Category Archives: Baseball Hall of Fame

Hall of Fame Negro League Outfielder Cristobal Torriente

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Cristobal Torriente, like most of the 2006 National Baseball Hall of Fame inductees from Negro League baseball, had not been well-known to many baseball fans. That includes a long time one such as yours truly.  His feats on the diamond had not been celebrated as contributions to Negro League lore similar to those of Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson, James “Cool Papa” Bell and the other Negro League legends that had previously been enshrined in Cooperstown.  But Torreinte deserved Hall of Fame recognition and he received it in 2006.

Born in Cienfuegos, Cuba on November 16, 1893, Torriente saw a few of his white countrymen play Major League baseball. However, he could not due to the dark hue of his skin.  Just like African-American professional baseball players for nearly half of the 20th Century, he could not cross Major League baseball’s “invisible color line”.  Instead, Torriente showcased his baseball talents in the Negro Leagues.

In a poll of former Negro League players and sportswriters conducted in the early 1950s, Cristobal Torriente was named one of the best outfielders to play in the Negro Leagues. Known as the “Cuban Strongman, the left-handed slugger stood 5’11”, 185 pounds, with broad shoulders, and a rifle for a throwing arm.

The following is an excerpt from my book, Last Train to Cooperstown: The 2006 Baseball Hall of Fame Inductees from the Negro League Baseball Era, which profiles the Hall of Fame outfielder:

“Pitchers had a hard time getting him out due to his quick,

powerful swing. They could not throw strikes pass him. Getting him

to swing at pitches out of the strike zone also did not work because

the Cuban was a notorious bad ball hitter. Facing him was an

experience pitchers dreaded.

 

Many stories have been told as a testimony of the Cuban’s

power when batting. One is about a line drive he hit off the right

field wall in Indianapolis against the ABCs. Supposedly the ball was

hit so hard, it got to the wall so fast, the right fielder was able to

throw the speedy Torriente out at first base. Another story is about

a ball he supposedly hit in Kansas City against the Monarchs. It

smashed a clock 17 feet above the centerfield fence. According to

Torriente’s American Giant teammate shortstop Bob Williams,

“The hand of the clock started going round and round.” It is doubtful

all the stories of balls hit by Torriente are true. But there is no

doubt he was one of the best hitters seen by Negro League fans.

 

Little is known about the early life of Cristobal Torriente in

Cuba. From most information, he was born in 1893 in Cienfuegos.

His family worked in the fields and boiler houses of the area’s sugar

Cooperstown

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mills. By 17 he was in the Cuban Army displaying his physical

strength by loading heavy guns onto mules; while also blasting

baseballs around local sandlots.

 

After being a young phenomenon in the 1913 Cuban Winter

League, the 19 year old Torriente joined the Cuban Stars and played

his first season in the United States. The Stars were a traveling team

that played mainly against independent black professional baseball

teams. No official African American league existed at the time, but

the Stars competed against such black teams as the New York

Lincoln Giants, New York Lincoln Stars, Chicago American Giants,

and others. The change in surroundings did not hinder Torriente.

He quickly began to establish himself as the team’s hitting star

going up against the likes of “Smokey Joe” Williams, “Cannonball”

Dick Redding, ”Big Bill” Gatewood, and other Negro League

pitchers. By many accounts, Torriente hit .383 that first year. And if

the Stars’ opponents believed that was just rookie luck, the strong

Cuban put that to rest the next season by again hitting over .300. In

his years with the Cuban Stars, he reportedly never hit less than

.300.”

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For more of Cristobal Torriente’s Negro League baseball story, read Last Train to Cooperstown:The 2006 Baseball Hall of Fame Inductees from the Negro League Baseball Era”.  For more information, go to http://booklaunch.io/kevinlmitchell/last-train-to-cooperstown.

 

 

 

Pete Hill: Contemporary of Ty Cobb

hill-1                                                   Pete Hill Blog picture

Today is the birth date of Negro League baseball player John Preston “Pete” Hill; born on October 12, around 1882 or 1884 in Virginia (Culpeper County).

