There is a name on the membership roster of the Orange County chapter of the Ku Klux Klan compiled by the District Attorney's office in the 1920s that matches that of a major league ballplayer. It ain't Arky Vaughn, or even on the same level of major league importance as the Hall of Famer from Fullerton High, but it would still cause waves if I can verify it. The problem, however, is that this ballplayer shared the same name as his father, and we surely don't want to impugn the innocent in this series, do we? All the names of pioneers we disclose are the real McCoy, no chaser.
But since we're talking baseball, let's devote this week's chapter to another baseball player: Garland C. Ross.
Ross never made it to the majors, instead becoming a beloved SanTana dentist. But if anyone remembers him in the present day, it's because he was one of the players in perhaps the greatest pitching performance ever offered by Walter Johnson, the legendary Hall of Fame pitcher and a graduate of Fullerton High.
In 1905, Johnson's Indians faced off against Santa Ana High, captained by Ross. The 15-inning game ended in a 0-0 tie, despite Johnson striking out 27 batters. This remarkable contest makes all of Johnson's biographies, along with this quote from Ross years later:
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For the most part, we just went up to the plate, took our three swings, and walked back to the bench. I remember we all kept saying to the next batter, 'He ain't got a thing but a fast ball,' and that was true. But what a fast ball. It came up to the plate like a pea shot out of a cannon.
Johnson went on to have a Hall of Fame career with the Washington Senators; Ross joined the Klan. Fun times!
Tune in every Monday around 5 p.m. for the latest entry exposing Orange County city fathers who were Klan members!
Ferris F. Kelley, San Juan Capistrano Postmaster
Clyde Fairbairn, Longtime Olive resident/nice guy
Charles McClure, Brea's first police chief
John F. Pieper, Tustin feed store owner, councilmember
William Starbuck, Fullerton school trustee, druggist
Hoyt Corbit, Yorba Linda Pioneer, Fan of Richard Nixon
Lucien Proud, La Habra mayor/school trustee
Albert Hetebrink, Fullerton rancher
Henry W. Head, Orange County godfather
Dr. Roy S. Horton and Marshall Keeler, Santa Ana Unified trustees
Sam Jernigan and Jesse Elliott, Orange County sheriffs
Herman Hiltscher, Fullerton bureacrat