Monty Stratton was a Major League Baseball pitcher for the Chicago White Sox from 1934-1938. His career was cut short following the closure of the 1938 season when he accidentally shot his leg with a holstered pistol while hunting. The wound was severe enough to require his leg to need immediate amputation.
After his accident, Stratton would try and teach himself to pitch with the artificial leg (he also tried enlisting when World War II started but was turned away). He’d experiment by pitching to his wife Ethel.
The Stratton Story (1949), starring James Stewart and June Allyson detailed his life and efforts to return to baseball. Gene Bearden, Bill Dickey and Jimmy Dykes all made cameo appearances in the film.
(Stratton is less known for giving up a homerun to Lefty Lefebvre during his first Major League at bat. It was the first time in history a player hit a home run on the first swing of his first Major League at bat. Later, Lefebvre would joke with Stratton, “You were so embarrassed, giving up a home run to me, you shot yourself.”)
"He was loud. We sat down at the counter. He said he wanted a chicken sandwich and a frappe. The sandwich came and he started smelling it. He said, loud voice, ‘Is this chicken fresh?’ The owner came over and told him it was. Jesus Christ, it was embarrassing. Ted smelled the chicken some more. He’d say things a nine-year-old kid wouldn’t say. No control at all. Anyway, he eats the sandwich, drinks the frappe in about a minute, and says we’re out of there. I’ve got three quarters of a sandwich still to go.
We go from there to another sandwich shop. It happens all over again! He orders the same thing, a chicken sandwich and a frappe. He says the same thing. Is this chicken fresh? He starts smelling the chicken. Eats the sandwich, drinks the frappe in a minute, and says we have to go. I’d been to two restaurants, seen him eat two meals, and I still hadn’t eaten a whole sandwich.
He was just cuckoo.”
~ Lefty Lefebvre, taken from Leigh Montville’s Ted Williams: The Biography of an American Hero.
"Derek Jeter has been a great representative of what the Yankees have stood for over the years. He has been a team player who has only cared about winning. He has also been a fine example both on and off the field over his long tenure as a Yankee. It has been a real pleasure to manage him and play alongside him." ~ Joe Girardi
"It has been an incredible honor having a front row seat for one of the great players of all time. Derek has been a winner every step of the way. I am already looking forward to an exciting final chapter of his storied career." ~ Brian Cashman
"Derek called me this morning to tell me that he planned to retire following the season. In our conversation, I told him that I respected his decision because I know he had put a lot of thought into it. I also let him know that I thought it was great that he was letting fans know so they will have a chance to say goodbye to him." ~ Hal Steinbrenner
In the 21-plus years in which I have served as Commissioner, Major League Baseball has had no finer ambassador than Derek Jeter. Since his championship rookie season of 1996, Derek has represented all the best of the National Pastime on and off the field. He is one of the most accomplished and memorable players of his - or any - era.
Derek is the kind of person that generations have emulated proudly, and he remains an exemplary face of our sport. Major League Baseball looks forward to celebrating his remarkable career throughout the 2014 season.
Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig on Derek Jeter’s plans to retire after the 2014 season.