Sam Shumate Special to the Post
February 10, 2014
If you are fortunate enough to have a Montie Weaver baseball card, you have a nice slice of Ashe County sports history. This Ashe native won twenty-two games his first year pitching for the Washington Senators in 1932. He helped them win the American League pennant in 1933. He also had the honor of striking out the great Babe Ruth.
Montie was born June 15, 1906 in Helton, NC. He attended schools at Helton, Lansing and graduated from high school at Jefferson in 1923. He graduated from Emory & Henry College in 1927. He honed his pitching skills playing summer league baseball at Lebanon, Virginia, Jenkins, Kentucky and Valdese, NC in the Western Carolina League.
Montie attended the University of Virginia in the fall of 1927 to work on his master’s degree in mathematics. He signed a contract to pitch for the Durham Bulls in the Piedmont League for the summer of 1928. At the end of that season he was sold to the Baltimore Orioles of the International League. He returned to the University of Virginia that fall to resume his graduate work and teach. He received his MA and continued work toward his PhD. He decided not to report to Oriole spring training and was retained by the Durham Bulls.
In 1930 Montie resigned his teaching position and reported for Oriole spring training at Waco, Texas. He pitched for Baltimore until he was sold to the Washington Senators in 1931. Here, nicknamed “The Professor,” he reached the height of his career. He pitched against the New York Giants in the 1933 World Series, losing 2 to 1in eleven innings. His opposing pitcher was hall of famer, Carl Hubbell. Montie was voted fifth Most Valuable Player by The Sporting News poll of sports writers. The four hall of famers above him were Jimmy Fox, Lou Gehrig, Earl Averill and Charlie Gehringer. He made the bubble gum trading card with his picture and stats. Montie pitched for the Senators until 1939 when he was traded to the Boston Red Sox.
Montie pitched for Boston one year and was sold to Louisville, Ken. He pitched in the 1939 Little World Series against Rochester of the International League. He played for Louisville until he returned to Baltimore for his final season in 1941.
He met his future wife, Roberta Lee Clifford while in spring training in Orlando, Florida. They were married in 1941.
Montie Morton Weaver won 71 games and lost 50 in his major league career, an impressive record. He was inducted into the newly established Ashe County Sports Hall of Fame in 2008. The Hall of Fame display is located in the Museum of Ashe County History in the old courthouse. A great omission is his being left out of the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame.
In 1942 Montie joined the US Army Air Force as a second lieutenant. He spent 27 months with the 65th Fighter Wing in England where he coached the 8th Air Force baseball team. Captain Weaver returned to Orlando in 1946 and lived there until his death June 14, 1994. He is buried in the Woodlawn Cemetery in Orlando.