Native Nitronians
Born here, lived here, played here, went to school here ...
Lew Burdette

A Major League Baseball pitcher for 17 seasons, mainly with the Braves from 1951 through 1963.  He began his
career with the Yankees in 1950 and also played for the Cardinals, Cubs, Phillies and Angels late in his career.  He
is mostly remembered for winning 3 games for the Braves in the 1957 World Series versus the Yankees, including
two complete game shut-outs. Lou died February 6, 2007 in Winter Haven, Florida.


Jack Eastwood

A 1972 graduate of Nitro High School, Jack went on to become a star safety and captain of the football team at
West Virginia University.  His highlights included a 3 interception game in a 20-14 Mountaineer win over the Miami
Hurricanes in 1973.


J.R. House

A record setting high school quarterback on the 1998 West Virginia AAA State Champion Nitro Wildcats football
team.  He played football, baseball and basketball at Nitro his freshman year, but then transferred to Seabreeze
High School in Ormond Beach, Florida to play baseball his sophomore, junior & senior years.  He returned each fall
to play football at Nitro High School and set numerous National High School records as a quarterback.  The 5th
round draft pick of the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1999, J.R. chose to play professional baseball over college football.


Kathy Mattea

A Native of Cross Lanes, Kathleen Alice Mattea was born June 21, 1959 in a South Charleston, West Virginia
hospital. She graduated from Nitro High School in 1976 and attended West Virginia University.  A noted grammy
award winning country singer, Nitro named the auditorium in the community center after her ... the "Kathy Mattea
Auditorium".  She has had four #1 hits and numerous other songs in the Top 10.

Larry Barnett

Born on 34th Street in Nitro in 1945, Larry became a Major League Baseball umpire in the American League, from
1969 to 1999.  His 31 seasons included umpiring in four All-Star Games, seven American League Championship
Series and four World Series, including the epic 1975 Fall Classic between the Cincinnati Reds and the Boston Red
Sox.  He also was behind home plate when Vida Blue of the Oakland Athletics pitched a no-hitter. He was home
plate umpire for the record setting game at Camden Yards when Baltimore Orioles' star Cal Ripken Jr. broke Lou
Gehrig's record by playing in his 2, 131 consecutive game. This game was voted the most important game ever
played. Four decades later, he still holds the record for being the youngest umpire in history, entering the MLB at
the age of 24. At the time of his retirement he was supervisor of umpires.

Chester "Butch" Lester

Chester Lester was born in Mammouth, WV, a small coal mining town about sixty miles from Charleston. The family
later moved to Tyler Mountain where he attended Cross Lanes Elementary School and, later, Nitro High School. He
found interest in music in the seventh grade. By his freshman year in high school, he began to form several bands
and played high school dances and skating rinks. After high school, he was intent on music as a career. He worked
with Buddy Starcher and started writing songs.  He later moved to Nashville and had his first major cuts shortly
thereafter.  Butch has had cuts made by numerous music legends, including Willie Nelson, Tammy Wynette, Johnny
Cash, Waylon Jennings, Bobby Vinton and many more.