The following is an excerpt from my book, Last Train to Cooperstown:  The 2006 Baseball Hall of Fame Inductees from the Negro League Baseball Era, which profiles the Hall of Fame outfielder: 

“A star in Negro League baseball during the first quarter of the 20thCentury, Pete Hill was called the black Ty Cobb. Major League owners and executives futilely denied that it was not racism that kept African-Americans like Hill and others out of white organized baseball during that time. This implied that black players did not have the skills and abilities for big league baseball, which was not true and why the “color line” that kept black players out was invisible. If it were true, Negro League players would not have been compared to the Major League ones as they commonly were before the “color line” was erased. John Henry “Pop” Lloyd, one of the best pre‐1920 players in Negro League baseball, was referred to as the “black” Honus Wagner; his contemporary at shortstop that played for the Pittsburgh Pirates (1900 –1917)and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1939. Pete Hill’ accomplishments on the field were compared to Ty Cobb; who in his Major League career (1905 ‐ 1928) hit over .400 three times, finished with a .366 career batting average, and was also inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1939. It is a comparison painted by racism, but it gives an indication of Hill’ talents as a ballplayer. As Cobb was making life miserable for opposing American League pitchers, Pete Hill was the hitting superstar on three pre‐1920 era premier African American teams.”

“At 6” 1”, 215 lbs., Hill was a left-handed line drive hitter that was hard to defend because he hit the ball to all fields. A contact hitter that seldom swung and missed, he was a “tough out” for right handed and left-handed pitchers. Cum Posey, the long‐time owner of Negro League baseball’ Homestead Grays called Pete Hill, “he most consistent hitter of his time.” Negro League first baseman Ben Taylor who played on teams that were opponents of Hill called him “one of the most dangerous hitters a pitcher could ever face in a tough situation.” A 1910 article in the African-American Chicago Defender newspaper stated, “ete Hill would be a star in the Major Leagues if he were white. He can do anything a white player can do. He can hit, run, throw, and is what can be termed a wise, heady ballplayer.”

To learn more about Pete Hill who was one of best hitters in baseball history, read Last Train to Cooperstown:  The 2006 Baseball Hall of Fame Inductees from the Negro League Baseball Era”.    http://booklaunch.io/kevinlmitchell/last-train-to-cooperstown.

 

Cum Posey: In Both the Baseball and Basketball Halls of Fame

Cumberland “Cum” Posey made his mark in sports history as the architect and owner of the Homestead Grays, one of the most renown and successful franchises in Negro League baseball. One of the seventeen individuals from the Negro League baseball era inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame (Cooperstown, New York) in 2006, Posey helped to provide the opportunity for African-American and dark-skinned Latino baseball players to exhibit their God-given talent during the time racial discrimination kept them out of the Major Leagues.

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Cum Posey as owner of the Homestead Grays

However, Cum Posey received another distinction last week by being inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts. The other inductees with Posey were; former National Basketball Association (NBA) players Shaquille O’Neal, Allen Iverson, Yao Ming, and Zelmo Beaty; former Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) star Sheryl Swopes, Michigan State Basketball Coach Tom Izzo, Chicago Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf, former NBA referee Darell Garretson, and former NBA and college coach John McLendon.  Long before the existence of the NBA or National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), Posey received acclaim as one of the best basketball guards in the country when he graduated from high school in 1908.

A super quick point guard (5’ 4” – 5’9”, depending on the source), he went on to become the first African-American student athlete at Penn State (1909 – 1911). After leaving school, Posey and his brother organized a basketball team in his hometown of Homestead across the Monongahela River from Pittsburgh; The Monticello Rifles. Not only the team’s star player, Cum also operated the business and promotional functions for it.  The team changed its name to the Loendi Big Five in 1913 and became for years one of the best in what was the black professional basketball circuit.

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Posey at Penn State (first row on the right)

 

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Posey with Monticello Rifles (second from left on first row)

Posey returned to college in 1916 and under the name Charles Cumbert became the first African-American student athlete at Duquesne. Leading the team in scoring from 1916 – 1919), he wanted to get an additional year of eligibility so he successfully used an assumed name.

 

After playing baseball in the summer with the Homestead Grays since 1911, Posey bought the team in 1920 and by 1925 baseball became his main focus until he died of lung cancer in 1947.

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Posey with the Homestead Grays (first on the left, back row)

Cum Posey is the first to be recognized at the Hall of Fame in both Cooperstown and Springfield.

