Bullet Rogan

Charles Wilber "Bullet" Rogan, also known as "Bullet Joe" (July 28, 1893 – March 4, 1967), was an American pitcher and outfielder for the Kansas City Monarchs in the Negro baseball leagues from 1920 to 1938. Renowned as a two-way player who could both hit and pitch successfully, one statistical compilation shows Rogan winning more games than any other pitcher in Negro leagues history and ranking fourth highest in career batting average.[1] He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1998.

Rogan's early baseball career took place in the U.S. Army, where he played for a famous team in the all-black 25th Infantry. After joining the Kansas City Monarchs, he was the top pitcher and one of the best hitters on a team that won three pennants from 1923 to 1925 and the Negro League World Series in 1924. He became a playing manager in 1926 and led his team to another league title in 1929.

"Charleston was everything—but Rogan was more", said William "Big C" Johnson, one of Rogan's Army teammates. "Rogan could do everything, everywhere."[2] "He was the onliest pitcher I ever saw, I ever heard of in my life, was pitching and hitting in the cleanup place", said Satchel Paige.[3] According to Rogan's longtime catcher Frank Duncan, "If you had to choose between Rogan and Paige, you'd pick Rogan, because he could hit. The pitching, you'd as soon have Satchel as Rogan, understand? But Rogan's hitting was so terrific. Get my point?"[4] Casey Stengel called Rogan "one of the best—if not the best—pitcher that ever lived."[5]

Bullet Rogan
Bullet Joe Rogan
Pitcher and Outfielder
Born: July 28, 1893
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Died: March 4, 1967 (aged 73)
Kansas City, Missouri
Batted: Right Threw: Right
Negro leagues debut
1917, All Nations
Last appearance
1938, Kansas City Monarchs
Career statistics
Win–loss record116–50
Earned run average2.59
Batting average.338
Teams
As Player

As Manager

Career highlights and awards
Member of the National
Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Baseball Hall of Fame Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg
Induction1998
Election MethodVeterans' Committee

Early life

Wilber Rogan was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. After the death of his mother and his father's remarriage, he moved with his family to Kansas City, Kansas. He began his baseball career there in 1911 as a catcher with Fred Palace's Colts, a semipro team composed mostly of teenagers. Also joining the Colts that season was Dick Whitworth, who would, like Rogan, go on to pitch for many years in the Negro leagues.[6]

Friction with his stepmother and unhappiness with the segregated high school he attended led Rogan to drop out of school before graduation and enlist in the Army on October 19, 1911. He lied about his age to do so.[7] This would cause later confusion about Rogan's age, as some records (along with his Hall of Fame plaque) give his birth year as 1889, others as 1893; recent histories, such as Phil Dixon's, conclude that the latter date is correct.[8]

U.S. Army and the 25th Infantry Wreckers

Rogan served in the Philippines with the 24th Infantry, an all-black regiment, for three years. He was honorably discharged in 1914. Before returning to the United States, Rogan reenlisted, this time with the 25th Infantry, another African American unit, at that time stationed at Schofield Barracks in Hawaii. He was specifically recruited to play for the regiment's famous baseball team, known as the "Wreckers."[9] He made his debut with the Wreckers on July 4, 1915.[10]

1917 Bullet Rogan
Rogan in 25th Wreckers Uniform in 1917

His Army teammates included a number of later Negro league stars, such as Dobie Moore, Heavy Johnson, Bob Fagan, Lemuel Hawkins, and William "Big C" Johnson. Over the next three seasons, the Wreckers won the Post League championship, the United States Army Series, and the Oahu League.[11] In February 1917 Rogan twice defeated the Portland Beavers of the Pacific Coast League, who were visiting the islands for spring training.[12] On furlough for several months in 1917, Rogan played professionally for the Los Angeles White Sox, the Kansas City, Kansas, Giants, and J. L. Wilkinson's All Nations Club, but returned to the army for three more years.[13]

In August 1918 Rogan and the rest of the 25th Infantry were moved to Camp Stephen D. Little in Nogales, Arizona. Researchers John Holway and James Riley report that in 1919, Casey Stengel played against Rogan in Arizona, and subsequently recommended him to Wilkinson for his new Negro National League team, the Kansas City Monarchs.[14] However, Rogan had already played in the California Winter League and for Wilkinson's All-Nations team in 1917, and had already been noted by African American newspapers as early as 1916.[15]

