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Errol Stoner

 

Date and Place of Birth: October 16, 1911 Olive, CA
Date and Place of Death:    December 12, 1941 Clark Field, Philippines
Baseball Experience: Minor League
Position: Pitcher
Rank: Private
Military Unit: Company C, 33rd Quartermaster Truck Regiment US Army
Area Served: Pacific Theater of Operations

Errol J. Stoner, the son of Harvey and Winifred Stoner, was born on October 16, 1911, in the small community of Olive, Orange County, California. In 1928, he enlisted with the Army and served at Fort Stotsenburg, approximately 50 miles north of Manila, in the Philippines.

By 1930, he was back in California and working with his father at a citrus ranch. In 1933, he
and another young pitcher, Homer H. Hurst, were invited by the Pirates' Larry French to attend spring training with the National League club at Paso Robles, California. Playing alongside future Hall of Famers Lloyd and Paul Waner, the 21-year-old right-hander impressed the Pirate management during February and March. On March 8, he teamed up with Hurst to pitch the Pirate regulars to a 2-1 win over the rookie squad, allowing just four hits between them. Both pitchers were released by the major league team before the regular season began and Stoner pitched two games for a 1-1 record with the Tulsa Oilers of the Class A Texas League, before being reunited with Homer Hurst at the Class C Middle-Atlantic League's Springfield Chicks. Stoner was 0-1 in two games and spent the rest of the year playing semi-pro baseball back in Orange County with the Fullerton Merchants [Hurst was 0-4 in 10 games with the Chicks].

On October 26, 1933, he married 18-year-old Ruth L. E. Naumann, and reportedly signed with the Pacific Coast League’s San Francisco Seals. By spring training of 1934, Stoner was with the Coast League’s Mission Reds, putting in another good early year performance. Reds’ manager Gabby Street didn’t have room on the regular season roster for Stoner, but he tried to help secure a minor league position for the youngster. However, it appears this didn’t come to fruition and he was back with the Fullerton Merchants later in the year.

In 1935, for the third year in a row, Stoner attended spring training with a professional team. This time with the Coast League’s Hollywood Stars, but again he was released before the season got underway and was back with the Fullerton Merchants.

In 1936, Stoner joined the Class D Alabama-Florida League's Union Springs Springers, reuniting him with former Springfield Chicks teammate, Harold Bohl, who was now player-manager with the Springers. Stoner must have been suffering from a sore arm at this time as he did not take to the mound for the entire season, but played 73 games, leading the team with 11 home runs and an excellent .319 average. Stoner was back on the mound in 1937, pitching for the Class C East Texas League’s Kilgore Rangers, where he was 3-5 with a 4.98 ERA in 16 appearances to end his pro career.

Stoner was working as a farmer and living in De Luz, San Diego County, California, when he entered military service for the second time in September 1940. Attached to Company C, 33rd Quartermaster Truck Regiment, Private Stoner returned to the Philippines. On December 8, 1941, the Japanese attacked the Philippines and Stoner suffered fatal shrapnel wounds to his back and hips on December 12
, during the defense of Clark Field. He was buried at the Fort William McKinley Cemetery (now Fort Bonifacio) in Manila, two days later. However, the location of his remains were lost between that time, and when the cemetery's remains were disinterred following their liberation from the Japanese in 1945. Private Stoner's remains have never been recovered, and he is remembered at the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial at Fort Bonifacio.

Errol Stoner with the Pittsburgh Pirates 1933

Errol Stoner with the Pittsburgh Pirates during spring training in 1933

Pittsburgh Pirates - Spring Training - 1933

The Pittsburgh Pirates 1933 spring training squad at Paso Robles, California
(Errol Stoner is middle row, third player from left)

Thanks to Davis O. Barker for "discovering" Errol Stoner.

Sources:

Pittsburgh Press - Feb 27, 1933
Pittsburgh Press - Mar 8, 1933
Sporting News - Mar 16, 1933
Santa Ana Daily Register – Oct 19,1933
Santa Ana Daily Register – Oct 21, 1933
Santa Ana Daily Register – Oct 25, 1933
Santa Ana Daily Register – Nov 11, 1933
Santa Ana Daily Register – Feb 5, 1934
Woodland Daily Democrat – Apr 11, 1934
www.tohonorourfallen.com
1920 U.S. Census
1930 U.S. Census
1940 U.S. Census

Date Added July 9, 2016

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