Seamheads.com Launches Negro Leagues Database Powered by The Baseball Gauge
Welcome to the Seamheads.com Negro Leagues Database, powered by The Baseball Gauge. We are creating the first comprehensive statistical encyclopedia of the great black baseball teams and leagues that operated behind the color line in the days of Jim Crow segregation. The database also collects a vast amount of biographical information about these players, much of it previously unpublished.
Among the injustices visited upon the ballplayers of the Negro leagues, the lack of a statistical record of their accomplishments might not leap out as one of the worst; but it has proved one of the most lasting. The Negro National League was founded in 1920; it has taken 91 years to find out for sure that Cristóbal Torriente was the batting champion, that Sam Crawford struck out the most batters, that Dave Brown compiled the best ERA, Pete Hill collected the most walks, and Oscar Charleston garnered the most win shares.
Many thanks and much credit should go to Mike Lynch, Kevin Johnson, and Dan Hirsch for putting this website together. I compiled all the statistics for the seasons we’re starting with, and yet I find myself constantly surprised and amazed at what Dan and Kevin’s work reveals. Even if you’re a Negro league aficionado, you’ll find something new here, from unknown great teams to unknown good pitchers to unexpectedly bad hitters.
Here at the beginning of our project, we’re presenting four seasons of pre-Negro league play, 1916 to 1919, and the first three seasons of Rube Foster’s Negro National League, 1920 to 1922. You’ll see the likes of Oscar Charleston and Cristóbal Torriente at their very best, as well as two-way star Bullet Rogan. We’ve also got nine seasons of the Cuban Winter League, from a slightly earlier era (1905 to 1913). Cuban pro ball was racially integrated, and featured some of the very best African American ballplayers of the time, like Cyclone Joe Williams, John Henry Lloyd, and Pete Hill. So these numbers give us a rare glimpse of these players in their prime.
As I said, we are in the act of putting this encyclopedia together; it’s very much a work in progress, which we’ll be adding to little by little, game by game, season by season. Along with additional seasons I’ve got nearly ready, other researchers will be chiming in with their work soon as well. So check back frequently as we post new years and new information. Watch the all-time leader boards change and Hall of Famers’ careers gradually take shape in a way nobody has seen before.