Professional career

In July 1920, Rogan and Dobie Moore joined the Monarchs. Rogan quickly became the premier pitcher and biggest box-office draw in the young league. By his third season with the Monarchs, 1922, he hit .390, and his 13 home runs were good for second in the league.[16] On August 6, 1923, Rogan combined with teammate and manager José Méndez to pitch a no-hitter against the Milwaukee Bears, Méndez pitching the first five innings and Rogan the last four. That season he hit .364 with a league-leading 16 wins and 151 strikeouts to lead the Monarchs to their first pennant.[17]

In 1924 Rogan hit .395 while compiling an 18–6 record and leading the Monarchs to their second league title.[16] He starred in the first Black World Series, leading the Monarchs with 13 hits and winning two games as Kansas City defeated the Eastern Colored League champion Hilldales.[18] That winter he led the 1924/25 Cuban League with nine victories for the champion Almendares club.[19]

Rogan may have reached his peak in 1925, leading Kansas City to its third straight league championship with a 17–2 record and a .381 batting average.[16] In the playoffs against the St. Louis Stars he hit .450 and won three more games, including one shutout.[20] However, before the World Series rematch with Hilldale, Rogan suffered a knee injury while playing with his young son. Forced to undergo surgery, he missed the series. Without their star, the Monarchs were defeated in six games.[21]

The following season, Rogan took over from José Méndez as manager of the Kansas City Monarchs. In that season's NNL playoffs against the Chicago American Giants, he pitched and lost both games of a series-deciding doubleheader to the younger Bill Foster.[22] As late as 1928 at the age of 34, Bullet Rogan was the best hitter (.358) and arguably the best pitcher (10–2) on the Monarchs.[16] That year he slammed three home runs in a game against the Detroit Stars.[23]

Rogan continued at the Monarchs' helm in 1929 when they won their fourth NNL championship and recorded the best record (62–17) in the history of the league.[24] On April 29, 1930, in Enid, Oklahoma, Rogan played for the Monarchs in baseball's first night game.[25] In August he was hospitalized with an undisclosed illness. He remained out of the lineup for more than a year, finally returning on September 28, 1931.[26]

When Wilkinson did not organize a Kansas City Monarchs team for 1932, Rogan joined a white independent team in Jamestown, North Dakota, where he played until August. He batted .315 and went 20–3 as a pitcher before returning to the reorganized Monarchs in September.[27] In the winter of 1933 and 1934, Rogan returned to Hawaii and the Philippines as a member of the Philadelphia Royal Giants, a black all-star team. The Royal Giants toured Japan and China as well.[28] In 1936, at the age of 43, Rogan appeared in the East-West All-Star Game.[29]

Rogan as player and manager

Relatively small (5 foot 7, 180 pounds (82 kg)), Rogan was solidly built and strong, with thin legs and a narrow waist but broad shoulders.[30] He threw and batted right-handed, and used an unusually heavy bat. "You saw Ernie Banks hit in his prime, then you saw Rogan", said Buck O'Neil. "He could hit that ball...He was the type of guy that stood a long way from the plate. Not too close, because they'd jam you."[31] According to his longtime teammate Frank Duncan, "Rogan was one of the best low-ball hitters I ever saw, and one of the best curve-ball hitters. Rogan taught Bob and Irish Meusel how to hit curve balls."[4] While not extremely fast, he ran the bases well and stole when necessary.

As a pitcher, Rogan used a no-windup delivery and both overhand and sidearm motions, and relied on an array of curveballs, a spitball, a palmball, a forkball, and the fastball that gave him his nickname.[32] According to the sportswriter A.S. "Doc" Young, "Joe Rogan possessed as much natural ability as Smokey Joe or Satch, but his control was not up to theirs."[5] Frank Duncan, who caught both Paige and Rogan, said,

Satchel was easier to catch. He could throw it in a quart cup. But Rogan was all over the plate—high, low, inside, outside. He'd walk five-six men, but he didn't give up many runs. Bullet had a little more steam on the ball than Paige—and he had a better-breaking curve. The batters thought it was a fastball heading for them and they would jump back from the plate and all of a sudden, it would break sharply for a strike. I would rank him with today's best. I have never seen a pitcher like him, and I have caught some of the best pitchers in the business.[33]

