Derby History Quiz
Three major leaguers with a Derby connection
Robert "Bob" Pettit, pictured above, James "The Troy Terrier" Egan and William Franklin "Bill" Whitrock were three men with Derby connections who played major league baseball before the turn of the century - the 20th century! Egan was the only one who was born in Derby while Pettit and Whitrock lived in town until the time of their deaths. Pettit is buried in Oak Cliff Cemetery while Whitrock was buried in his native Cincinnati.
Egan played in the National League with the Troy Trojans where he won four games and lost 6 as a left handed pitcher and hit .200 in 115 plate appearances. He managed to pitch 10 complete games out of the 12 that he started. It was his only year in the majors. He was born in Derby in 1858 and died in New Haven in 1884.
Pettit was born in Williamstown, MA on July 19, 1861. He made it to the majors with the Chicago White Stockings of the National League in 1887. He played mostly in the outfield in the majors with Chicago in 1887 and 1888 and then finished his major league career in 1891 with the Milwaukee Brewers of the American Association. He was a career .240 hitter. According to the records, he did pitch one inning in relief in a game in 1887 and gave up eight runs as he gave up three hits, walked two batters and threw three wild pitches - yet he was credited with a save! In 1888 he made a trip around the world with the White Stockings. He played some minor league ball after ending his major league career and even played in the Connecticut State League for a while. He lived in Derby for 13 years and worked at at the Silver Plate Cutlery company. We don't know if he ever played for any of the Derby teams that played ball during hat era. He passed away due to a hemorrhage on November 1, 1910. He lived on cherry Street.
William Whitrock was born in Cincinnati in 1870, but spent the last 35 years of his life living in Derby. He had the longest major league career of our trio as he played in the majors starting in 1890 with the St. Louis Browns of the American Association and ending with the Philadelphia Phillies of the National League in 1896. He actually only played in the majors in 1890, 93, 94 and 96. He won a total of nine games and lost nineteen and his best year was the first when he won five and lost six. He also played for the Cincinnati Reds and the Louisville Colonels when both were in the National League. He did play for the Derby "Angels" while he was living in Derby. He lived on Elizabeth Street and on Minerva Street and worked at a Main Street restaurant and at the Robert N. Bassett Company in Shelton. He passed away suddenly on July 26, 1935This quiz was suggested by Randy Ritter, and his research from old copies of the Evening Sentinel and Internet baseball sites provided the data. For more statistics on the careers of our major leaguers, click on the following links:
Correct answers were received from: Raymond M. Petrillo, Rob Hyder, Nick from Terryvile, Jack Skelding, Ray Allen, gene wajdowicz, Ann Searles, Natalie Vetro, Jim Bartlett, thomas lenart, Jack Vagnini, Margo Bondi, Stephanie Anne D'onofrio, Marilyn Mizii, Fred Grant, Millie from Ansonia, Joe Pinto, Bob Ahearn, Joe Melewski, Eileen Krugel, Frank from St. Pete and Trevor Martin.
To see our earlier quizzes and learn more about Derby's unique history, click here.