September 24, 2018

Negro Leagues DB Update: 1947 NNL & NAL

June 17, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

We’re pleased to announce the addition of the 1947 Negro leagues to the DB. In that year history continued to bear down on the NNL & NAL. Josh Gibson tragically died in January. Jackie Robinson debuted for the Dodgers in April, and by mid-season other big league clubs were sniffing around the Negro leagues for more bargains. The two defending league champions, the Kansas City Monarchs and Newark Eagles, were the most inviting targets. In July the Cleveland Indians signed Newark’s best player, Larry Doby. Then the St. Louis Browns followed by taking Willard Brown and Hank Thompson from the Monarchs. The latter two were back in Kansas City within a month, as the St. Louis Browns, at this point a pretty awful organization, offered them little support in the face of hostility from their teammates. Both the Monarchs and the Eagles wound up in second place.

In the NAL it was the Cleveland Buckeyes who finished on top, winning their second pennant in three years due to the sterling work of center fielder Sam Jethroe, veteran pitchers Doc Bracken and Chet Brewer, and player-manager Quincy Trouppe, in addition to a pair of teenagers—the shortstop Al Smith and Panamanian southpaw Vibert Clarke.

Over in the NNL the New York Cubans secured the first-ever pennant victory by a Cuban team in the Negro leagues behind third baseman Orestes Miñoso, shortstop Silvio García, and a brilliant pitching staff led by Luis Tiant, Sr., Patricio Scantlebury, and Lino Donoso. The Cubans went on to make short work of the Buckeyes in the World Series.

Our 1947 statistics started with the work of Larry Lester and Wayne Stivers, to which we have made extensive additions to create the best account of this season yet compiled. That said, the NAL teams (aside from the Monarchs) are not particularly well-represented here, due to the failure of newspapers to print box scores for NAL games.

You can also check out the standings for the 1948 Negro leagues—player stats will be posted within the next few months.

Also coming up: 1900-1902 Cuban leagues, 1927 ECL, 1929 ANL, and more.

The New York Cubans, winners of the 1947 Negro League World Series

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