June 6, 2023

Negro Leagues Game of the Day on This Date in 1928 (April 29)

April 29, 2020 by · Leave a Comment 

It’s Sunday, April 29, 1928 – opening day for the Eastern Colored League. The Atlantic City Bacharach Giants, 1927 ECL champions, are visiting the New York Lincoln Giants, who finished 6th in the 7 team ECL, for a Sunday double-header at the Catholic Protectory Oval, the most hitter friendly ballpark in the Negro Leagues.

Going into 1928, the ECL was in disarray. Harrisburg had disbanded. Brooklyn and Hilldale joined Homestead as independent teams. The Philadelphia Tigers were added as an ‘expansion team’ to replace Hilldale in the prime Philadelphia area market. Eventually, arguments over players dispersed from Harrisburg and over scheduling the teams that left the league led to the Lincoln Giants and Cuban Stars also leaving the league, effectively killing it by June. However, all eight teams scheduled and played each other as much as they did when the league existed (except between Baltimore and New York, who continued to disagree on the rights to Fats Jenkins).

Here are the starting lineups for Game #1:

Atlantic City Bacharach Giants
1. Ambrose Reid, 2B
2. Oliver Marcell, 3B
3. Chaney White, CF
4. Milton Lewis, 1B
5. Dick Lundy, SS
6. Eggie Dallard, LF
7. John Cason, C
8. Jack Jackson, RF
9. Luther Farrell, P

New York Lincoln Giants

1. Williams, LF (really Fats Jenkins, hiding his identity)
2. Charlie Mason, RF
3. George Carr, 1B
4. Bill Riggins, 3B
5. George Scales, SS
6. Tex Burnett, C
7. John Henry Lloyd, 2B
8. Willie Gisentaner, P
9. Willie Gray, CF

Ambrose Reid led off the game with a drive to right that Charlie Mason raced to the line to catch, and Atlantic City went down in order. In the bottom of the first, “Williams” singled over third and was sacrificed to second, but New York failed to score.

In the bottom of the second, Farrell walked Scales, who stole second. Catcher Cason’s hand was spit open, so Eggie Dallard moved in from left field to catch, with pitcher Alonzo Mitchell going to left (an example of a Negro League visiting team bringing a limited roster on the road). The next batter, Tex Burnett, hit a short fly to left field. Mitchell caught the ball but collided with short stop Lundy and injured his eye. Pitcher Rats Henderson came off the bench and became the third left-fielder of the inning. Pop Lloyd singled over second, driving in the first run of the year.

Batting in the top of the third, P Luther Farrell drove a low liner over the right field fence to tie the game 1-1. Willie Gray answered in the bottom of the third with his own line drive home run, to the right center field bleachers (center field was only about 300 feet from home plate). Mason singled to left but Carr hit a line drive to Lundy, who doubled Mason off first to end the inning with New York ahead 2-1.

In the top of the fifth P Farrell hit his second home run of the game to center, tying the score at 2-2. Ambrose Reid followed with a single and stolen base. Marcell fouled out on the first base side, catcher Burnett making a running catch against the grandstand, then throwing to third to get Reid trying to advance, for the defensive play of the game Moving to the bottom of the sixth, with no on and two out, George Carr homered to left, putting New York ahead again 3-2.

Connie Rector relieved Gisentaner in the top of the seventh inning, and with one out and no one on, manager John Henry Lloyd had Rector INTENTIONALLY walk P Farrell. The unusual strategy paid off when Reid grounded into a double play. George Scales then led off the bottom of the inning with a long home run to left, increasing the Lincoln Giant lead to 4-2.

In the top of the ninth, Eggie Dallard singled, and with left fielder (normally pitcher) Rats Henderson up, manger Lundy sent up another pitcher, Claude Grier, to pinch hit. Grier struck out, then Lundy sent up Ping Gardner to PH for Jack Jackson. Gardner hit a grounder near second which Lloyd fielded and flipped to Scales, who relayed to Carr for the game ending double play.

NOTEABLE: Luther Farrell, with two home runs and a walk, was the hitting star of the game, in a losing cause. Pop Lloyd went 2 for 3 with an RBI. Connie Rector earned a save. The 23-year-old Claude Grier had thrown the first no-hitter in a World Series history in 1926, but had a serious arm injury in 1927, and this PH appearance would be hist last known major Negro League game.

Other ECL Scores:

New York Lincoln Giants – 10, Atlantic City Bacharach Giants – 3 (2nd game of DH, 7 innings)
Baltimore Black Sox – 8, Cuban Stars – 6 (Maryland Park, 1st game of DH)
Baltimore Black Sox – 8, Cuban Stars – 7 (Maryland Park, 2nd game of DH)

NNL Scores:

Kansas City Monarchs – 8, Memphis Red Sox – 1 (Lewis Park, 1st game of DH)
Memphis Red Sox – 4, Kansas City Monarchs – 3 (Lewis Park, 2nd game of DH)
Cleveland Tigers – 10, Detroit Stars – 9 (Luna Park)
St. Louis Stars – 8, Birmingham Black Barons – 5 (Stars Park)

Catholic Protectory Oval

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