Harry Taylor was born on May 20, 1919, in East Glenn, Indiana. In 1938, after graduating from Fayette High School, he signed to play for Tallahassee, a Dodgers affiliate in the Class D Georgia-Florida League, but was released without ever getting into a game. Nineteen days later, the Chicago White Sox signed Harry and sent him to the St. Paul Saints of the American Association. Except for a brief stay with Richmond of the Class B Piedmont League in 1939, Harry remained with St. Paul until he enlisted in the Army in 1941.
During his time in the military he managed and played for several Army teams, pitching three no-hitters. Because he was the only guy with pro experience on the team, he was made manager. Then when he came down with an injury and couldn’t play he had to manage the team from the bench. Sitting there and watching, he began to follow the game in all of its phases. And so, his years in the service had been beneficial to his baseball career.
When Harry returned to St. Paul in 1946, the Saints were a Brooklyn Dodgers farm team. By June he had already won seven games for the Saints and was one of six pitchers selected for the eleventh annual American Association All-Star game. Overall, he won a league-leading fifteen games and ninety-one strikeouts. The Dodgers noticed and in September they paid St. Paul for Harry’s contract. Two weeks later, after the Saints were eliminated from the American Association playoffs and he was called up to Brooklyn.
In 1947 Harry made the team out of spring training, winning a spot in the bullpen. However, he hurt his elbow in a game against the Cardinals in August and it may have been the reason for his short career. He did not pitch again for more than five weeks, and when he did come back, he threw just four innings in two relief appearances. He ended the regular season with a record of 10-5 and a 3.11 ERA.
Harry won his first start in 1948, but an emergency appendectomy seven days later, kept him from pitching again until he made a two-inning relief appearance in May. From there on, he was largely ineffective and the Dodgers sent him back to St. Paul. He never again pitched for Brooklyn and spent the next two seasons with St. Paul.
In September 1950, and out of options, the Dodgers sold him to the Boston Red Sox. The Red Sox were still in the pennant race, and Harry wasted no time trying to impress, by pitching a two-hit shutout against the Philadelphia Athletics in September and a six-hit victory over the Yankees on the last day of the season.
But when next year came, his magic had disappeared. His 1951 record was 4-9, and his 5.75 ERA was the worst of his major-league career. In the first week of the 1952 season, he pitched a six-hit victory over the Philadelphia Athletics. Soon after, the Red Sox sent him to the Louisville Colonels, where he spent the rest of the season.
Harry was with the Williston (North Dakota) Oilers of the semipro ManDak League in 1953. In 1955 he pitched for the Paris (Illinois) Lakers in the Class D Mississippi-Ohio Valley League and then retired from baseball.
After leaving baseball, Harry lived in Shirkieville, Indiana, near his home town, and did some farming. He later worked for the Bemis Manufacturing Co. and Visqueen, a maker of building products. He was also a member of the Major League Baseball Players Alumni and the West Terre Haute Masonic Lodge.Harry Taylor passed away at age 81, on November 5, 2000, in Terre Haute, Indiana.