Another Monarchs teammate, George Carr, said,

Rogan was the greatest pitcher that ever threw a ball. He had not only an arm to pitch with but a head to think with. Rogan was a smart pitcher with a wonderful memory. Once Rogan pitched to a batter, he never forgot that batter's weaknesses and strong points. And don't think Rogan was nicknamed "Bullet" for nothing. That guy had a ball that was almost too fast to catch. He would really burn 'em in there.[5]

As a manager, he was a strict disciplinarian, possibly a result of his military background. Carroll "Dink" Mothell maintained that "Rogan wanted to run the ball club like they did it in the army. He liked to give orders too much, even before he was managing. He used to bawl players out for different things. I could take it, but we had ball players, when he'd get on them, they'd go into a shell, resented it, and didn't give him their best." Another Monarchs pitcher, Chet Brewer, said that "Rogan wasn't the best manager because he was such a great ball player himself. He couldn't teach pitchers much, because he'd say, 'All you have to do is go out and throw the man what I threw'."[34] According to historian Phil Dixon, "In Rogan's first few years as manager he was reluctant to pinch-hit for many of the veterans on his roster because they were his friends." He didn't trust younger players, often inserting himself to pitch or pinch-hit for them.[35] He sometimes treated rookies harshly.[36] Eventually Rogan "discarded his distant approach" and became increasingly known for teaching and developing less experienced players.[37]

Personal life

On October 22, 1922, Wilber Rogan married Kathrine McWilliams, a Colorado farm girl. Their son Wilber Rogan, Jr., was born right after the 1924 World Series.[38] Between the 1923 and 1924 seasons, it was reported that Rogan spent the winter writing life insurance.[39] After his retirement as a player, Rogan became an umpire in the Negro American League until 1946, then worked in the post office.[40] He died in Kansas City, Missouri on March 4, 1967 at age 73. The Baseball Hall of Fame first admitted Negro league players in the 1970s, but did not honor Bullet Rogan until 1998, 31 years after his death.

Career statistics

Negro leagues

California Winter League

Batting

Year Team G AB H 2B 3B HR BA SLG
1920/21 Los Angeles White Sox 30 106 39 3 4 5 * .368 * .613
1925/26 Philadelphia Royal Giants 30 89 30 8 0 2 .326 .494
1926/27 Philadelphia Royal Giants 23 57 17 2 0 0 .298 .333
1928/29 Cleveland Giants 28 106 43 5 1 4 .406 .585
1929/30 Philadelphia Royal Giants 19 76 28 8 0 4 .362 .632
Total 130 434 157 25 5 15 .362 .546
    * = league leader.

Pitching

Year Team W L Pct G CG IP BB SO ShO
1920/21 Los Angeles White Sox 8 8 .500 16 16 144 74 * 110 * 1 *
1925/26 Philadelphia Royal Giants 14 * 2 .875 18 * 16 * 153 * 52 * 82 * 1
1926/7 Philadelphia Royal Giants 6 2 .750 11 * 6 68 21 * 38 2 *
1928/29 Cleveland Giants 9 1 .900 12 8 92 21 68 1
1929/30 Philadelphia Royal Giants 5 1 .800 7 6 59 21 53 * 0
Total 42 14 .750 64 52 516 189 351 5
    * = league leader.

Rogan spent five seasons in the integrated California Winter League between 1920 and 1930 against teams of white major and minor leaguers. Rogan's team won the championship every year.[41]

Cuban (Winter) League

Year Team League W L Pct G CG
1924/25 Almendares p Cuban 9* 4 .692 18 5
   p = pennant; * – led league.

