78 YEARS AGO TODAY … A SOX CAREER DERAILED (The Stratton Story)

On this date in 1938, a career on the come was derailed when White Sox pitcher Monty Stratton injured his leg in a hunting accident in Texas.

According to Rich Lindberg’s definitive book on White Sox history, “Who’s On Third?”, Stratton’s .32 callibre automatic pistol discharged as he put it back into his holster after shooting a rabbit. The bullet pierced a femoral artery, which cut off the leg’s circulation.

The 26-year-old Stratton crawled a half-mile where he called his wife, Ethel. The leg could not be saved and – despite what Lindeberg called some “heroic attempts to come back” – Stratton’s career was over. 

The accident and subsequent comeback, which included a May 1, 1939 benefit game at Comiskey Park which attracted 25,594, was made into a movie.

“The Stratton Story” starred Jimmy Stewart, June Allyson and former Sox manager Jimmy Dykes and was released in 1949.


Stratton, who died in 1982, won 15 games in both 1937 and 1938. He went 36-23 with a 3.71 ERA in 70 games (62 starts) for the White Sox between 1934 and 1938.

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