STEVE STEPHENS AND CLYDE SNIDER
Special to the Democrat-Gazette
He was born in Logan County, the son of sharecroppers and spent his early years working in the cotton field. At age 16, he joined the Army. His first and middle birth names were Jay Hanna, but when his sergeant saw him pitching peeled potatoes at a garbage lid he gave him a nickname that stayed with him the rest of his life. He would later confuse reporters by telling them his first and middle names were Jerome Herman, the name of a childhood friend who had died at the age of 8.
When he got out of the Army, he pitched for a couple of minor league Texas teams. In 1932 he was signed by the St. Louis Cardinals. In 1934 he led the league in strikeouts and won 30 games. He was named the National League Most Valuable Player and male Athlete of the Year. In the 1937 all-star game, he had to change his pitching motion to favor a broken toe and, as a result, injured his arm. Long before it healed, he started pitching again, making the injury permanent.
He was traded to the Chicago Cubs and played for three years before retiring in 1941 to become one of the most famous baseball broadcasters of all time, notorious for a colorful use of bad grammar. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1953.
Notable Arkansans is written by Steve Stephens and produced by Clyde Snider.
Who was this legendary, often brash Arkansas baseball player and broadcaster often quoted for saying, "If ya done it, it ain't braggin'"?
Answer on Page 6E
Style on 12/16/2018
Print Headline: Notable Arkansans