October 30, 2020

Negro Leagues Game of the Day on This Date in 1928

April 27, 2020 by · Leave a Comment 

It’s Saturday, April 28, 1928 – opening day for the Negro National League. The Birmingham Black Barons, champions of the 2nd half of the 1927 NNL season, partially due to the addition of 20-year-old Satchel Paige from the Chattanooga Black Lookouts of the Negro Southern League, are at Stars Park to play the St. Louis Stars, who finished 1927 with the 2nd best overall record (62-37). A broken leg for Mule Suttles, causing him to miss two months in the middle of the 1927 season, likely prevented the Stars from having the best record in the NNL.

Here are the starting lineups:

Birmingham Black Barons
1. George McAllister, 1B
2. Geechie Meredith, 2B
3. Sandy Thompson, CF
4. Poindexter Williams, C
5. Will Owens, SS
6. Roy Parnell, LF
7. Reuben Jones, RF
8. Chuffy Alexander, 3B
9. Harry Salmon, P

St. Louis Stars
1. Cool Papa Bell, CF
2. Branch Russell, RF
3. Willie Wells, SS
4. Mule Suttles, 1B
5. Wilson Redus, LF
6. Dewey Creasy, 3B
7. Henry Williams, C
8. John Henry Russell, 2B
9. John Williams, P

The Stars opened the scoring in the bottom of the second inning against veteran pitcher Harry Salmon, when catcher Henry Williams reached on a two-base throwing error by Baron second baseman Geechie Meredith, then John Henry Russell hit the ball over the short left-field trolley car repair barn wall. The Barons answered right back in the top of the third inning when right fielder Reuben Jones was hit by a John Williams pitch and was injured enough to be pinch ran for by pitcher Robert Poindexter (not to be confused with C/Manager Poindexter Williams!) After an out from Chuffy Alexander, Harry Salmon singled and then first baseman George McAllister hit a long drive into right center over Cool Papa Bell’s head for a triple, scoring both Poindexter and Salmon, tying the game at 2-2.

There was no additional scoring until two outs in the bottom of the sixth, when pitcher John Williams singled, Cool Papa Bell doubled him in, and then Branch Russell doubled, scoring Bell and putting St. Louis up 4-2.

In the bottom of the 7th Mule Suttles & Wilson Redus led off with back-to-back home runs, and the St. Louis lead expanded to 6-2. However, in the top of the eighth, Salmon singled again, then an error by John Williams and couple more singles led to three runs, and suddenly the score was now 6-5.

On to the bottom of the eighth, where Creasy singled and was forced at second by Henry Williams. John Henry Russell, who had the two-run homer earlier, then hit a long double to center, scoring Williams. The Barons failed to score in the top of the ninth, giving St. Louis the 7-5 victory.

NOTEABLE: Star of the game goes to one of the lightest hitting Stars, John Henry Russell, who was 3 for 4, with a double, home run, and 3 RBI. After Reuben Jones’ injury in the third inning, rookie backup C Bill Perkins replaced Jones in the field, going in to left field (Birmingham apparently did not bring many bench players for the long road trip to start the season) for his Major Negro League debut. Perkins would go on to a 20-year career in the Negro Leagues.

Other NNL Scores:
Memphis – 6, Kansas City – 3 (Lewis Park, Memphis)
Detroit – 16, Cleveland – 7 (Luna Park, Cleveland)

Henry Williams at Stars Park

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