Elliot Allardice Bigelow

Elliot A. Bigelow was born October 13, 1897 in Tarpon Springs, Florida to the parents of William H. and Margaret (Barcley-Allardice) Bigelow.  Elliot was the youngest of their three children. His sister Helen, the oldest and brother John rounded out the family tree. William was a wealthy winter visitor to Tarpon Springs; his mother from royalty. When Elliot was just three years old the family was dealt a tremendous blow when Elliot's father tragically drowned when a storm in the gulf swamped his sloop in which he was returning from an island off Tarpon Springs on December 19, 1900. Some family reports say he was killed by sharks. A couple of years later Elliot's mother with three small children to raise, married John Townsend Hill. The family remained in Tarpon Springs where Elliot attended school and got his start playing baseball, along with his brother John. He started as a pitcher and it was clear his amazing pitching ability would have taken him far, but for the arm injury suffered while pitching a game. However, his batting ability quickly made him a standout. A career as a professional baseball player was thus assured. When Elliot registered for the draft he gave his occupation as an orange grower; a family business at the time.

Elliot embarked on his professional baseball career playing for the St. Petersburg Saints in 1920 after the war was over. Headlines in a local newspaper read...BIGELOW THE MIGHTY SWATTER. Al F. Lang was quoted as saying, " As soon as I meet a sport writer the first question asked..."How about this fellow Bigelow we hear so much about." On September 18, 1923 the Evening Independent reported that the hard hitter outfielder for the St. Petersburg ball club was sold to the New Orleans team of the Southern league and by 1924 he was being referred to as "The Babe Ruth of the Florida Circuit." Life was looking bright for Elliot in 1928. His mighty home run drive over the center field fence over the New Orleans park that year entered him into the record books as the longest home run ever hit in professional ball. The St. Petersburg Times ran an article on August 24th of that year..."Elliot Bigelow former member of the St. Petersburg Saints may at last find his way into the ranks of the major leagues. Hitting at the rating .436, a mark  which has not been reached by any major league star in several years..." Elliot played for the Boston Red Sox during its 1929 season. His final game was on October 6th of that year. The Boston Red Sox Roster gives Elliot's stats as being 5' 11'' and 189 lbs. He threw and batted left handed.

Ellliot played professional baseball from 1920 until 1932. Along the way he also played for the Macon Peaches, So. Atlantic League; New Orleans Pelicans, the Southern Association Chattanooga Lookouts and the Mission Reds of the Pacific Lookout League. The Phillies also wanted him but had concerns about his old injury. On the 1930 Pinellas County Census, he is living at home with his mother and step-father and is listed as a professional baseball player.


 Elliot was commercial fishing off the coast of his home town when he was stricken with Spinal Meningitis. " His illnes was sudden and unexpected and his death came as a shock to his family and friends." He died August 13, 1933 at Tampa Memorial Hospital. He was  buried at Cycadia Cemetery in Tarpon Springs.

© Linda Flowers

Author: Linda Flowers

Source: St. Petersburg Times, Evening Independent, Ancestry and Biography by Bill Nowlin

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