Earl Hazwell Wooten
>> Visit the Junior Wooten biography on Baseball Almanac for complete statistics.
Earl Wooten stood just 5-11, but he excelled in baseball, football and basketball in high school. His performances were enough to earn him scholarship offers. For Wooten's family, however, money was tight and even a scholarship for college wasn't enough.
Wooten died at his home in Williamston, S.C., on Aug. 12, 2006. He was 82 years old.
He turned down the scholarships and went to work in Pelzer's textile mill. The mill was a member of the Carolina Textile League and Wooten quickly earned a spot on the team.
His play caught the attention of a major league scout and he was signed to a contract with the Washington Senators. He was assigned to the Chattanooga Lookouts of the AA Southern League. After the baseball season, Wooten returned to Pelzer to play in the textile basketball league. In 1947, he appeared in six games for the Senators.
In 1948, he was called up to the Senators. He hit .256 that season on a team with no real stars. Following the season, he returned to Pelzer and played textile basketball. It would prove costly in his major league career.
Washington wanted Wooten to refrain from playing basketball in the winter. The team wanted Wooten to gain weight. That off-season, Wooten received a letter from Washington informing him that his contract had been sold to the Boston Braves.
In 1949, he found himself back in minor league baseball with the Boston Braves' AAA affiliate, the Atlanta Crackers. Wooten played for the Crackers from 1949 to 1955. In 1955, he led the American Association with a .346 average and played in the AAA All-Star game.
When he didn't receive a call-up to the Braves following his performance in 1955, Wooten decided to retire from professional baseball.
SOURCES: "Moments of Glory" by John Chandler Griffin; www.baseball-reference.com