Walter Thornton biography

Walter Thornton

Pitcher, Baseball Player

1875 – 1960


Who was Walter Thornton?

Walter Miller Thornton was an American Major League Baseball player who played from 1895 through 1898 for the Chicago Colts/Orphans.

A skilled athlete who excelled in baseball, Thornton pitched Snohomish, Washington, to the state’s amateur championship in 1893. In the spring of 1895, two Cornell College graduates who owned the Snohomish Tribune arranged a scholarship for Thornton to attend Cornell. He dominated the college competition and was invited to a tryout with the Chicago Colts National League baseball team. He made his major league pitching debut July 1, 1895, while still enrolled at Cornell.

He pitched a no-hitter on August 21, 1898 against the Brooklyn Bridegrooms, a 2-0 victory. In 1896, Thornton married a Cornell teacher, Sarah Andrews Hackett, director of the School of Oratory and Physical Culture. She was 26, and he was 21. After a salary dispute ended his major league baseball career, the Thorntons returned to the Pacific Northwest, where Walter played semi-pro ball and worked in Everett, Washington. In 1901, Thornton compiled what is arguably the county’s best baseball team.


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Feb 18, 1875
Lived in
  • Peoria
Jul 14, 1960
Los Angeles

on July 23, 2013

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