Ransom Jackson_Cubs_portrait

Ransom Jackson

Ransom Jackson played three years of college football, one at Texas Christian University and two at the University of Texas. He played in the 1945 and 1946 Cotton Bowl Classics on New Year’s Day, the first for TCU and the second for Texas. He’s the only player in Cotton Bowl history to play in successive years for different teams. Jackson also played three years of college baseball, leading the Southwest Conference in hitting all three seasons.

Jackson was a professional baseball player for twelve years, ten in the majors. He played for the Chicago Cubs (1950-55 and 1959); the Dodgers in Brooklyn (1956-57) and Los Angeles (1958) and Cleveland Indians (1958-59). He played in two Major League Baseball All-Star games (1954 and 1955) and the 1956 World Series, best known for the perfect game pitched by Don Larsen of the New York Yankees. In 955 major league games, Jackson batted .261 with 103 home runs and 415 runs batted in.

In 1989, Jackson was inducted into the University of Texas’ cherished Longhorn Hall of Honor. He also is a member of the Brooklyn Dodgers Hall of Fame in recognition of him being the last Brooklyn player to hit a home run.

Jackson, now 89 years old, lives in Athens, Georgia, with his wife, Terry.


Gaylon H. White

Gaylon H. White

Gaylon H. White is author of The Bilko Athletic Club, published in 2014 by Rowman & Littlefield. “One of the best sports books of 2014,” Bruce Miles wrote in the Chicago Daily Herald.

The Bilko Athletic Club “is a pleasant look back at what a man and his excellent ball club could mean to a California community in the days when the Major League Baseball map extended only to St. Louis,” Bill Littlefield said on Only a Game, the nationally syndicated program he hosts weekly on National Public Radio.

The Los Angeles-born White was three years old in 1949 when Jackson briefly played at L.A.’s Wrigley Field for the Los Angeles Angels of the old Pacific Coast League. White didn’t see Jackson play until he came to L.A. with the Dodgers in 1958 but he knew him long before that as “Handsome Ransom,” all-star third baseman for his beloved Cubs.

White graduated in 1967 from the University of Oklahoma with a bachelor’s degree in journalism-broadcasting. He was a sportswriter for the Denver Post, Arizona Republic and Oklahoma Journal before working in the corporate world for nearly forty years.

White and Jackson hooked up after a mutual acquaintance sent Jackson a copy of the Bilko book. At the urging of his family, Ransom documented his life on paper – sixty pages of text, single spaced. He asked White to take a look and tell him what he thought. White liked the wonderful stories Jackson told and offered to help tailor the stories for a wider audience.

“You don’t have to be a sports fan to appreciate Jackson’s stories or his dry wit,” White said. “I used my experience as a corporate speechwriter to connect Ransom with baseball fans, young and old, so he’s entertaining them directly from his easy chair at his home in Athens, Georgia.” 

White and his wife Mary, split their time between Cartersville, Georgia, and Kingsport, Tennessee.

Visit The Bilko Athletic Club website for more.

8 thoughts on “Authors

  1. Mr. White, I have the distinct pleasure of living just down the street from Handsome Ransom. I take full advantage of his willingness to share his baseball history with others, especially the Cubs’ parts. My family moved to Chicago when I was about twelve, but it took me a couple of years to embrace the Cubs. We moved to Chicago from the Columbus, Ohio area, so, of course, I was an avid Reds fan. But if you live on the North Side, you do not have a choice but to eventually become a fan of the Cubbies. Most people who come to visit me are baseball fans, and everyone loves the Cubs! So Ransom and Terry have had to put up with me dragging people down to their house. (I like to share Ransom and have done so many times. In fact I owe him a pie!) I am looking forward to the book and to the possibility of hearing some of your stories some day. After I have read your book!

    Hi, Ransom! Linda

    • Thank you for sharing this story. We’re looking forward to sharing Ransom’s wonderful stories with the world. My grandson, Andrew, does a great job getting Ransom to talk about some things in the book. Listen to Andrew’s interview with Ransom. And tell others about this website and the book. Thanks again.

    • Thank you, Pedro. We don’t envision any book signings in Brazil but we are looking to do one in Kingsport, Tennessee, where Ellis Smith lives. Ellis is the guy that introduced me to Ransom Jackson and the rest is history. Thanks again for your note. — Gaylon White

  2. My patience will be tested to the limit as I await the arrival of Gaylon’s latest book about Ransom Jackson.
    A gifted interviewer and writer with an enviable grasp of the game and its history, the book, impressively fortified by Ransom’s treasure trove of fascinating memories, will surely be an informative and engaging read.

    Myles Martel
    Gulfstream, Florida

    • Thanks, Myles, for these very kind words as they come from a friend and gifted communicator who advised Ronald Reagan prior to his presidential debates with President Carter. I shared some early drafts with you and while they were good, the end product is better. Ransom and I will make sure you get a signed copy. — Gaylon

    • If you’ve purchased a copy, please send to Gaylon White, 13 Berkshire Drive NW, Cartersville, GA 30120. I’ll get it signed for you and return to you at no cost. If you haven’t purchased a copy, please send a check for $34 plus $3 for shipping to the above address and I’ll take care of the rest. Let me know how you’d like Ransom to sign the book.

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