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James B. Mallory, III

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James B. 'Jim' Mallory (back row, middle) with his 1961 national championship ECC baseball club.  (Photo: ECU's Joyner Library Online Archives)

Mallory Leaves Sweeping East Carolina Legacy

James Baugh Mallory, III, former teacher, coach and Dean of Men at East Carolina, died recently in Greenville at age 82.

Peers and Players Remember Mallory Fondly

By Al Myatt

James Baugh Mallory III, former teacher, coach and Dean of Men at East Carolina died on Aug. 6 in Greenville at age 82.

Mallory was head baseball coach of the Pirates from 1954 to 1962. His 1961 team won the NAIA championship in Sioux City, Iowa. The Pirates defeated Grambling State 9-4, Omaha University 11-3, and Sacramento State 13-7 that year en route to the title.

Circumstances resulted in his coaching the baseball program again in 1973 and ECU compiled a 16-8 record overall with a 10-4 mark in the Southern Conference. His baseball teams at ECU were a combined 161-60, an outstanding winning percentage of .729.

“To me, he was the best fundamental baseball coach I played under,” said Wilson resident Earl Boykin, who struck out 15 in the semifinal win over Omaha in 1961. “He really stressed fundamentals. When it was raining, he’d take us inside and go over situations on the chalk board. Fundamentals were his forte.”

Boykin said only 13 players made the trip to the national tournament although the team had more members. The Pirates took eight position players, four pitchers and an extra catcher. The expense of flying was
the reason for the small traveling party. Shortstop Glen Bass was injured early in the national tournament which further reduced EC’s manpower. The Pirates lost to Sacramento State before bouncing back to beat them for the championship in the double-elimination event.

“They were beating us about 10 runs and Coach Mallory came out in the sixth inning and told Lacy West he was pitching the rest of the game if they beat us 100 runs,” Boykin said. “He said he wasn’t going to waste
another pitcher. He was figuring on us winning the next game — and we did.”

The 1961 team has traditionally held an annual reunion, coordinating some golf and dining with a home baseball series at ECU.

“Everybody liked him who played for him,” Boykin said. “Coach Mallory couldn’t make it this year so we went to his house to see him.”

Mallory was born on Sept. 1, 1918 in Lawrenceville, Va. He was a graduate of Fork Union Military Academy and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Baseball was his best sport but he won two
letters in football for the Tar Heels.

He played portions of two seasons of major league baseball, in 1940 and 1945, serving in the military in between. Mallory, an outfielder, had a lifetime batting average of .268 in the majors.

He played for the Washington Senators in 1940, and the the New York Giants and the St. Louis Browns in 1945. The Baseball Encyclopedia lists his nickname as, “Sunny Jim.”

“He was a good athlete,” Boykin said. “He’d get out there and take batting practice. He probably hit better than anybody on the team.”

Mallory coached at Catawba College, Burlington High School and Elon before coming to East Carolina. He is in the sports hall of fame at Elon and ECU. He was enshrined at ECU in 1978, one year after Earl Smith, a
former head coach in baseball and basketball for the Pirates.

“We shared an office,” Smith said. “Our desks were back to back. We were two of the best friends ever in the coaching profession.”

Mallory was an assistant coach in football when Henry VanSant first came to East Carolina as a student-athlete in the football program.

“I knew him well and had a great deal of respect for him,” said VanSant, who recently retired after 14 years as associate athletic director at ECU. “He was a very personable man and had a way about him that
motivated players.

“He wasn’t physically intimidating, but he had a real charisma. He could talk to people and he could lead people. He was a great coach. He had a great reputation as Dean of Men at East Carolina. He could always find a way to help a kid who needed help.”

Mallory was also a television host on morning shows on WNCT-9 and WITN-7. He retired from ECU in 1985 after 34 years of service. He also enjoyed golf, which he played well, and was a member of Brook Valley Country Club.

He was preceded in passing by his first wife, Lib Mallory and a son, Fred Mallory.

He is survived by wife Betty Tyson Mallory; son J. Frank Mallory of Greenville; grandchildren Sara and Camille Mallory; six stepchildren and 10 step-grandchildren.

Mallory died at Beverly Healthcare. At his request, the body was cremated and there was no visitation or service.

Memorial contributions may be made to East Carolina for athletic scholarships. Boykin said he is hopeful that former players will be able to raise $25,000 to have Mallory’s likeness displayed at the entrance of the new baseball stadium.

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