List of bespectacled baseball players

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William Henry "Whoop-La" White

In baseball, players rarely wear spectacles but some players played in the major leagues with glasses. For many years, wearing glasses while playing the sport was an embarrassment.[1] Baseball talent scouts routinely rejected spectacled prospects on sight.[2] The stigma had diminished by the early 1960s and by one estimate 20 percent of major league players wore glasses by the end of the 1970s.[1][3] The development of shatter-resistant lenses in the latter half of the 1940s contributed to their acceptance.[4]

The first major-league player to wear spectacles was Will 'Whoop-La' White in 1878-86.[4][5] Only pitchers dared wear glasses while playing until the early 1920s, when George 'Specs' Toporcer of the St. Louis Cardinals became the first outfielder to sport eyewear. Bespectacled pitchers are less rare as they have less need to field the ball.

There are only two players in the Baseball Hall of Fame to have worn eyeglasses during play: Chick Hafey and Reggie Jackson.[6] Because his vision became so variable, Hafey was obliged to rotate among three different pairs of glasses.



Other notable non-pitchers who wore glasses include:


Pitchers who wore glasses include:

And an umpire:


  1. ^ a b Jerry Nason (Boston Globe) (August 1963). They've Taken the Stigma Out of Astigmatism. Baseball Digest (Lakeside Publishing Co.). pp. 53–54. ISSN 0005-609X. Retrieved 5 August 2011.
  2. ^ H. G. Salsinger (Detroit News) (June 1957). Baseball Digest - What a Scout Looks for in a Boy. Lakeside Publishing Co. p. 72. ISSN 0005-609X. Retrieved 5 August 2011.
  3. ^ Bruce Markusen. "Cooperstown Confidential - Regular Season Edition - Glasses Half Full". Oakland Athletics Fan Coalition. Retrieved 5 August 2011.
  4. ^ a b Swaine, Rick, Beating the breaks: major league ballplayers who overcame disabilities
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Bill Koenig (6 June 1996), "Spectacular players can wear spectacles", USA Today, Baseball Weekly, retrieved 29 October 2013
  6. ^ Voigt, David Quentin (1979). American Baseball: From Postwar Expansion to the Electronic Age. Pennsylvania State University Press. ISBN 0-271-00332-4.
  7. ^ Lewis, Franklin. "DeWitts Proved Shrewd Dealers". Baseball Digest (September 1951): 99–100.
  8. ^ James, Bill (2003). The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-7432-2722-0.
  9. ^ Dickson, Paul (2008). Baseball's Greatest Quotations Rev. Ed.: An Illustrated Treasury of Baseball Quotations and Historical Lore. Collins Reference. ISBN 0-06-126060-6.
  10. ^ Gentile, Derek (2008). Baseball's Best 1,000 Revised: Rankings of the Skills, the Achievements, and the Performance of the Greatest Players of All Time. Black Dog & Leventhal. p. 609. ISBN 978-1-57912-777-0.
  11. ^ Westcott, Rich and Bill Campbell (2003). Native Sons: Philadelphia Baseball Players Who Made the Major Leagues. Temple University Press. p. 63. ISBN 1-59213-215-4.
  12. ^ "Swift remains mound choice", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 15, 1934
  13. ^ Porter, David L. (1995). Biographical Dictionary of American Sports: 1992-1995 Supplement for Baseball, Football, Basketball, and Other Sports. Greenwood. ISBN 978-0-313-28431-1.

Further reading[edit]