Ernie White Baseball

Ernie White was born Ernest Daniel White on September 5, 1916 in Pacolet Mills, SC. He later pitched for the textile team in Pacolet. It was there that Frank Rickey, younger brother of Cardinals scout Branch Rickey, signed him to a contract in 1937.At that time, he had been married to Margaret Whitlock for two years.

He began his trip to the major leagues as a 20 year old in the Class D Bi-State League in Asheville, North Carolina for the Asheville Tourists.The field he played on there was the scene of the movie Bull Durham. White went 0-2 there but still got a promotion to Class C Middle Atlantic League in Portsmouth, Ohio. His teammates there included future major league players Walt Alston and Whitey Kurowski. 

He got the attention of the Cardinals on June 3, 1938 when he struck out 15 batters in five innings of work against the Johnstown Johnnies. Ernie received honorable mention to the All Star team that season.His season deserved a promotion to the Class A1 Texas League with the Houston Buffaloes. 

It is there he worked for manager Eddie Dyer, former pitcher of the St Louis Cardinals and future manager (1946-1950). The team was loaded with pitchers which included future Cardinals Harry Brecheen, Murry Dickson, Howie Krist, and Ted Wilks and Dizzy Dean.The Buffaloes captured the Texas League championship with a 97-63 record.

White finished the 1939 season with a 15-6 record which included a no-hitter on July 18,1939 while facing Fort Worth. White finished with 149 strikeouts for the season.The following season he was moved to the top farm team of the Cardinals which was the Double A Columbus Red Birds in the American Association.He led the league in winning percentage with a 13-4 record along with a 2.25 ERA.

He got called up on May 9.1940. In that game he relieved Murry Dickson. and threw 7 1/3 six hit game to go on and defeat the Phillies. White also went 3-for-3 at the plate. 

World War II likely limited Ernie’s career. Many pitchers were never the same after they returned due to combat and battle wounds such as Harry Walker, Howie Krist, Al Brazle, Johnny Godzicki.  Johnny Beazley was killed in the line of duty. 

Ernie White was pinned down in the Battle of the Bulge and was in icy water for a day. Many feel that is the main culprit and his ultimate loss of his fastball.

Ernie White Career

He pitched from 1940-1948 and compiled a career record of 30 wins and 21 losses and  a 2.78 ERA. He struck out 274 batters while walking 188. He threw a complete-game shutout in Game 3 of the 1942 World Series, defeating the New York Yankees 2–0 at Yankee Stadium, as the Cardinals beat New York in five games.

He died on May 22, 1974 in Augusta, GA due to complications to knee surgery at the age of 57.He is buried in Pacolet Memorial Gardens in Pacolet, South Carolina.

Other Cardinals born on September 5th are:

  • Bill Chambers 1888
  • Ody Abbot 1888
  • Jeff Brantley 1963

Check out all the information at History of Cardinals.