Born To Sharecroppers
Dizzy Dean was born Jay Hanna Dean on January 16, 1910, in Lucas, Arkansas, to sharecroppers Alma and Albert Dean. In 1918, Dean's mother died of tuberculosis, leaving Albert Dean with three sons to raise. Dean had an older brother, Elmer, and a younger brother,
Paul. When they weren't picking cotton or working the fields, the Dean boys amused themselves playing baseball with their homespun ball—often a rock tightly wrapped with yarn from an old sock.
In 1925, the Deans moved to Spaulding, Oklahoma, where Dizzy and Paul Dean's baseball abilities became well-known. The boys didn't attend school regularly because their father kept them home to work. On Fridays, however, the town's baseball-fanatic farmers made sure the scruffy boys showed up at school so they could help deliver a win for the school baseball team.