Kid Blogger (Matt Nadel) Interviews Youngest Starting Pitcher in Baseball History

Kid blogger talks to Jim Derrington, the youngest starting pitcher in MLB history

Hey baseball fans!

I just did another really cool interview! This one is about Jim Derrington, the youngest pitcher EVER to start a game in baseball history. Let me tell you a little about him:

Jim Derrington was drafted by the Chicago White Sox during the 1956 season at the age of 16. He made his first major league start on September 30 of that year, when he faced the Kansas City Athletics at Municipal Stadium. He lasted six innings, giving up five runs on nine hits. He was charged with the loss when Chicago lost the game 7-6. He pitched the following year, winning none and losing one. He would never pitch again from the end of '57 to '61 due to an elbow injury, when he announced his retirement. Since he was a kid himself when he pitched, and I'm a kid blogger, I thought it would be cool to interview him and, thanks to some detective work, we tracked him down. Here's the interview:

Matt: How did you get into MLB at the age of 16?
Jim: I was signed right out of high school by Chicago. They didn't have drafts like they do today. The rule was back then that as soon as you were drafted, you had to play two years with the team that signed you.

Matt: Did you stop going to high school?
Jim: I skipped my last two years of high school and graduated at 16.

Matt: Did your teammates or other players tease you for being so young?
Jim: No. But there was a small amount of animosity in the team, because I was making more money than a lot of the players.

Matt: Did you travel on the road with the team? Did your parents travel with you?
Jim: I did travel with the team, but my parents were not with me.

Matt: Who was the toughest hitter you had to face? If you were pitching today, who would you like to face?
Jim: Probably, Al Kaline. Today, I would want to pitch to anybody.

Matt: Since I want to be a sports journalist and started my blog as a kid at 13 years old, what advice would you, as the youngest kid to ever start an MLB game, have for me?
JimListen a lot. It really helped me when I started my career. Also, you have to know your own strengths. Just because someone else became a Hall of Fame journalist doesn't mean you're going to be one. Just try your best.

Matt: What should Major League Baseball be doing to educate the young generation about baseball history?
Jim: I don't know, really. Personally, I couldn't get enough of baseball as a kid. A kid just needs to like baseball history and educate him/herself.

Hope you all liked the interview. Jim was a really great guy and I want to thank him again for his awesome answers.

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BART FRAENKEL October 20, 2012 at 03:21 PM
Good job Matt, and for baseball historians, Joe Nuxhall (Cinn) was the youngest player ever and pitched 2/3 of an inning for Cinn at the age of 15.
Baseball with Matt (MLB Pro Blogger) October 20, 2012 at 10:33 PM
Very interesting, Bart.
Steven Serebrenik October 22, 2012 at 11:13 PM
Thanks Bart, I don't feel so much alone now.
BART FRAENKEL October 23, 2012 at 02:24 AM
The first professional game I ever saw was Cinn vs. Philadelphia in 1963 at Connie Mack Stadium with Nuxhall pitching for Cinn against Chris Short (I think) for Phila. I read about Nuxhall in the program that day and remembered it ever since.
David Glass October 23, 2012 at 02:22 PM
Great job Matt! Once again very interesting.


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