Baseball Hall of Famer Ted Amar Lyons and his sister Miss Pearl Lyons lived in the next block on the same street as my grandparents in Vinton, Louisiana. My mom tells a great story of how a teacher in town once tried to get this lifelong bachelor to take interest in her.
The Teacher Tries to Catch the Pitcher
When my mother was young, my grandparents had several female boarders living with them at one time or another. Many of them were teachers in Vinton.
One of the teachers had a friend, also a teacher, who decided that Ted Lyons was a “good catch.” Since Lyons lived with his older unmarried sister, the teacher decided that the best way to get to him was by becoming best friends with Miss Pearl. And that’s exactly what she did. The teacher would invite Miss Pearl to go to dinner with her every week, suggesting that she bring her brother Ted along. This went on for quite awhile, until one day Miss Pearl arrived alone. Ted Lyons never joined them again.
Discouraged, the teacher decided that she would not be able to “catch” Ted Lyons, so she quit going to dinner with Miss Pearl.
VINTON — Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Ted Lyons, 85, died Friday after a lengthy illness.
Funeral services for the former manager of the Chicago White Sox of the American League will be at 2 p.m. Sunday, July 27, in the Vinton First Baptist Church.
The Revs. Lee Perkins and James Rivers will officiate and burial will be in Big Woods Cemetery under direction of Hixson Funeral Home.
Visitation at the funeral home here will be from 5-9 p.m. today, July 26.
Lyons died at 12:35 p.m. in a Sulphur nursing home.
Elected to Baseball’s Hall of Fame in Coopertown, N.Y. in 1955, Lyons was the first player to ever go straight from the college campus to the major leagues as he was signed by the White Sox in 1923 after receiving a B.A. degree from Baylor University.
He pitched for Chicago from 1923 to 1946, except for three years during World War II when he served as a Marine Corps major.
About one month into the 1946 season, Lyons ended his active pitching career as he was named to succeed Jimmy Dykes as Chicago’s manager. He served as manager through 1948. He served as a coach of the Detroit Tigers from 1949 to 1953.
Lyons was named to the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in 1960. After leaving baseball, Lyons returned to his Vinton home and spent much of his time in his favorite hobbies, golfing and hunting.
The Baseball Writers of America elected him to the hall of fame in 1955. He compiled a pitching record of 260 wins against 230 losses while toiling for a club that was in the second division most of his carer. He pitched a no-hit game against the Boston Red Sox on Aug. 21, 1926. He was the winningest pitcher in the American League in 1925 with 21 victories and in 1927 with 22.
He also won 22 games in 1930. In 1929, Lyons pitched a 21-inning game against the Detroit Tigers. In his last full year as a pitcher in 1942 at the age of 39, Lyons compiled the best earned run average among American League pitchers and completed all f his 20 starting assignments.
A better than average hitter for a pitcher, Lyons tied a major league record by hitting two doubles in one inning in a July 28, 1935, game.
Lyons was a member of the American Legion Post 208 in Vinton, and an active member of the First Baptist Church.
He is survived by nieces and nephews.
Lake Charles American Press, Saturday, July 26, 1986.
Ted Lyons’ House in 2010
Sadly, the home of Ted and Miss Pearl Lyons today sits empty and abandoned. The roof is covered with the blue tarps left over from Hurricane Rita in 2005. The furniture and household items were sold in a 1993 estate sale.
More Information about Ted Lyons
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