Letter to the editor: Buck Jordan should be in hall of fame

Published 6:23 pm Tuesday, September 13, 2022

To the editor:

The reason for this letter is to bring about awareness of what I believe is a forgotten athlete of Davie County.

Baxter “Buck” Jordan was born in 1907 lived in Cooleemee in a house near the mill where he started at age 16 handling 20 looms.

Not only was the mill the hub for Davie County, Jordan said Cooleemee was one of the best baseball cities in the state. Jordan played on community teams as a teenager in a league with Faith, Salisbury, and Granite Quarry. It was then he knew he wanted to make baseball his career.

His first contract was signed in 1927 with the New York Giants. They bought him for $7,500 and paid $450 a month. Next came Washington, Boston, and Cincinnati. In his 1936 season, Jordan was the first National Leaguer to reach 100 hits and finished with a .323 average and 120 RBIs.

In 1938, Wheaties came calling and paid him $100 for letting them put his picture on a box of their cereal.

He couldn’t believe a boy like him from Cooleemee having the lucky chance to be on the same team as famous baseball player, Babe Ruth. Ruth was in his mid 40s at the end of his career. Jordan was the only one to pinch hit for Babe Ruth in exhibition games.

In 1938 Jordan ended his career playing for Cincinnati and Philadelphia and remains one of the few players in big league history to hit .300 in his last major league season ending up with a .299 lifetime mark.

The above statistics are quit impressive for anyone who knows the game.

As for me, I couldn’t understand why Jordan was rejected consistently each time several people filled out forms to honor his place in the Davie County Sports Hall of Fame.

Is it because it was so long ago? It can’t be because he didn’t go to Davie High School because some athletes on the list didn’t go there. So, what is it?

I tired to inquire to the Hall of Fame Board but its my understanding the board hasn’t meet in a while and not sure if it will become active again.

Jordan and his wife, Mildred, had two young children to die so they adopted five others. Those children and their many grandchildren, not to mention the relatives that live still in Davie County would appreciate some type of well-deserved accolades in his memory.

As a resident of Davie County, a county where I proudly grew up in Cooleemee, I am happy to learn about another great athlete who lived in Cooleemee.

Enough time has passed and I sincerely hope who ever has the authority to carry this request through will do so without further delay.

KC Smith

Cooleemee