The South Dakota Sports Hall of Fame is dedicated to the preservation, documentation and display of South Dakota's sports history.

James "Death Valley Jim" Scott



Born April 23, 1888, in Deadwood. Scott's family later moved to the Standing Rock Reservation west of Mobridge and then to Lander, Wyo., where he attended grade school and high school. Scott is one of the few big-leaguers ever to return to the majors as an umpire. He also was the first major-leaguer to leave the diamond during World War I to join the Army, leaving in the middle of the 1917 season. Also, he was said to have been the only player in all of organized baseball to sport a mustache on the field when he did so as a pitcher for the San Francisco Seals in the Pacific Coast League in 1923 (he got permission from PCL president William H. McCarthy). Scott, a 6-foot-1, 235-pound right-hander, pitched from 1909-1917, all with the Chicago White Sox. He was 107-113 with a 2.32 ERA. In 1915, he was 24-11 (second in the league in wins) with a 2.03 ERA (fourth-best) and tied Walter Johnson for the most shutouts (7) in the American League. In 1913 he was 20-20 with 158 strikeouts and a 1.90 ERA in a career-high 311 innings (fourth in the AL in ERA and strikeouts and fifth in wins). Scott's big-league debut, a 1-0 victory, was covered by noted sports journalist Ring Lardner. In 1913 Scott struck out 15 St. Louis Browns in one game. In 1916, he had a no-hitter for nine innings against Washington but lost when the Senators got two hits and a run in the 10th. In 1917, he ended a 35-game hitting streak by Hall of Famer Ty Cobb. In 1928 and `29 he was an umpire in the Southern League. In 1930-32 he served as a National League umpire. In 1914 Scott pitched around the world as the White Sox and New York Giants combined on a tour that carried them to the Vatican, England, Paris and Tokyo.




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