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 History Players Teams Obituaries Site search Contact UsSponsor a page on Historic Baseball! Click here for detailsChampOsteenJames Champlin OsteenBorn:Feb. 24, 1877 in Hendersonville, N.C.Died: Dec. 14, 1962 in Greenville, S.C. Debut: 1903 |  Pos: SSH: 5’8″ | W: 150 | B: L | T: RYrGABRHHRRBISBBA48330427602311.197>> Visit theChamp Osteen biography on Baseball Almanac for complete statistics.When Champ Osteen took the steps from textile baseball to the minors tothe majors, he opened the doors for many players to get the chance to dothe same. For Osteen, life was baseball and his very being seemed to revolvearound the game, even from the early stages.The first reports of Osteen’s exploits came in 1898 when he played firstbase or shortstop with a team named “Champions of South Carolina.” He playedon that team through the 1900 season.He next turned up in Wilmington, N.C., to take part in the Virginia-NorthCarolina League in 1901. The story goes that the manager of the NewportNews team watched Osteen take batting practice. He was so impressed withthe player that he immediately arranged a trade. The story continues thatOsteen and a player from another team swapped uniforms under the bleachers.Two years later, Osteen made it up to play with the Washington Senators.Before the 1904 season, he was traded to the New York Highlanders. In 1905,he went back to the minors before returning with the St. Louis Cardinalsfor the 1908-1909 seasons.Despite making it to the major league level, Osteen really never seemed farfrom his Textile League roots. In 1904 with the New York Highlanders, Osteentold his manager that he would need a few days off around the Fourth ofJuly to return to South Carolina. The manager asked why. Osteen replied,”Piedmont is playing Pelzer and I’m needed.” Osteen’s career included stints as the baseball coach at Erskine College, asan umpire in textile baseball, Florida State League, South Atlanta Leagueand the Western Carolina Professional League. At one time, he put togethera femalebaseball team featuring his daughters. Champ Osteen died on Dec. 14, 1962 in Greenville, South Carolina.