Events to honor Aurora’s Baseball Hall of Famer
Beacon-News Staff September 24, 2013 11:32AM
Updated: October 26, 2013 6:22AM
On Sunday, an Aurora baseball legend will get his moment in the sun.
That day, the city will honor James “Deacon” White, a legendary ballplayer of the 1800s, who was recently elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
As part of the celebration, there will be a game between the Aurora Legends, and the Aurora Town Club, Aurora’s vintage baseball team. The Legends team will include a number of fastpitch softball players from some of Aurora’s greatest teams from a few decades ago, including the Sealmasters and the Home Savers.
Organizer of the event Paul Nelson suggested a vintage baseball game as a way of showing the old-time version of baseball to a modern audience, and persuaded former fastpitch standout Bill Pfeiffer to round up some veterans of the glory days of fastpitch softball in Aurora to participate.
The Legends roster will include Paul Adam, Pat Baker, Bob Barron, Gregg Chione, Mike Cork, Chris Hess, Dan Hoffman, Bill Pfeiffer, Dave Pfeiffer, Dugan Rosalini, Ron Sterkel and John Sudges.
Although they will not adopt the all-wool uniforms of Deacon White’s era, they have designed their own logo and will play in collared shirts as a nod to the styles of the time.
Playing by 1871 rules, the two teams will pay tribute to White, who was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in July. White recorded the first hit in a professional baseball game (1871) and led the Chicago White Stockings, an early incarnation of the Chicago Cubs, to a pennant in 1876. In all he led three different teams to pennants in five successive years.
The afternoon of events will begin at 1 p.m. at Aurora University in the Perry Theater with remarks from White’s family and local historians, as well as university officials. White was long affiliated with what was then Aurora College.
At 2 p.m. the celebration will move to the corner of Marseillaise and Calumet for a street sign dedication. White lived at 221 S. Calumet for 17 years.
The vintage ball game is scheduled for 3 p.m. at the practice football field at West Aurora High School, near Plum Street and Randall Road.
All events are free and open to the public. More information is available at www.aurorahistory.net.