Here is an excerpt from my book, “Last Train to Cooperstown: The 2006 Baseball Hall of Fame Inductees from the Negro League Baseball Era” (Black Rose Writing – 2015), with more information about Cum Posey:

“Homestead was the birthplace of Cumberland Willis Posey, Jr.

on June 20, 1890. However, Posey’s destiny would not be tied to

steel. His parents were educated. His mother a teacher and his

father was an entrepreneur. An engineer that built boats and

operated a coal and ore business, Cum Sr. had the distinction of

being possibly the richest African American in the area. In college

Cum Jr. studied chemistry leaning towards becoming a pharmacist.

But sports had such a hold of his heart he could not ignore it.

 

A star athlete at Homestead High School, Posey played football,

basketball, and baseball as a teenager. Named Pittsburgh area’s top

high school basketball player in 1909, Posey (5’9”, 140 pounds) also

received national attention as one of the best guards in the country.

He played college basketball at Penn State and Duquesne.

However, baseball was a more popular sport in Posey’s

hometown of Homestead. The black steel workers passionately

played it every weekend from spring through fall. There were many

sandlot baseball teams sponsored by Pittsburgh area steel mills and

companies in the steel industry. These teams would be opponents

for a Homestead black team organized in 1900 called the Blue

Ribbons. The Blue Ribbons also played against local white semiprofessional

teams. By the time Posey began playing for the team

in 1911, its name had been changed to the Murdock Grays. Shortly

afterwards the team became the Homestead Grays.

Posey used the speed he exhibited on the basketball court to

develop into a decent centerfielder in baseball. He still played local

semi‐professional basketball during the winter in his early years

with the Grays. It was during his involvement with basketball that

the skills Posey used when he owned and operated the Grays were

first exhibited. Along with his brother Seward, he organized and

operated a basketball team that was successful for many years in

the black semi‐professional circuit. He continued to operate the

team for 14 years after he began playing with the Grays.

Posey’ status with Grays steadily increased as he was the team

captain in 1916, the field manager in 1917, and in 1918 was also

handling many of the team’ business operations. Finally, Posey

and a local businessman (Charles Walker) bought the Grays in

1920.”

To learn more about Cum Posey, read “Last Train to Cooperstown”.  To order, go to http://booklaunch.io/kevinlmitchell/last-train-to-cooperstown.

 

“The Last Train to Cooperstown” Featured in Christian Science Monitor

The following is an article from the Christian Science Monitor:

Books

10 new baseball books for summer reading

In North America, the baseball season is a marathon, stretching from April to late October, a full seven months. It lures many publishers to feed the public appetite for books about the sport, especially during the heart of the season. These selections are among the latest varied offerings.

8. ‘The Last Train to Cooperstown: The 2006 Baseball Hall of Fame Inductees from the Negro League Baseball Era,’ by Kevin L. Mitchell

Book Cover 47 KB

By the year 2001, the National Baseball Hall of Fame had enshrined 24 former Negro League Players, from players who eventually helped integrate the previously white major leagues like Jackie Robinson, Ernie Banks, and Roy Campanella, to those who starred only in the Negro League, such as Buck Leonard and “Cool Papa” Bell. In 2006, however, the Hall of Fame tried to usher in all those Negro Leaguers who still deserved inclusion after a thorough study of existing records. That led to the enshrinement of an additional 12 players, who, while lesser known than those who preceded them into the Cooperstown shrine, enjoy the spotlight in this compact book.

Here’s an excerpt from The Last Train to Cooperstown:

“Despite being kept out of white organized professional baseball, African American ballplayers had the opportunity to compete against white professional players. In the fall after the regular season ended, many white players would make extra money by forming teams to play exhibition games against Negro League players. The practice was called ‘barnstorming’ as the white and black teams would travel from city to city to play games. Because the black teams would win as many or even more times than the white ones, Major League executives tried unsuccessfully to discourage their players from barnstorming. Black players also competed against white Major Leaguers in the winter leagues that operated during November and December in the Caribbean and California.”

 

Raymond Brown: Homestead Grays’ Ace

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Like all pitchers in Negro League baseball during the 1930s and 1940s, Raymond Brown’s accomplishments on the mound were overshadowed by the talent, charismatic personality, and showmanship of Satchel Paige. However Brown, born on February 23, 1908 in Algiers, Ohio, helped pitch the Homestead Grays to eight Negro National League (NNL) pennants and two Negro League World Series championships.