Source:[19]

Against all competition

Historian Phil Dixon puts Rogan's lifetime totals against all competition, including semipro and Army teams, at more than 350 games won, 2000 strikeouts, 2500 hits, 350 home runs, and 500 stolen bases.[42]

Notes

  1. ^ Holway 2001, pp. 472, 476.
  2. ^ Holway 1992, p. 171.
  3. ^ Bruce 1985, p. 55.
  4. ^ a b Holway 1992, p. 169.
  5. ^ a b c Lester 2006, p. 90.
  6. ^ Dixon 2002, p. 10.
  7. ^ Dixon 2002, pp. 8, 16.
  8. ^ Dixon 2002.
  9. ^ Dixon 2002, pp. 16–17.
  10. ^ Honolulu Pacific Commercial Advertiser, July 6, 1915
  11. ^ Dixon 2002, p. 19.
  12. ^ Dixon 2002, p. 21.
  13. ^ Dixon 2002, p. 24.
  14. ^ Holway 2001, p. 128; Riley 2002, p. 678.
  15. ^ Chicago Defender, November 25, 1916: "Rogan Strikes Out Eighteen and Twenty-Fifth Wins From All-Star"
  16. ^ a b c d Hogan 2006, pp. 396–97, 406–7.
  17. ^ Dixon 2002, pp. 44–45; Rock 2004, p. 11.
  18. ^ Lester 2006, pp. 42–43, 184–85.
  19. ^ a b Figueredo 2003, pp. 158–59.
  20. ^ Dixon 2002, p. 59.
  21. ^ Dixon 2002, p. 60.
  22. ^ Dixon 2002, p. 63.
  23. ^ Dixon 2002, p. 73.
  24. ^ Clark and Lester 1994, p. 160.
  25. ^ Dixon 2002, p. 155.
  26. ^ Holway 1992, pp. 182–83; Dixon 2002, pp. 156–57.
  27. ^ Dixon 2002, pp. 160–61, 163–64.
  28. ^ Dixon 2002, pp. 185–86.
  29. ^ Lester 2001, p. 92.
  30. ^ Riley 2002, p. 677; Dixon 2002, p. 7.
  31. ^ Quoted in Lester 2006, p. 90.
  32. ^ Holway 1992, pp. 169, 172–73.
  33. ^ Lester 2006, p. 91.
  34. ^ Holway 1992, p. 179.
  35. ^ Dixon 2002, pp. 69–70.
  36. ^ Holway 1992, p. 180.
  37. ^ Dixon 2002, p. 71.
  38. ^ Dixon 2002, pp. 44, 104.
  39. ^ "Rogan and Players Report to Join Champion Monarchs" Chicago Defender, National Edition, Chicago, IL, March 15, 1924, Page 10
  40. ^ Holway 1992, p. 184.
  41. ^ McNeil 2002, pp. 260, 269.
  42. ^ Dixon 2002, p. 212.

References

  • Bruce, Janet (1985). The Kansas City Monarchs: Champions of Black Baseball. Kansas City: University Press of Kansas. ISBN 0-7006-0273-9.
  • Clark, Dick & Larry Lester (1994). The Negro Leagues Book. Cleveland: Society for American Baseball Research. ISBN 0-910137-55-2.
  • Dixon, Phil S. (2002). The Monarchs 1920–1938. Sioux Falls: Mariah Press. ISBN 1-893250-08-3.
  • Figueredo, Jorge S. (2003). Cuban Baseball: A Statistical History, 1878–1961. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland. ISBN 0-7864-1250-X.
  • Hogan, Lawrence D. (2006). Shades of Glory: The Negro Leagues and the Story of African-American Baseball. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic. ISBN 0-7922-5306-X.
  • Holway, John (1992). Blackball Stars: Negro League Pioneers. New York: Carroll & Graf. ISBN 0-88184-764-X.
  • Holway, John (2001). The Complete Book of Baseball's Negro Leagues. Fern Park: Hastings House. ISBN 0-8038-2007-0.
  • Lester, Larry (2001). Black Baseball's National Showcase: The East-West All-Star Game, 1933–1953. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. ISBN 0-8032-8000-9.
  • Lester, Larry (2006). Baseball's First Colored World Series: The 1924 Meeting of the Hilldale Giants and Kansas City Monarchs. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland. ISBN 0-7864-2617-9.
  • McNeil, William F. (2002). The California Winter League. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland. ISBN 0-7864-1301-8.
  • Riley, James A. (2002). The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues. New York: Carroll & Graf. ISBN 0-7867-0959-6.
  • Rock, Patrick (2004). 1923 Negro National League Yearbook. Ohiopyle: Replay Publishing. No ISBN.

External links

1923 in sports

1923 in sports describes the year's events in world sport.

