14 years (1929-1942), six in the Majors (1932 and 1934-1938) and 13 in the minors (1929-1935 and 1937-1942). He was born on October 9, 1909, in Shelbyville, TN. He broke into Organized Baseball in 1929 at age 19 and played with Scottdale in the Middle Atlantic League(1929); Shawnee in the Western Association (1930); St. Joseph in the Western League (WL) (1930); back to Scottdale (1931); the Columbus Red Birds of the American Association (AA) (1931); and the Rochester Red Wings of the International League (IL) (1932).
Winford was 22 years old when he broke into the big leagues on September 10, 1932, with the St. Louis Cardinals. Sent back down, he played for Columbus (1933) and Rochester (1933-1934); was briefly with the Cardinals again in 1934 and 1935; and then back to Columbus (1935). Brought back up to The Show, on July 30, 1936 facing the Brooklyn Dodgers, the Cardinals' Winford tossed a four-hitter in stopping Casey Stengel's men, 7–0. The Cards climbed to within a game of the top as the Chicago Cubs lost.
He played for the Cards in 1936 and 1937; was sent down to the Houston Buffaloes of the Texas League (TX) (1938) and was selected off waivers by the Brooklyn Dodgers on September 10, 1938. He pitched a few games for Brooklyn in 1938, including his final major league game on September 22nd at age 36. Sent down to the Montreal Royals (IL) (1939) and the Nashville Volunteers of the Southern Association (SA) in 1939, he was purchased again by St. Louis from Brooklyn on April 3, 1940 only to finish out his career in the minors with the Sacramento Solons of the Pacific Coast League (PCL) (1940); the New Orleans Pelicans (SA) (1940); Columbus (1940-1941); Batesville in the Northeast Arkansas League (1941); and the Oklahoma City Indians (TX) (1942); ending his baseball playing career at age 33. He then turned to minor league managing until 1948, ending his baseball career at age 38.
Between 1932 and 1938 the knuckleballer pitched in 68 games for the Cardinals and Dodgers. When Paul Dean's arm gave out in 1936, Winford, with only 32 major league innings under his belt, stepped into the Cardinals' rotation to win 11 games, second on the staff to Dizzy Dean's 24. (FJO)
In 1936, his best year in MLB, he was (11-10) with 10 complete games in 23 games started, 6 games finished, 3 saves, 72 strikeouts, 68 walks and 1 shutout in 192.0 innings pitched with an ERA of 3.80 and a WHIP of 1.411 in 39 games. In 1938, his best year in the minors, he was (17-10) with an ERA of 2.34.
Overall in MLB, he was (14-18) with 10 complete games in 31 games started, 18 games finished, 3 saves, 107 strikeouts, 115 walks and 1 shutout in 276⅓ innings pitched with an ERA of 4.56 and a WHIP of 1.527 in 68 games. Overall in the minors, he was (96-78).
Winford served in the U.S. Navy during World War II (BN). He became a fireman in Oklahoma City, OK and was also a security guard there. He died at age 61 at the Heritage House Nursing Home in Miami, OK on December 16, 1970 and is buried at New Hope Cemetery in Meeker, OK.
Principal sources for Jim Winford include newspaper obituaries (OB), government Veteran records (VA,CM,CW), Stars & Stripes (S&S), Sporting Life (SL), The Sporting News (TSN), The Sports Encyclopedia:Baseball 2006 by David Neft & Richard Cohen (N&C), old Who's Who in Baseballs (1937) (WW), old Baseball Registers (none) (BR) , old Daguerreotypes by TSN (none) (DAG), Stars&Stripes (S&S), The Baseball Necrology by Bill Lee (BN), Pat Doyle's Professional Ballplayer DataBase (PD), The Baseball Library (BL), Baseball in World War II Europe by Gary Bedingfield (GB) ; The Pacific Coast League: A Statistical History, 1903-1957 by Dennis Snelling; The Neyer/James Guide to Pitchers by Bill James and Rob Neyer; The Texas League in Baseball, 1888-1958 by Marshall D. Wright; The Southern Association in Baseball, 1885-1961 by Marshall D. Wright; The International League: Year-by-year Statistics, 1884-1953 by Marshall D. Wright; The American Association: Year-By-Year Statistics for the Baseball Minor League, 1902-1952 by Marshall D. Wright; and independent research by Walter Kephart (WK) and Frank Russo (FR) and others.
- Clayton J. Trutor: "Jim Winford", in Charles F. Faber, ed.: The 1934 St. Louis Cardinals: The World Champion Gas House Gang, SABR, Phoenix, AZ, 2014, pp. 230-232. ISBN 978-1-933599-731