Nov 11

Veterans Day Special – James “Jimmy” Trimble III

During work on an article on the connection between Washington baseball and Japan I came upon the story of Mr. James, “Jimmy” Trimble. While some have read about him, I found it compelling enough to submit it.

Trimble played for St. Albans was the best high school pitcher in the District. A natural athlete he is credited with three no-hitters. He relied on his blazing fastball and a devastating curve. He was so fast that his catcher needed extra padding to handle him. In April 1943 the Washington Times Herald writes, “Trimble a three sport star for St. Albans with a splendid record. Trimble is five-foot, 11 ½ inch, 155 pound boy who is spreading out all the time, says he is enjoys all sports and is considering several scholarship offers by major colleges, but admits that he is hopeful of eventually qualifying for professional baseball.” In May Trimble is invited to a tryout with the Senators. Heinie Manush who witnessed the tryout called him, “the finest prospect he had very seen. After the tryout Trimble is signed by the Senators for $5,000 with the provision that he could also attend college.

Poor eyesight prevented him from qualifying for officer training in the Navy so he entered the Marine Corps, but not before he, like many others at the time, got engaged. He saw combat service during the liberation of Guam and was attached to a recon platoon. In between he found time to play baseball. It should be noted that during the war baseball played an important role and Trimble played for elite teams and against major leaguers and did well. Assigned to the invasion force that landed on Iwo Jima, he died in horrific combat on that tiny atoll. His death was a note worthy news feature back in Washington. There is no doubt that Trimble was extremely talented. Could he have been Washington’s Feller, sadly we will never know. Trimble could easily have taken another path and delayed or possibly deferred his military service, instead he decided to give his last full measure of devotion. Suggest you read, Hardball on the Hill,” by James C Roberts or the posting on ESPN also by Mr. Roberts, of which some of this was taken.

I quote Lincoln in the about text to make the connection between Trimble and Gore Vidal. Vidal wrote a novel in 1948 that was dedicated to “JT.” Years later Vidal claimed that Jimmy Trimble was his lover. A claim that is denied by his family, friends and fiancé. His fiancée, by the way was Christine White. Ms White became an actress, enjoying a long career and appearing on numerous television shows including Perry Mason, Twilight Zone. She is also mentioned as the girlfriend of James Dean.