1924 Colored World Series

The 1924 Colored World Series was a best-of-nine match-up between the Negro National League champion Kansas City Monarchs and the Eastern Colored League champion Hilldale. In a ten-game series, the Monarchs narrowly defeated Hilldale 5 games to 4, with one tie game. It was the first World Series between the respective champions of the NNL and ECL. It was the second year of existence for the ECL, but no agreement could be reached in 1923 for a post-season series, owing primarily to unresolved disputes between the leagues. Five members of the Baseball Hall of Fame participated in the series: Biz Mackey, Judy Johnson, and Louis Santop played for Hilldale, while Bullet Rogan and José Méndez played for the Monarchs. In addition, Monarchs owner J. L. Wilkinson was also inducted into the Hall.

1925 Colored World Series

The 1925 Colored World Series was the second edition of the championship series in Negro league baseball. The series featured a rematch between the Hilldale Club of Darby, Pennsylvania, champion of the Eastern Colored League (ECL), and the Kansas City Monarchs, champion of the Negro National League (NNL) and winner of the previous year's match in the first Colored World Series. In 1925, Hilldale won the best-of-nine series, five games to one.On the eve of the series, the Monarchs' star pitcher, Bullet Rogan, who had pitched a shutout in the deciding Game 7 of the NNL championship series, was injured while playing with his child at home, when a needle ran into his leg, leaving him unable to play in the World Series. Kansas City's manager and occasional pitcher was future Hall of Famer, 38-year-old José Méndez. Hilldale featured three future Hall of Famers—catcher, Biz Mackey, third baseman, Judy Johnson, and 35-year-old backup catcher and pinch hitter, Louis Santop.Attendance for series was disappointing—down more than 50 percent in comparison with the previous year's series. The financial results were so disappointing that one Kansas City Monarchs player said they would have been paid better barnstorming than playing in the series.For both teams, the 1925 season would represent the end to a three-year run as league champions. (Both teams had won their league championships in 1923, when no world series was played.) Kansas City would eventually return to win additional championships, appearing in the 1942 and 1946 series and winning in 1942. For Hilldale, however, the 1925 championship would be its last, as the team folded in 1932.

1942 Negro World Series

The 1942 Negro World Series was a best-of-seven match-up between the Negro American League champion Kansas City Monarchs and the Negro National League champion Washington-Homestead Grays. In a six-game series, the Monarchs swept the Grays four games to none, with two additional games not counted in the standings. The Monarchs actually won the 1942 series 5-1, but a second game played in Yankee Stadium on September 13 (a seven-inning victory by the Monarchs) was not counted by prior agreement, and the only game played in Kansas City was thrown out on appeal when the Grays used unauthorized players from other NNL teams.

It was the first World Series between eastern and western Negro Leagues champions since 1927, resuming after a 14-year lapse since the collapse of the Eastern Colored League had ended the previous post-season meetings. The series featured seven members of the Baseball Hall of Fame, three from the Monarchs (Satchel Paige, Hilton Smith, and Willard Brown) and four from the Grays (Josh Gibson, Jud Wilson, Ray Brown, and Buck Leonard). One additional Hall of Famer, Leon Day, played in one of the games that was not counted, Monarchs legend Bullet Rogan umpired in that same game.

The Monarchs and Grays had met during the regular season in two exhibition games, in which the Grays had twice defeated Monarch ace Satchel Paige in extra innings. Some of the pre-Series publicity had concentrated on whether Paige would be seeking revenge for his losses or whether the Grays truly held a "jinx" over him and would continue to dominate him. Paige pitched in all four official games and earned one victory and one save.

This was the Grays' first appearance ever in the Negro World Series, though this was their third consecutive NNL pennant, and fifth in six seasons. They would appear in the next three CWS, winning in 1943 and '44. It was the third appearance by the Monarchs (going back to 1924) in the CWS, their second championship, and their fifth NAL pennant in six seasons. They would appear one more time, losing to the Newark Eagles in 1946.

1998 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting

Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 1998 followed the system in use since 1995.

The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) voted by mail to select from recent major league players and

elected Don Sutton.

The Veterans Committee met in closed sessions and selected four people from multiple classified ballots:

George Davis, Larry Doby, Lee MacPhail, and Bullet Rogan.

