Joe Williams, David Stalker and Gary Passamonte are working with the Town of Caton in New York to erect a monument honoring the Caton-born, ballplaying White family. Jim “Deacon” White was the premier catcher of the 1870s before starring at third base later in his career. He played on six championship teams and was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2013. Will White was a 229-game winner who was the first major leaguer to wear eyeglasses on the field. LeRoy White was the older brother of Jim and Will. He ventured with Jim to play ball for the Forest City Base Ball Club of Cleveland in 1868, playing in seven games before returning home to play for the Monitors of Corning. Elmer White was the first cousin of the White brothers. He joined Forest City in 1870 and played with the club during the inaugural season of the National Association. He became the first professional league player to die when he passed away from tuberculosis on March 17, 1872.
The monument is part of David Stalker’s Baseball Memorial Series (https://www.facebook.com/David-Stalkers-Baseball-Memorial-Series-286357068668103/). David has erected two dozen baseball memorials throughout the U.S. and has assisted SABR’s Grave Marker Project – the most recent being a grave marker dedicated for Elias Hicks Hayhurst at Philadelphia’s Mount Peace Cemetery on September 14, 2019.
Gary Passamonte is a Ross Barnes historian who led the project to erect the Ross Barnes monument in Mount Morris, New York in 2017. The White monument will look like the front of the Barnes monument. More about the Barnes monument can be located here: http://seamheads.com/blog/2017/09/10/ross-barnes-is-first-baseball-pioneer-honored-in-monument-series/.
Joe Williams has researched the White Family extensively and wrote the most recent bio on Deacon White. The bio can be located at https://sabr.org/bioproj/person/99417cd4.
The monument text is being written and an image of Deacon White will appear on the front of the monument. Fundraising has begun. Joe, David and Gary are seeking donations and need your help to raise the final $2,000 towards the monument. To make a donation, please reach out to Joe Williams with the amount you are willing to donate at firstname.lastname@example.org and he will provide the information to send a check.