RED ALERT: James Proctor fires a pitch during his career with the Princeton University baseball team. Shortly after graduating from Princeton in June, Proctor signed a free agent deal with the Cincinnati Reds. Over his Tiger career, Proctor posted a 2-16 record in 28 starts with 133 strikeouts in 137 2/3 innings and a 5.88 ERA. (Photo by Beverly Schaefer, provided courtesy of Princeton’s Office of Athletic Communications)
By Justin Feil
Jim Proctor made his major league debut with the Detroit Tigers just over 60 years ago after being named the South Atlantic League’s most outstanding pitcher in 1959.
James Proctor always dreamed of the chance to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps. The 2020 Princeton University graduate took a big step toward that goal when he signed a free agent deal with the Cincinnati Reds on June 15.
“I was really excited about that,” said Proctor, a 6’5, 215-pound native of St. Louis, Mo.
“I went over to his house after it happened and celebrated and talked. We talk about baseball all the time. He’s definitely my biggest inspiration to keep playing. That was something really cool to follow in his footsteps moving forward.”
Proctor’s grandfather played professionally for nine years mostly in the minor leagues and Negro League. Proctor knew at a young age of his grandfather’s success and wanted to mirror it.
“It was cool,” said Proctor. “It was something that initially piqued my interest in baseball. I just had to continue because I wanted to. I’ve always carried it with me knowing I can lean on him any time for advice with anything. It’s a different game now but there’s still a lot of things that translate into today’s game. To always having him to talk to about baseball because he went through the same things at a higher level than me — where I want to get to — just having someone in the family who’s been at the top level has been great.” more