Bullet (nickname)

Bullet is the nickname of:

Bullet Rogan (1893–1967), baseball pitcher and outfielder in the American Negro leagues

Bullet Joe Bush (1892–1974), baseball pitcher credited with inventing the forkball pitch

Bullet Baker (1900–1961), professional football player

Darren Ford (baseball) (born 1985), nicknamed The Bullet, baseball player

Bob Hayes (1942–2002), known as Bullet Bob, American sprinter and National Football League wide receiver

Bullet Prakash (born 1976), Indian actor

Dan "Bullet" Riley, an alias of Dan Policowski, an early professional football player who caught the first recorded forward pass in 1906

Bullet Joe Simpson (1893–1973), Canadian profession ice hockey defenceman

Percy Langdon Wendell (1889-1932), American college football player and coach and college basketball coach

Chet Brewer

Chester Arthur "Chet" Brewer (January 14, 1907 – March 26, 1990) was an American right-handed pitcher in baseball's Negro Leagues. Born in Leavenworth, Kansas, he played for the Kansas City Monarchs, and from 1957 to 1974 he scouted for the Pittsburgh Pirates.Brewer toiled on the mounds of black baseball for twenty-four years with an assortment of teams throughout the world, including China, Japan, the Philippines, Hawaii, Canada, Mexico, Panama, Puerto Rico, Haiti, Santo Domingo, and in forty-four of the forty-eight continental United States.

While with the Kansas City Monarchs, Brewer was a part of legendary starting rotations including Satchel Paige and Bullet Rogan. Brewer had a lively fastball and a devastating overhand "drop ball," which was especially tough on left-handed hitters. He also threw a scuffed baseball, known as an "emery ball" (learned from Emory Osborne and Ted "Double Duty" Radcliffe.) when such practice was legal.Brewer's career covered a wide experiential range, including playing against major leaguers in exhibition games. In 1934 he pitched against an all-star team that included Jimmie Foxx and Heinie Manush, and later was manager of the Kansas City Royals, who played in the California Winter League against Bob Feller and other major leaguers. In 1945, he managed the Kansas City Royals of the California Winter League, coaching among other players a young Jackie Robinson, already destined for the Brooklyn Dodgers' organization.In 1952 Brewer was as player-manager for the Porterville Comets of the Southwest International League,

becoming one of the first black managers in Minor League Baseball history, as he joined Sam Bankhead, who a year earlier played and managed for the Farnham Pirates of the Provincial League. At 45, Brewer posted a 6-5 record in 24 pitching appearances (seven starts), posting a 3.38 ERA for the fourth-best in the league.Brewer died at age 83 in Whittier, California.

Dink Mothell

Carroll Ray "Dink" Mothell, often known as "Dink" Mothell (August 16, 1897 – April 24, 1980) was a catcher and utility player who played for 15 years in the Negro leagues. Known for his versatility, Mothell played every position. It was said you could use him "most any place, any time." During Mothell's time with the Kansas City Monarchs and the All Nations, he often caught for Hall of Fame-nominated and Hall of Fame Negro league pitchers such as José Méndez, John Donaldson, Bullet Rogan, and Andy Cooper. The teams traveled all over the United States, and Mothell was even a part of a Monarchs tour of "The Orient," where they played in places like Manila in 1934.While researchers are still working to find information about baseball games from this era, the last known baseball game played by Dink Mothell appears to be a 10-inning, 8-8 tie game against the Grover Cleveland Alexander – House of David baseball team on September 20, 1923, in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Dobie Moore

Walter "Dobie" Moore (February 8, 1896 - August 20, 1947) was an American shortstop and right-handed batter in the Negro Leagues who played his entire career with the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro National League. His career ended after only seven seasons when he shattered his already injured leg while escaping a woman who had shot him.

J. L. Wilkinson

James Leslie Wilkinson (May 14, 1878 - August 21, 1964) was an American sports executive who founded the All Nations baseball club in 1912, and the Negro league baseball team Kansas City Monarchs in 1920.

