- Heath "H.I." Farris
Heath was born June 12, 1833, in a small town just outside of Chattanooga, Tennessee. His childhood was simple enough. There were few distractions so as not to ruin his appreciation of the finer things. As a young man he made his way to the New Mexico Territory where he settled down in what later became known as Arizona. Maybe it was Utah.
However, soon after his arrival, he ran afoul of the law. As the story goes, while wearing a disguise of hosiery, H.I. robbed the local mercantile and took whatever cash was available. The authorities made chase, but he was able to elude capture by forcing his way into a passing wagon, then fleeing on foot through the local market. Other reports found in the local archives indicate this was not H.I.’s only infraction. He was questioned about a matter of assault and battery to which he was quoted as saying “he was provokin’ me.” On a separate occasion, while authorities searched for two of his former associates, H.I. was considered a potential accomplice in the armed robbery of a small bank in La Grange. The most serious account suggests that H.I. was a possible suspect in a local kidnapping. Records show the missing child was returned, unharmed, with no questions asked, so the investigation was closed with no charges filed and no arrests.
Some years later H.I. returned to Chattanooga, Tennessee, leaving his troubled past behind. When asked about the events of his youth he recalled that it seemed like a dream and pondered “Was I just fleein’ reality, like I know I’m liable to do?”
Heath “H.I.” Farris is an original member of the Lightfoot Club of Chattanooga. He stands fearless as the first baseman and is top rail whether it is facing hot balls from the bat or holding the swiftest thrown balls from the field while holding his place on the base.