Adventures in Baseball Archeology: the Negro Leagues, Latin American baseball, J-ball, the minors, the 19th century, and other hidden, overlooked, or unknown corners of baseball history...with occasional forays into other sports.
Ryan Whirty has been looking into the deaths of Dick Redding and SolWhite, both of whom passed away in mental hospitals on Long Island, within a few years of each other. For some time researchers of Dick Redding have been stymied by the New York State Department of Health’s practice of redacting the cause of death from death certificates. A few months ago I requested a copy of Redding’s death certificate, just to see what would happen. The other day I finally received it. To my surprise, nothing was redacted—the cause of death was there to see, though some details were illegible.
I sent it to Ryan, who wrote it up. Unfortunately it’s not a pretty story.
Ryan, by the way, is looking into White’s final years, his commitment to the Central Islip Psychiatric Center on Long Island and his death there in 1955 (and also the 1948 death of Cannonball Dick Redding at the nearby Pilgrim State Hospital).
Here’s what appears to be, for now, the earliest known Negro league no-hitter (that is, a no-hitter in a game between top-flight black professional teams in the U.S.), preceding Frank Wickware’s 1914 gem by two years.
Apparently Bill Holland claimed that Redding threw some 30 no-hitters in his career, but I can’t recall anyone, player or historian, mentioning this one—versus the Cuban Stars in 1912—in particular. There is this article, which says he went 43-12 in 1912 with seven no-hitters, including a perfect game. I couldn’t find seven, but I did come up with one more no-hitter, the one mentioned briefly in the story above—and it was in fact a perfect game: