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.
Born on September 16, 1896 in Hillsboro, Texas; Crush Christopher Columbus Holloway did not hit a baseball with the type of power in his Negro League career that fit his name. Holloway’s father legally named him “Crush” after attending a county fair and seeing two old train locomotives crash together head-on that September 16 day his son was born. Crush Holloway was not a home run power slugger; Crush did not “crush” the ball. However, the name was appropriate for his style of running bases.
He was known for his speed; not his power. An aggressive base stealer and an excellent bunter who consistently batted .300 during his career, Holloway caused havoc to opposing infielders and catchers as a lead-off batter. He ran the bases with reckless abandon, sliding hard with his file sharpened spikes aimed at infielders. If a catcher was blocking home plate, “Crush” would not hesitate running him over to score a run. In the book, “Voice from the Great Baseball Leagues” by John Holway, Holloway said, “My hero was Ty Cobb. That’s why I ran the bases like I did”.
The right handed hitting outfielder, 5’11’ and 180 pounds, started his Negro League career playing with the Indianapolis ABCs in 1921. His ABC teammates included Hall of Famers Oscar Charleston, Biz Mackey, and Ben Taylor. Beginning in 1924, he spent the remainder of his nineteen year career (1921-1939) with eastern teams including eight seasons with the Baltimore Black Sox where his teammates included Hall of Famers Pete Hill and Jud Wilson.
Read about Crush Holloway’s teammates Ben Taylor, Biz Mackey, Ben Taylor, Pete Hill, and Jud Wilson in my book “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.