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Charles "Chatty" Etherton

 

Date and Place of Birth: February 13, 1919 Carbondale, IL
Date and Place of Death:    December 27, 1945 Jefferson City, MO
Baseball Experience: Minor League
Position: Pitcher
Rank: Corporal
Military Unit: 382nd AAA Auto-Weapons Battalion, US Army
Area Served: Pacific Theater of Operations

Charles "Chatty" Etherton, Jr., was the son of Charles and Agnes Etherton. His father was the postmaster in Carbondale, Illinois, and young Charles was a right-handed pitcher of local fame. He signed with the Mayfield Clothiers of the newly formed Class D Kitty League in 1936, and made one brief appearance before returning to Carbondale to play for the Bridge 4-H softball team that won the county championship.

Between 1938 and 1940, Etherton had brief trials with teams in the Arkansas-Missouri League, South Atlantic League, Kitty League, and Alabama State League, but it was following an outstanding season with the sandlot Red Wings of Murphysboro, Illinois, that he secured a regular place in organized baseball, joining the Zanesville Cubs of the Class C Middle-Atlantic League in 1941.

Etherton started in style for the Cubs with a 16-strikeout performance in a pre-season game against Muskingum College on April 24. "Etherton, who served a brief hitch with Troy in the Alabama State League last season, used a fast breaking curve and a fair fastball to bewilder all the Muskie batsmen," declared the local newspaper the following day.' Etherton made 22 appearances with Zanesville for a 3-7 record and a 5.01 ERA. He finished out the year making seven appearances for the Lake Charles Skippers of the Class D Evangeline League. In 1942, Etherton joined the Winnipeg Maroons of the Class C Northern League, where he posted a 4-2 won-loss record, before entering military service on June 12.

Corporal Etherton served in the Pacific Theater with the 382nd AAA Auto-Weapons Battalion and returned home in late 1945. On December 23, he boarded a troop train at Camp Stoneman, California, bound for discharge at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri. Nobody knows what horrors the 26-year-old faced on the battlefields of the Pacific, but other soldiers on the train said he was despondent. Four days after the train left California, Etherton locked himself in a wash room and cut his throat with a double-edged razor blade. His body was found when the train stopped at Jefferson City, Missouri, only a few hours from home.

Charles "Chatty" Etherton is buried at Oakland Cemetery in Carbondale, Illinois.

Year

Team

League

Class

G

IP

ER

BB

SO

W

L

ERA

1936 Mayfield
Kitty D 1 4 - 2 1 0 1 -
1938 Monett Arkansas-Missouri D - - - - - - - -
1939 Paducah
Kitty D - - - - - - - -
1940 Troy Alabama State D - - - - - - - -
1941 Zanesville
Mid-Atlantic C 22 88 49 57 28 3 3 5.01
1941 Lake Charles Evangeline D 7 33 15 - - 0 0 4.09
1942 Winnipeg
Northern C 7 38 - 14 24 4 2 -

Charles Etherton

Chatty Etherton's grave at Oakland Cemetery in Carbondale, Illinois

Date Added January 27, 2012 Updated July 25, 2016

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