Ned Waldrop
 

 

NED WALDROP

Born: October 3, 1922
Place: Rutherfordton, NC
Died: March 1985
Place: South Fulton, TN

Height: 6'-3"
Weight: 215

Batted: Left
Threw: Left

Position:
First Base

Nickname: 
Big Ned

Team:
Fulton Railroaders
Fulton Lookouts

Kitty League 
Hall of Fame

Inducted 
August 16, 2003


Sources

Lydia Waldrop Scrapbook

Martha Weeks Scrapbook

Minor League Baseball Stars, Vol. III (Cleveland, OH: The Society for American Baseball Research, 1992): p. 138

 


 

Ned Waldrop was the greatest hitter in Kitty League history. While he was a home run threat, he was by no means a free swinger. He was a powerful line drive hitter who consistently batted over .300 and drove in over 100 runs a season.

Waldrop's career in the Kitty League began on June 17, 1949 with an 0-for-3 debut against the Madisonville Miners. It concluded seven years later after setting career records with 719 games played, 110 home runs and 727 runs batted in from 1949 to 1955.

Big Ned came close to capturing the league's Triple Crown in 1950 and 1954, but his batting average fell short both seasons. Nevertheless, the six-foot-three first baseman led the Fulton Railroaders/Lookouts to a record three consecutive Kitty League pennants from 1951 to 1953. His best season was 1954 as he batted a career-high .380, led the circuit with 22 home runs and broke the season-season RBI record with 159 held by Bowling Green Barons first sacker Ellis "Mike" Powers. He won the first--and only--Most Valuable Player award in the league that season.

Waldrop set a league record with 12 consecutive hits in three games June 7-8, 1952. After getting a hit in his last at-bat during the first game of a June 7 doubleheader, he went 6-for-6 in the second game (a single, four doubles and a triple). The next day he was a perfect 5-for-5 (all singles). Those dozen hits raised his batting average from .297 to .353!

His professional career began as a right-handed pitcher at Springfield, Mass. in the Class AA Eastern League in 1943. Two years later, he pulled a tendon in his back while pitching for the Atlanta Crackers, an injury that forced him to give up pitching. 

It wasn't until 1948 that he returned to the professional ranks as an outfielder at Forest City, N.C. in the Western Carolina League. After starting the 1949 season with the Washington Senators' Charlotte, N.C. farm club in the Tri-State League, the Senators sent him to their Fulton club in the Kitty League. 

Waldrop began the 1955 season as manager of the Fulton Lookouts. But a few weeks later, the club had a losing record and there were rumors that his former skipper Sam Lamitina would take his place. Rather than wait for the axe to fall, he resigned and left the team. 

He returned shortly thereafter as a player, but he left once and for all four days later. He fielded his position for the first half of the first inning, then walked off the field after three outs were made. He was given his release the following morning.

 

 

Kitty League Batting Statistics

Year Club BA G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB
1949 Fulton
1950 Fulton
1951 Fulton
1952 Fulton
1953 Fulton
1954 Fulton
1955 Fulton
Total 7 seasons

 

 

 

(c) 2006 Kevin D. McCann. All rights reserved.