Charles James Derrington
- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 6' 3", Weight 190 lb.
- High School South Gate High School
- Debut September 30, 1956
- Final Game September 29, 1957
- Born November 29, 1939 in Compton, CA USA
- Died March 12, 2020 in Pomona, CA USA
"Jim Derrington is a 17-year-old whiz of a bonus pitcher . . ." - Sports Illustrated in April 1957
Jim Derrington was the last major league player to break in at the age of 16 when he started a game for the Chicago White Sox late in the 1956 season. He was the youngest pitcher to start a game, at the age of 16, and may have been the youngest player in the American League to get a hit. He pitched a bit more in 1957, getting into 20 games with a 4.86 ERA. In total, he was 0-2, 5.23 in 43 innings for his big league career.
He never played in another major league game after age 17; his minor league career ended when he was just 21. He had a serious arm injury in 1960 so he became a position player for the Charleston White Sox that year. He learned to throw primarily off-speed pitches but was not as effective in 1961.
He might have made his major league debut at an even earlier age, since he played semi-pro ball at age 13, but a rule at the time required him to play some American Legion ball before he could turn professional.
After baseball he ran a TV/appliance store, managed a produce business and brokered produce. From 1995 on, he coached and managed in independent ball.
One source: LA Times article June 29, 1991.
- Chuck Hildebrandt: "Sweet! 16-Year-Old Players in Major League History", Baseball Research Journal, SABR, Vol. 48, Nr. 1, Spring 2019, pp. 5-17.