October 31, 2014

Negro Leagues DB Update: 1910 & 1911 Negro Leagues

May 4, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

This week we’ve added the 1910 and 1911 Negro leagues to the DB.  This gives us the pleasure of presenting statistics for one of black baseball’s great teams, the Chicago Leland Giants of 1910.  Led by Pete Hill and John Henry Lloyd, both in their prime, a 37-year-old Grant Johnson, and the brilliant pitching of Frank Wickware, Rube Foster‘s team went 22-2-1 against top black competition.  Hill blistered pitchers for a .511 average (and it was a loud .511, with 18 extra base hits in 22 games), while Wickware burst on the scene with a brilliant rookie season, going undefeated against black teams (8-0 in games with box scores, 9-0 overall).

Frank Wickware, John Henry Lloyd, and Pete Hill of the 1910 Leland Giants

This addition to the DB also includes the rise of the St. Louis Giants to major status and the founding of the New York Lincoln Giants by the McMahon brothers, both in 1911.  The 1910 season saw Cyclone Joe Williams come north to join the Chicago Giants; in 1911 the Philadelphia Giants, a formerly great club now in its twilight, introduced a rookie battery consisting of the 20-year-old Dick Redding and the 22-year-old Louis Santop.

Dick Redding, Louis Santop, Joe Williams

These years also witnessed the brief appearance in the blackball ranks of two men perhaps better known for their endeavors in other fields.  William Clarence Matthews, former Harvard shortstop and a future Assistant Attorney General of the United States under the Coolidge Administration, played a game at second base for the New York Black Sox in 1910.  And Lorenzo Dow Turner, a prominent linguist and the father of Gullah studies, pitched for the Philadelphia Giants in 1911, using his middle name presumably to preserve his eligibility for the Howard University team.

As always, lots of people have helped out with the research.  I especially want to thank Todd Peterson, who provided us with box scores and information on the St. Paul Gophers and Minneapolis Keystones (and what he didn’t provide specifically to us I cribbed from his great book, Early Black Baseball in Minnesota); Dwayne Isgrig, who provided box scores from St. Louis; and Scott Simkus, who has been tracking down missing box scores from Chicago.

Coming soon: the 1908 and 1909 Negro leagues, the 1923 Eastern Colored League, and many more Cuban seasons.

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