Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Letter to Jim Parker - 1938

James W. Parker was a minor league pitcher playing for several teams in several leagues.

In 1937 he was pitching for the Dallas Steers of the Texas League. Apparently the Smokies obtained his contract and offered him a job for the 1938 season.  According to he didn't take that job.

Two things caught my eye with the envelope and letter.  The letter is dated January 4, 1938.  The postmark has a date of March 1, 1938.  Why did it sit around for two months, especially when the club wanted Jim to train in Florida?  Why was it cancelled in Little Rock, Arkansas?

Jim Parker/Knoxville Baseball Club Letter, MS.2309.
University of Tennessee Libraries, Knoxville, Special Collections.

Baseball-Reference doesn't have all of his stats.  I found some of the 'missing' 1929 stats at the Library of Congress's website.  Psst.  He batted Right.

I was able to locate James W. Parker in the 1910, 1920, and 1930 US Census Schedules, thanks to   His father was John R. Parker, who was listed as widowed in the 1910 Census in Texas.  In 1930 James' occupation is listed as a pitcher in the baseball industry.

I've had no luck finding out what happened to Jim Parker after the 1937 season.  Not the WWII Draft Cards at  No obituary listed at  I even did a search for obituaries parker pitcher through The Sporting News at  Nothing.

I have sent an email to the Special Collections at UT to see if they can give me any leads as to where they obtained the letter.

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