The following is an excerpt from my book, Last Train in Cooperstown: The 2006 Baseball Hall of Fame Inductees from the Negro League Baseball Era:

”Of the five players the sportswriters suggested to the Pirates,

Brown has received the least notoriety in his career. Like other

Negro League hurlers, Raymond Brown’s abilities on the mound

were overshadowed by the great Satchel Paige. The most famous

pitcher in Negro League baseball during the 1930s and 1940s,

Paige’s accomplishments and showmanship antics on the mound

were well known.  Articles on him appeared not only in Negro

newspapers, but also in large national ones that seldom carried

anything about black baseball. Because of their refusal to cover the

Negro Leagues, those newspapers missed heralding that no Negro League pitcher won more than Raymond Brown.  When Brown

pitched his Homestead Grays knew they had a great chance for

victory. If he had possessed some of Paige’s talent for showmanship

on the mound, Brown would have received more of Satchel’s fame.

A versatile athlete, Brown made his debut into the world in

Algers, Ohio on February 22 or 23, 1908.  Located in western Ohio,

the town is half the distance between Toledo and Dayton.  He used

his 6’1”, 195 pound frame to become an all‐state basketball center

in high school. But that did not distract him from playing the game

he loved ‐ baseball.  Brown could not only pitch, but he swung a

solid bat. Early in his career he played outfield on days he had not

been scheduled to pitch. The switch hitter also frequently pinch hit.”

After leaving Negro League baseball in 1946, Brown pitched first in the Mexican League and then during the early 1950’s in Canadian semi-professional leagues.

 

To know more of Raymond Brown’s Negro League baseball story, read Last Train to Cooperstown:The 2006 Baseball Hall of Fame Inductees from the Negro League Baseball Era”.   For more information, go to http://booklaunch.io/kevinlmitchell/last-train-to-cooperstown.

A Tribute to Monte Irvin – Part 2

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After eight years in the Negro Leagues, Monte Irvin signed to play with the New York Giants in 1949. The first African American to play in the National League for a team other than the Brooklyn Dodgers, he made his Major League debut on July 8th in Ebbets Field against the Dodgers.

In 1951, the Giants erased the first place Dodgers’ 13 ½ August lead to force a playoff. Bobby Thomson’s ninth inning home run, the “shot heard round the world”, in the final playoff game won the National League pennant for the Giants.  However, the team may not have overcome the Dodgers had it not been for Monte Irvin who hit .312, 24 home runs, and drove in a league leading 121 runs. He also served as a mentor that season for the team’s rookie centerfielder; Willie Mays.

The Giants had three African American outfielders in the starting lineup for Game One of the 1951 World Series., a significant Major League Baseball racial milestone. On that October 4th fall afternoon at Yankee Stadium; Irvin played left field, Mays in centerfield, and Hank Thompson in right field.  In the game, Irvin got four hits and stole home; but the New York Yankees won the Series four games to two.

Due to age and injuries, Irvin began losing his playing edge. In 1954, he hit only .262 with 19 home runs as the Giants won the pennant and defeated the Cleveland Indians in the World Series.  Irvin played his last Major League season in 1956 with the Chicago Cubs.  Working in the Office of Baseball Commissioner handling public relations several years after he retired, Irvin became an ambassador for the game.

In 1970, Irvin chaired a committee formed by Major League Baseball to recommend candidates for Hall of Fame induction from the Negro League Baseball era. He had seen many of the great Negro League players in action.  He played on the same teams with many of them or on opposing teams against.  Starting with Satchel Paige in 1971, nine Negro League players were inducted into the Hall of Fame by 1977 as a result of the committee’s efforts.

In 1973 Irvin received his plaque for induction into the Hall of Fame. By the time his productive eight year Major League career began in 1949, he had already reached his 30th birthday and not in his prime as before serving in the military during the war.  However, the tremendous talent he displayed in the Negro Leagues could not be marginalized by the racial barriers that kept him out of the Major Leagues.

But no one from Negro League Baseball has been inducted into the Hall of Fame since 2006; few if any have been considered for nomination. Despite verbal denials, the museum’s actions give the impression that its doors have been shut in regards to the Negro Leagues.  Is the Hall of Fame saying that its current 41 inductees from Negro League Baseball is the extent of the Negro League era’s place in baseball history?  By its current actions, the museum is re-establishing the untrue stigma of “not being good enough” hung over Negro League Baseball that Monte Irvin spent his baseball career erasing.

