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Sammy Hairston

From BR Bullpen

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Samuel Harding Hairston

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 10½", Weight 187 lb.

BR page

Biographical Information[edit]

Sammy Hairston, progenitor of a large baseball family, played 4 games in the major leagues for the Chicago White Sox in July and August of 1951, hitting .400 with a .571 on-base percentage. He was a 31-year-old catcher and one of the earlier black players in the major leagues. He and Minnie Minoso both played their initial season with the White Sox in 1951 (Minoso came from Cleveland, where he had first played in 1949). Hairston had been signed by the White Sox as a free agent in 1950. He had previously played seven seasons in the Negro Leagues with the Birmingham Black Barons and Indianapolis Clowns.

After Sam's minor league career ended in 1960, he became a scout for the White Sox. The team drafted Carlos May on his recommendation. Four other men became White Sox thanks to Sam: Jerry Hairston Sr., Lee Richard, Lamar Johnson, and Reggie Patterson. Sam was also a longtime instructor in minor-league spring training and served as Chisox bullpen coach in 1978. For the last 12 years of his life, he was a coach with the Birmingham Barons.

He is also the father of Johnny Hairston, and Sam Hairston Jr. (a 2B in the White Sox chain 1966), and the grandfather of Jason Hairston, Jerry Hairston Jr., John Hairston Jr. and Scott Hairston.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • NAL All-Star (1948)
  • NAL Slugging Percentage Leader (1946)
  • NAL OPS Leader (1946)
  • NAL Home Runs Leader (1946)
  • NAL RBIs Leader (1946)

Further Reading[edit]

  • Alan Cohen: "Sam Hairston" in "The Path to the Cubs and White Sox from the Negro Leagues: 17 Barrier Breakers", The National Pastime, SABR, 51, 2023, pp. 93-94.

Related Sites[edit]