News » Metro

Waner brothers took baseball skills from family farm to Hall of Fame



Paul and Lloyd Waner used the lessons they learned playing on their family farm in Harrah to become the most prolific brother tandem in Major League Baseball history.

The Waners spent 14 seasons in the Twenties through Forties terrorizing opposing teams side by side at Pittsburgh's Forbes Field. The siblings earned the nicknames "Big Poison" and "Little Poison," and by the time they retired, the duo had collected more than 5,600 career hits.

They remain the only brother combination enshrined in Cooperstown for their accomplishments as players.

How did a pair of farm boys from rural Oklahoma wind up rubbing shoulders with the likes of Babe Ruth?

The answer: their father, Ora Waner. His love the game inspired his two youngest sons not only to dream of becoming legends, but to actually achieve those dreams.

And since baseball was a perfect way to break up their daily routine filled with farm chores, the inseparable siblings took his advice to heart.

In his book "Big and Little Poison," author Clifton Blue Parker writes about one of many defining moments as seen through the eyes of Ora Waner:

"There was Lloyd throwing corn cobs at Paul and Paul was smacking those corn cobs and sending them out on a line. He never missed one and he was using a hoe handle for a bat. Then came Lloyd's turn and Paul would pitch to him. Same thing all over. Now I was considered a mighty good hitter myself, but when I saw those kids cracking away at corn cobs I knew I was never in their class." "Jay C. Upchurch


Latest in Metro

Add a comment