Jacob Willard Early
- Bats Left, Throws Right
- Height 5' 11", Weight 168 lb.
- Debut May 4, 1939
- Final Game September 30, 1949
- Born May 19, 1915 in Kings Mountain, NC USA
- Died May 31, 1985 in Melbourne, FL USA
Jake Early was a catcher with a 9-year major league career who appeared in the 1943 All-Star Game. He played most of his major league career with the Washington Senators. Early entered the Army in March 1944 and was discharged in November 1945. From 1951 to 1953, he was with the Minneapolis Millers of the American Association.
Gifted with a strong arm, Early is responsible for what Ted Williams later described as "the most embarrassing moment of my career". In the second game of a doubleheader on August 10, 1942, Early picked off Williams at first base, then in the 9th inning, he picked him off third base with one out to preserve a 1-0 Senators' win over the Boston Red Sox. Boston's manager, Joe Cronin was coaching at third base, adding to Williams' discomfiture.
- AL All-Star (1943)