Robert Porter Dews

Robert Porter Dews

Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee, USA
Death 24 Sep 1992 (aged 77)
Americus, Sumter County, Georgia, USA
Burial Blakely, Early County, Georgia, USA
Memorial ID 79354045 · View Source
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Robert P. Dews, 77, 'barefoot catcher' in minor leagues, and author: Newspaper Obituary and Death Notice; Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The (GA), 24 Sep 1992; Page: E/6

Robert P. Dews of Edison, a writer of books about baseball and South Georgia history and the father of an Atlanta Braves official, died of Alzheimer's disease Wednesday at Magnolia Manor Nursing Center in Americus. He was 77.

The graveside service will be at 11 a.m. Friday at Blakely Cemetery.

He had been in the nursing home since mid-August, a relative said.

Bobby Dews, a former minor-league baseball player and Army sergeant, wrote "Extra Innings: The Georgia-Florida League, 1935-1958" and "Southeast Organized Baseball"; historical books called "The Colonel Came to Stay," "Mobile East," "Early Joel" and "Gentle Connecticut Georgian"; an autobiography, "The Successful Failure"; and an adventure story, "Whichaway." His Georgia-Florida League book made news after New York Gov. Mario Cuomo wrote thanking him for a copy, and released the content of the letter to the press.

In the letter, Mr. Cuomo confessed that, although he liked to "remember" a season with the Brunswick Pirates in the 1950s when he batted over .300 and hit several home runs, the book proved he batted only .244 with one homer.

Mr. Dews himself played for the Atlanta Crackers and numerous other minor league clubs from New York state to Texas from 1933 to 1943 and again in 1946-48, with a lifetime batting average of .291. According to Sports Editor Furman Bisher, Mr. Dews was called the game's "barefoot catcher" because he sometimes played with no shoes, saying spikes hurt his feet. Mr. Dews also once refused to wear a chest protector because, he said, it was too hot that day.

He had a third career in the military. He was drafted into the Army in 1942 and served in World War II. He was then recalled for the Korean War and stayed in the Army through part of the Vietnam War, retiring in 1967. In Vietnam, although he was more than 50 years old, he was an infantry platoon sergeant in the First Cavalry Division.

Mr. Dews had another interesting, less arduous, Vietnam-era assignment as the non-commissioned officer in charge of the USO's Inter-service Ticket Committee in Times Square, arranging free tickets to sports events for service members.

Mr. Dews was a frequent hunting companion of Coca-Cola tycoon Robert W. Woodruff, who owned a plantation near Albany. In his will, the Coca-Cola chairman left Mr. Dews a gold knife with "Coca-Cola" engraved on it, and a silver pin for his wife.

A son, Robert W. "Bobby" Dews, is minor league field coordinator of the Atlanta Braves and lives in Albany.

Robert Porter Dews was born July 10, 1915 in Nashville, Tenn. He moved to Albany, Ga., with his family when he was nine. He quit school in the 11th grade to sign a professional baseball contract with the New York Giants organization, although he never reached the big leagues. He was baseball coach of the University of Tampa in 1969.
Mr. Dews won a Dixie Council of Authors and Journalists non-fiction award for the book "Whichaway."

Surviving in addition to his son are his wife, Margery Phillips Dews; a daughter, Patricia MacLean of Trussville, Ala.; two brothers, Kenneth K. Dews of Winterville, N.C., and the Rev. Thomas M. Dews of Covington; a sister, Catherine Jenkins of Blakely; two stepsons, Lawrence M. Killingsworth of Spokane, Wash., and Vernon S. Killingsworth of Atlanta; two stepdaughters, Katherine Killingsworth of Hiyama, Japan, and Marcia Killingsworth of Atlanta; three grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and four step-grandchildren.

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  • Created by: WildGeese15
  • Added: 26 Oct 2011
  • Find a Grave Memorial 79354045
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Robert Porter Dews (10 Jul 1915–24 Sep 1992), Find a Grave Memorial no. 79354045, citing Blakely Cemetery, Blakely, Early County, Georgia, USA ; Maintained by WildGeese15 (contributor 47026950) .