Some quick updates from readers who called after recent posts here or columns.
Walter Boyd contacted Times-News lifestyles editor Charity Apple after my post earlier this week about Baseball Liniment, a product made here in Burlington until the 1950s. Lash Wrigtenberry of Burlington happened upon an old bottle that once contained the liniment and added it to his collection of local historic artifacts. A former mayor (Earl Horner) and his family apparently owned the company that made the product. It was called Pearson Remedy Co. Inc. The factory was on Union Avenue.
Mr. Boyd sent along this message after seeing a portion of my post, which was published in our print edition.
“I saw the article in the Times-News about Baseball Liniment. It was first formulated by Dr. William Gaston Stafford, who began practicing medicine in Burlington in 1887. Gaston Stafford had previously lived in Mebane and came up with the liniment there. He tested it on the sore arms of baseball players at the Bingham brothers’ school. He brought it with him to Burlington and he and his brother-in-law, Thomas Hawkins “Bun” Stroud used to make it in the prescription room at the old Stafford & Stroud drug store on South Main Street (where T. N. Boone used to have his tailor shop). Gaston Stafford retired in 1913 and sold the formula to the Horner brothers.”
Thanks to Mr. Boyd for providing new info on this very old subject. Our editor emeritus Don Bolden knew of Pearson Remedy Co. and said it was a highly successful enterprise.
“There was a lot of that stuff made, along with that laxative and other snake oil type products. Was pretty good operation for a long time,” Don said.
Players to remember
I received two telephone calls from readers who wanted to give me the name of former baseball players from the area after I posed a question about who was the last to make the major leagues. I did so after Dave Sappelt of Graham made his debut earlier this month with the Cincinnati Reds.
A caller from Altamahaw wanted to tell me about Charles “Wham” Douglas, a pitcher from Saxapahaw who hurled for the Pittsburgh Pirates. The caller believed he was a pitcher in the National League from the early to mid-1960s.
Not quite, but close.
Charles “Whammy” Douglas, who was born in Carrboro (close enough, especially these days), had a long minor league career that stretched into the 1960s but his only big league season was in 1957. He was 3-3 for the Pirates with a 3.26 ERA. Later he was traded to the Reds. The Pirates got Harvey Haddix and Smokey Burgess in return.
And another caller wanted to mention Brian Foster who was a catcher when he played at Western Alamance High School. He played a couple of years of minor league baseball but never advanced to the majors.