Fun and Not-So-Fun Facts
Will White accomplished another major league first. He was the first, and for many years the only, major league player to wear eyeglasses on the baseball field. In a later account of White’s early years, The Sporting Life wrote: “White was about the only pitcher of consequence who wore glasses. He had great control of the ball, and he could land one over the plate whenever he wanted to notwithstanding he was handicapped by weak eyes.”
In 1877, White’s older brother, Deacon White, was playing at first base for the Boston Red Caps of the National League. Deacon, by then an established veteran, brought Will with him to Boston for a tryout. Will was given a three-game tryout with the Red Caps, making his major league debut on July 20, 1877, at age 22. Deacon White, went on to play catcher (reportedly without a glove) for the Cleveland Forest Citys, Boston Red Caps, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, Buffalo Bisons, Detroit Wolverines, and the Pittsburgh Pirates, from 1871 to 1890, and was elected long after-the-fact to the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame in 2013. Will also had a cousin, Elmer White, who was an outfielder for a single season (1871) during baseball’s very early days.
Will White was not a typical ballplayer for his era. In a time when many ballplayers were heavy drinkers, who sometimes showed up with hangovers after a night on the town, White did not waste his money on women and drink. Instead he invested not in a saloon, but in a tea shop on Market Street in downtown Cincinnati, where he worked behind the counter in the offseason.
White died in August 1911 at his summer home in Port Carling, Ontario, Canada. The cause of death was drowning when, according to one account, he was teaching his niece to swim and suffered a heart attack while in the water and died.
Final Resting Place:
Forest Lawn Cemetery
1990 Main Road
Buffalo, New York, 14208
Grave Location:Section 15, Lot 58, Grave 1
Grave Location Description
As you enter the main entrance of the cemetery take the first right and drive three sections and turn left at Section 15. Drive 200 feet to the Section 15 sign on your left. Count 8 graves to the left of the sign and 6 rows into the section towards the lake. Look for the Klein monument and directly behind your will find the final resting place of baseball semi-legend Will White along with his wife and daughter.
Grave Location GPS42.922954363763196, -78.86197971354055
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Helen Woodford Ruth
popular name: Helen Woodford Ruth
date_of_death: January 11, 1929
cause_of_death: Suffocation from a house fire
best_know_for: Babe Ruth met Helen Woodford in 1914 when she served him breakfast while she worked as a waitress at Landers’ Coffee Shop in Boston. They were married in the fall, and Helen would make periodic public appearances with The Babe. Although Yankee (and former Red Sox) slugger Babe Ruth and Helen maintained publicly that they were still married, neighbors on Quincy Street knew her as Helen R. Kinder, the wife of Dr. Edward Kinder, a Tufts-educated dentist. Kinder told his family that they were married in Montreal, and Helen Kinder’s name appeared on the home’s deed and the mortgage taken out in 1927. Neighbors reported occasionally seeing a young girl, who turned out to be Helen and Babe’s daughter, Dorothy. However soon after moving in with Kinder, Dorothy was sent to live in a boarding school in Wellesley run by nuns. On Jan. 11, 1929, Babe’s wife, Helen, was killed in a house fire in Watertown, Massachusetts. Helen lived in the house with a dentist, Edward H. Kinder. Helen and Babe were separated, but not divorced. Neighbors knew Helen as Mrs. Kinder, and had no idea she was Babe’s wife until the Woodford family saw her picture in the newspaper and made a positive identification.
popular name: Ken Dyer
date_of_death: March 7, 2010
cause_of_death: Heart failure
best_know_for: Ken Dyer was an American football player who played two seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals of the National Football League. He was drafted by the San Diego Chargers in the fourth round of the 1968 NFL Draft. He played college football at Arizona State University and attended Ann Arbor High School in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Dyer broke his neck while attempting to tackle Green Bay Packers running back John Brockington on October 3, 1971, ending his playing career. With his playing career over, Ken Dyer stayed home in Arizona and went to work as a salesman for some large soap companies. Then he bought his own dry cleaning business before retiring about two years ago before his passing. Dyer didn't keep in much contact with his old teammates and he didn't talk much about the play. His mother said it was pride. He just didn't want people to see him less than 100 percent.
popular name: Eddie Bennett
best_know_for: Eddie Bennett was an American batboy and mascot for several teams, most notably the New York Yankees during the 1920s and 1930s. At the time of his death, Bennett was considered to be the "most famous mascot in the world". Bennet had a spinal injury when he was very young which resulted in a hunchback. He was considered to be a "good luck charm" by the members of the club, and became a well-known celebrity in New York. On May 19, 1932, Bennett was hit by a taxi on a New York City street. He suffered a broken leg and other injuries from which he never recovered. To find relief from the pain he suffered from the injuries, Bennett started to abuse alcohol. He was forced to retire as the Yankees mascot in the middle of 1933 season, although Ruppert insisted he remain on the payroll all year. The New York Times reported that the "notoriously superstitious" ballplayers and fans blamed Bennett's absence on the Yankees' failure to win the pennant in 1933 and 1934. In January 1935, Bennett died penniless due to alcoholism.