Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sepia Saturday #136 - Professional Baseball Player & Scout John Ralph "Jack" Warner

I posted a brief blurb earlier about my great-grandaunt Wave Bruce's husband John Ralph "Jack" Warner who was for a time a professional baseball player in the 1920's and 1930's.  This week's Sepia Saturday illustration comes from the AG Spaulding Baseball Collection and although I have two reproduction cards of Uncle Jack's there are numerous others of his out there that I cannot afford to purchase.  When I Google him I can find a number of great old photos.  The photo left is from the 1933 Goudey Baseball Card collection when Jack played for the Philadelphia Phillies at second base.

Jack was born 29 Aug 1903 in Evansville, IN to Norman and Emma Warner, the fourth of five children. On September 24 1925 he debuted in the major leagues at age 22 for the Detroit Tigers and was their third baseman for the 1926 and 1927 seasons. He played alongside the legendary Ty Cobb and in 1926 won a $25 bet from Cobb by beating him in a footrace. Click here to see a great team photograph where Jack is sitting next to the great Ty Cobb? It the 1926 team profession photograph, about 1/3 the way down the screen and Jack and Ty are the two in the very middle of the photo.

His best year was 1927 when he played 138 games at third base and finished among the American League leaders in at bats (559), outs (431), and hit by pitch (6).  In 1929 he was traded to the Brooklyn Robins (1929 - 1931) and finished his career with the Phillies in 1933 playing his final game on September 30 1933. After his playing career he was a scout for the Chicago Cubs. He spent 12 seasons as a coach for the Los Angeles Angels farm club and was a West Coast scout until he retired.

I found Uncle Jack and Aunt Wave in the 1940 Los Angeles Census where he listed his occupation as professional ball player. They lived for many years in California before returning to Illinois upon retirement. He died in Mt. Vernon, IL at age 82 on 13 Mar, 1986 and is buried at Memorial Gardens.

For more great American baseball stories swing on over to Sepia Saturday!


  1. It's always exciting to find someone famous in your family. I hope you're able to add to your collection in time.

  2. What a nice tribute to a player from the golden age of baseball. There is something special about this classic baseball that was played in daylight on real grass and without the hype of television or even radio. (not to mention before the designated hitter option too!) I'd bet Jack had lots of great stories.

  3. My great-uncle and yours were playing at the same time, although your uncle reached greater levels of success. I enjoyed this story.

  4. Born in the same year as my father. I am amazed that they already had professional baseball players in the 1920is. You must be thrilled to have these interesting connections with US baseball history.

  5. I enjoyed reading this but hate to admit that I have never watched a baseball match. I might have to put it on my "to do" list!


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