Louis “Dutch” Legett – Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame
Baseball Player/Contributor, 1919-75
Warren Easton High School/Major League Baseball/NORD
Louis “Dutch” Legett, who was born June 1, 1901 in New Orleans, was a Warren Easton star in football, baseball, basketball and track from 1919-22. He was selected all-state in baseball and football and held the state shot-put record for 15 years. He was the quarterback and captain of Easton’s 1921 football team that won both the city and state championships and also earned all-city recognition after helping the basketball team to a city title.
After graduating from Warren Easton, Legett he continued to play baseball at the semipro level while earning his degree from the Tennessee Dental School in Memphis. After setting up practice in the French Quarter, he couldn’t shake his baseball itch.
After playing the 1926 and 1927 seasons with the Macon Peaches in the Class B South Atlantic League, he was acquired by the Chicago Cubs who assigned him to the Reading Keystones in the International League. He hit .342 with 11 homers and made the league’s all-star team as catcher. In November 1928, he was one of five players (along with $200,000) that Chicago traded to the Boston Braves for future Hall of Famer Rogers Hornsby.
Legett made his major-league debut with the Braves on May 8, 1929 and saw limited action that season and would find himself back in the minors playing for the Newark Bears, Reading again and the Albany Senators.
He would return to the Majors in 1933 with the Boston Red Sox and also saw action with the Red Sox in 1934, playing sparingly behind all-star catcher Rick Ferrell.
After seeing action in a total of 68 Major League games, he finished his career in the minors, playhing with the Syracuse Chiefs and the Nashville Volunteers before retiring in 1937.
Having continued his dental practice in the off-seasons, Legett returned to New Orleans as a full-time dentist. He got involved in the newly-formed NORD baseball program in 1947 as its chairman, when they started out with just 50 teams. By 1950, the program had grown to 326 teams involving over 5,000 kids. By 1964, NORD had reached 500 teams. Legett was known for his annual tours of the NORD facilities with city officials and local professional baseball players in order to showcase the expansive program and New Orleans was recognized as a model for youth baseball around the country.
Legett was inducted into the Diamond Club of New Orleans in 1969. He died March 6, 1988 at the age of 86 in New Orleans.
SOURCES: “NORD pioneer Dutch Legett, a ball-playing dentist,” CrescentCitySports.com, January 9, 2021
“Lou Legett Bio,” Society for American Baseball Research