Profiles of Valor
Ted Lyons is a perfect example of representing that “Always Faithful” Marine motto in each aspect of his life. Lyons,otherwise known as “Sunday Teddy”, might have had the most interesting path to his baseball and military careers.
A farm boy from Louisiana who used a broomstick and sock to replace a bat and ball, was discovered by the Oakland A’s who offered him his first deal. However, Lyons decided to instead go to Baylor University where his talent was noticed by a scout of the Chicago White Sox, who went on to offer yet another deal to the young pitcher. This time, he accepted and went straight into a White Sox uniform without ever being evaluated in the minor league. This proved to be a challenge for the first two seasons, but he gained both speed and control in his third season. Instead of letting an injury derail his career, he developed and mastered the art of the knuckleball. Along with the new pitch, his spot in the rotation also limited him to only pitch once a week, on Sundays. This is how he became known as “Sunday Teddy”.
In 1943, at the age of 41, Ted Lyons welcomed yet another challenge by commissioning in Quantico, Virginia as a Marine Corps Officer. Captain Lyons served in the Pacific Theater of Operations with no intentions of leaving until the war was over.
In December of 1945, Lyons returned home where he was offered a coaching position from the White Sox, which he turned down. Instead, he made his final five starts as a pitcher with the team before eventually taking over as manager. Ted Lyons spent coaching time with both the Detroit Tigers and Brooklyn Dodgers leading up to his well-deserved induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1955. Lyons left many lasting memories, stories and even quotes across his life, including “I left the country to get away from DiMaggio, and there he was” showing both the humor and character of Captain Ted Lyons. Semper Fidelis Marine