What Negro League pitcher did the New York Giants sign in 1949 along with Monte Irvin?

To learn more about Negro League baseball history, read “Last Train to Cooperstown”:  http://booklaunch.io/kevinlmitchell/last-train-to-cooperstown.

A Tribute to Monte Irvin – Part 1

monte irvin

Former Negro League and Major League player Monte Irvin died on January 11th, in Houston, Texas.  A member of Baseball’s Hall of Fame, Irvin helped to solidify Negro League baseball’s place in baseball history.  However, at this time when we celebrate his life, that place is again being marginalized.

Born in Haleburg, Alabama on February 25, 1919; Irvin’s family joined the migration of southern African Americans in the 1920s to northern cities looking for better economic opportunities and they settled in East Orange, New Jersey.  A four sport star in high school; track, football, basketball, and baseball, Irvin played with the Newark Eagles of the Negro National League (NNL) under an assumed name the summer of 1938 before heading off to Lincoln University (Pa.) on a football scholarship.  However, he quit school after a year and went back to the Eagles to begin his Negro League career.

His smile and easygoing demeanor made Irvin a favorite of Negro League fans, who voted him to participate in five East-West All Star Games. Fans in the Caribbean leagues where he played in the winter also loved him.  By the end on 1941, many considered the 6’1’’, 195 pound Irvin the best player in the Negro Leagues. A .300 hitter with a power stroke, Monte also had the speed and versatility to play in the infield or outfield.

Much has been written about how serving in the military during World War II took productive years away from Major League baseball stars such as Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio, and Bob Feller. The same can be said about Monte Irvin, who also served his country doing that time.  He missed nearly four seasons (1942 -1945) while in the Army.  When discharged in the late summer of 1945, he met with Brooklyn Dodgers’ General Manager Branch Rickey about a new Negro League team.  Out of baseball for almost four years and suffering a nerve condition he had contacted while in the military, Irvin told Rickey he was not ready to play yet.  But he did not know Rickey really wanted him for the Dodgers.  It would have been Irvin, not Jackie Robinson, that would have become the first African American to play in the Major Leagues since before the beginning of the 20th Century.  Serving in the military altered Irvin’s place in baseball history.

By the start of the 1946 season, Monte felt ready to play again. He led the Newark Eagles in batting average as the team won the Negro National League (NNL) pennant and defeated the Kansas City Monarchs in the Negro League World Series.  In the Series, Irvin hit .460 with three home runs.

What Hall of Famer played second base for the 1946 Newark Eagles?

 

To learn more about Negro League baseball history, read “Last Train to Cooperstown”:  http://booklaunch.io/kevinlmitchell/last-train-to-cooperstown.

 

 

Keep Hall of Fame Door Open to Negro League Baseball

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newt Allen Newt Allen              CI TaylorCI Taylor

Bill ByrdBill Byrd

Two weeks ago the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s Pre-integration Committee voted on ten candidates for induction next summer. None of the ten were from the Negro League baseball era.   No one from that era has been selected for induction into the hallowed halls of the museum in Cooperstown, New York since 2006.  The 17 inducted that year are profiled in my book Last Train to Cooperstown.  Is the door for other candidates from the Negro Leagues closed?

For years the Hall of Fame’s Veteran’s Committee had been responsible for considering candidates who failed to get the necessary votes needed for induction during their initial years of eligibility. However, in 2010 the committee was restructured into three separate committees.  The Pre-integration Committee was created to consider candidates that existed prior to 1947, the year Jackie Robinson crossed the “invisible color line” to become the first African American or dark-skinned Latino to play Major League baseball.  The other two created were the Golden Era Committee to consider potential Hall of Fame candidates from the period 1947 – 1973 and the Expansion Era Committee to consider those from after 1973.

With a grant from Major League Baseball, the Hall of Fame in 2006 created a special committee of baseball historians to give a thorough review of the Negro League baseball era. Based on the committee’s work, 99 individuals were identified as eligible for Hall of Fame recognition.  Of those, a final vote was taken on 39 of which 17 were recommended to be a part of the 2006 induction class.

It will be the responsibility of the Pre-integration Committee for adding others that are deserving recognition from the Negro League era. The committee meets every three years and so far there have been no nominations from that era.  The legitimacy of Negro League baseball is no longer in question.  It is time to give a second look at some of the 82 identified from the black ball era, but not chosen by the 2006 special committee.

