Every year about this time the baseball world publishes an article or two about baseball players with holiday names like Steve Christmas, Al Clauss, and Dick Rudolph. Well, this year, the Baseball Sociologist adds to that tradition by taking a look at New Year’s names!
Happy Townsend was a pitcher and outfielder from Townsend, DE. He played for the Philadelphia Phillies (1901), the Washington Senators (1902-1905), and the Cleveland Naps (1906). After playing for Washington College in Chestertown, MD, Happy began his baseball career with the Tarboro Tarheels of the North Carolina Association in 1900. His final year of professional baseball was with the Williamsport Millionaires of the Tri-State League in 1909.
Newt Randall played only one year in the majors, but logged 14 seasons in the minor leagues, from 1902-1906 and 1908-1916. In 1907 he played for both the Chicago Cubs and the Boston Doves. As an outfielder. In the minors he played for Cavalier (North Dakota), Winnipeg, Duluth, Denver, Milwaukee, and Oakland. In he made a comeback at age 43 with the 1923 Bismark Capitals of the North Dakota League.
James Almond Yeargin was a pitcher from South Carolina. He played for the Greenville Spinners in the South Atlantic League before being acquired by the Boston Braves in July 1922. He played 1 game for Boston in 1922 before returning to Greenville for the 1923 season. In 1924 he was again with the Braves for 32 games. In December 1924 he was traded to the Seattle Indians. Yeargin returned to Greenville for the 1927-1929 seasons, split the 1930 season between the Augusta Wolves and Greenville, and finished his career with the Raleigh Capitals in 1931.
Happy New Year – and Happy Newt Yeargin – everyone!