About Hank Utley

Robert "Hank" Utley
•Robert Gerald “Hank” Utley was born on March 22, 1924 in Concord, North Carolina. He was the oldest son of Jack and Ruby Utley. As a young boy, Hank was a fan of Hank Greenberg, the famed, first baseman with the Detroit Tigers. Greenberg’s personal integrity influenced the young Utley, as well as his baseball talents. Soon Gerald became known as “Hank” among his friends and family. Utley gradated from Concord High School where he played on two championship baseball teams.
•Like so many young men in the early 1940s, Hank Utley served his country during World War II in the United States Army Air Corp as a 2nd Lieutenant Bombardier on a B-29. After his discharge in 1946, Utley enrolled in North Carolina State University. While at State, Utley played baseball, receiving the first baseball scholarship in 1946. A third baseman on the North Carolina State Red Terrors, Hank Utley was on the 1946 championship baseball team, the first for State in eighteen years. In 1950, Utley graduated from North Carolina State with a Bachelor of Science degree in Textiles.
•Hank Utley married Jean Ritchie in 1950, and they have two children, Linda and Robert, as well as five grandchildren. He is a retired textile engineer and served ten years as the Executive Director of the Cabarrus County Boys and Girls Club.
•A baseball enthusiast and historian, Utley is a member of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR). He is nationally recognized for his collection of Hank Greenberg photographs and memorabilia, as well as his research regarding textile mill baseball and the Independent Carolina League (1936-1938). It is from this research that Utley co-wrote with Scott Verner, The Independent Carolina Baseball League, 1936-1938, Baseball Outlaws by McFarland Press in 1999.
•The materials in this collection were gathered by Hank Utley in use for the book about the notorious “Outlaw” baseball league that formed in the late 1930s. The league received the dubious honor from the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, who refused to recognize the Independent Carolina League. Hank Utley now makes his home in High Point, North Carolina. He frequently lectures on baseball history, especially the Outlaw League.