As I stated in The Last Train to Cooperstown;

“It is uncertain as to whether any of the other former Negro League players and executives/managers not chosen during the 2006 selection process will be someday elected into the Hall of Fame. Although one, John “Buck” O’Neil, has a statue now at Cooperstown recognizing him as Negro League baseball’s greatest ambassador, he did not get selected for induction in 2006 as a player.  Also not selected were:  “Cannonball” Dick Redding, who some say threw the ball as hard as Hall of Famer “Smokey” Joe Williams; Grant “Home Run” Johnson; Dick Lundy; Newt Allen; C. I. Taylor; or Minnie Minoso who also had an All-Star Major League career.  They will be included in the on-going debate along with former Major League players such as Gil Hodges, Roger Maris, and others about who deserves a plaque in Cooperstown.

But being a part of the black baseball era should not negatively affect the Negro Leaguers in this debate. Negro League baseball has come from behind the “invisible color line” and is now clearly identified as an everlasting fixture of baseball history.  The 17 Hall of Fame inductees from the Negro Leagues that arrived on the train to Cooperstown in 2006 cemented that fact”.

Book Cover 47 KBFor more information go to

Last Train To Cooperstown

“The Cuban Strongman”

Torriente picrtureIn a poll of former Negro League players and sportswriters conducted in the early 1950s, Cristobal Torriente was named one of the best outfielders to play in the Negro Leagues.  Known as the “Cuban Strongman, Torriente was born on November 16, 1893 in Cienfuegos, Cuba.  The left handed slugger stood 5’11”, 185 pounds, with broad shoulders, and a rifle for a throwing arm.

The following is an excerpt from my book, Last Train to Cooperstown:  The 2006 Baseball Hall of Fame Inductees from the Negro League Baseball Era, which profiles the Hall of Fame outfielder:

“Pitchers had a hard time getting him out due to his quick,

powerful swing. They could not throw strikes pass him. Getting him

to swing at pitches out of the strike zone also did not work because

the Cuban was a notorious bad ball hitter. Facing him was an

experience pitchers dreaded.

Many stories have been told as a testimony of the Cuban’s

power when batting. One is about a line drive he hit off the right

field wall in Indianapolis against the ABCs. Supposedly the ball was

hit so hard, it got to the wall so fast, the right fielder was able to

throw the speedy Torriente out at first base. Another story is about

a ball he supposedly hit in Kansas City against the Monarchs. It

smashed a clock 17 feet above the centerfield fence. According to

Torriente’s American Giant teammate shortstop Bob Williams,

“The hand of the clock started going round and round.” It is doubtful

all the stories of balls hit by Torriente are true. But there is no

doubt he was one of the best hitters seen by Negro League fans.”

For more of Cristobal Torriente’s Negro League baseball story, read Last Train to Cooperstown:The 2006 Baseball Hall of Fame Inductees from the Negro League Baseball Era”.  For more information, go to www.klmitchell.com  or http://booklaunch.io/kevinlmitchell/last-train-to-cooperstown.

Pete Hill – The “Black” Ty Cobb

Pete Hill Blog picture

Today is the birth date of Negro League baseball player John Preston “Pete” Hill; born on October 12, around 1882 or 1884 in Virginia (Culpeper County).

The following is an excerpt from my book, Last Train to Cooperstown:  The 2006 Baseball Hall of Fame Inductees from the Negro League Baseball Era, which profiles the Hall of Fame outfielder: 

”The statistical and historical portrait of Pete Hill is one of being a hitting machine throughout his entire baseball career. Hill ended a season hitting over .300 eight times, over .400 twice. He had hitting streaks of 27 games in 1910 and l4 games in 1912. Twenty-nine times he got 4 or more hits in a game. In 1904, Hill had one 6 hit game and three 5 hit games. The next year he had twenty 3 hit games. He also hit with power: six times clubbing two or more home runs in a game.

But Pete Hill could do more than hit.   A superb defensive center fielder with a strong accurate throwing arm, he also had speed running the bases that caused havoc for opponents.”

To learn more about Pete Hill who was one of best hitters in baseball history, read Last Train to Cooperstown:The 2006 Baseball Hall of Fame Inductees from the Negro League Baseball Era”.  For more information, go to www.klmitchell.com  or http://booklaunch.io/kevinlmitchell/last-train-to-cooperstown.

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