Kansas City Monarchs

The Kansas City Monarchs were the longest-running franchise in the history of baseball's Negro Leagues. Operating in Kansas City, Missouri and owned by J. L. Wilkinson, they were charter members of the Negro National League from 1920 to 1930. J. L. Wilkinson was the first Caucasian owner at the time of the establishment of the team. In 1930, the Monarchs became the first professional baseball team to use a portable lighting system which was transported from game to game in trucks to play games at night, five years before any major league team did. The Monarchs won ten league championships before integration, and triumphed in the first Negro League World Series in 1924. The Monarchs had only one season in which they did not have a winning record. After sending more players to the major leagues than any other Negro League franchise, the team was finally disbanded in 1965.

Legacy Awards (NLBM)

The Legacy Awards are presented annually by the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (NLBM) to the best players, managers, and executives in each league of Major League Baseball, for on- and off-the-field achievement. The awards—for performance and achievement—are named for legendary players of Negro Leagues Baseball. The awards were first presented for the 2000 Major League Baseball season.The first Legacy Awards—in 2000—were presented in November at the "Legacy 2000 Players’ Reunion and Awards Banquet", which was organized to honor the tenth anniversary of the opening of the museum and the eightieth anniversary of the establishment of the Negro National League. For the next nine years (2001–2009), each year's awards were presented at a banquet in January or February of the following year. In 2010, there was no banquet. Instead, the awards were presented at separate events at the museum and in various major-league ballparks through the spring of 2011. The twelfth annual awards (for 2011) were presented at an awards banquet on January 28, 2012.In January, 2013 Negro Leagues Baseball Museum President Bob Kendrick announced that the 2013 awards banquet would be the final one held. All further awards will be presented to the 2010 awards, at various MLB ballparks or if the award winner happens to be in Kansas City with his team to play against the Royals. The logistics of off-season travel were the primary reason cited by Kendrick for the permanent change. Indeed, of all those honored for their 2012 season only the Padres Everth Cabrera, traveling from his off-season home in Nicaragua, was able to make it to Kansas City for the January 12th banquet and presentation. Previously, the proceeds from the Legacy Awards annual banquet were used for the benefit of the museum.

Lemuel Hawkins

Lemuel Hawkins (October 2, 1895 – August 10, 1934) was an American first baseman in Negro league baseball. He played for the Kansas City Monarchs, Chicago Giants and Chicago American Giants from 1921 to 1928. He was 5'10" and weighed 185 pounds.

List of Negro league baseball players

This list comprises players who have appeared in Negro league baseball.

Negro league baseball

The Negro leagues were United States professional baseball leagues comprising teams predominantly made up of African Americans and, to a lesser extent, Latin Americans. The term may be used broadly to include professional black teams outside the leagues and it may be used narrowly for the seven relatively successful leagues beginning in 1920 that are sometimes termed "Negro Major Leagues".

In 1885 the Cuban Giants formed the first black professional baseball team. The first league, the National Colored Base Ball League, was organized strictly as a minor league but failed in 1887 after only two weeks owing to low attendance. The Negro American League of 1951 is considered the last major league season and the last professional club, the Indianapolis Clowns, operated as a humorous sideshow rather than competitively from the mid-1960s to the 1980s.

Newt Joseph

Walter Lee "Newt" Joseph (October 27, 1896 – January 18, 1953) was an American third baseman and manager in Negro league baseball. Born in Birmingham, Alabama, Joseph played most of his career for J. L. Wilkinson and the Kansas City Monarchs franchise.

When the Monarchs' train stopped on the way to Dallas for Spring training in 1923, it was said 200 fans in Muskogee were there after midnight to cheer the team. They picked up and carried Joseph from his berth on the train and "presented him with a handsome present." Joseph played among and against many of baseball's greats, including Hall of Famers Satchel Paige, José Méndez, Bullet Rogan, and pre-Negro league stars like John Donaldson, and "Big" Bill Gatewood.

A Utah paper called him one of the best third baseman in history, (part of J. L. Wilkinson's Kansas City Monarchs' publicity newspaper copy), and also called him "the noisiest coach in baseball." Joseph died at the age of 56, and is buried at the Highland Cemetery in Kansas City, Missouri.

Oscar Johnson (baseball)

Oscar "Heavy" Johnson (1895–1960) was a baseball player in the Negro Leagues. He played catcher and outfielder. Johnson was one of the Negro League's foremost power hitters in the 1920s, reportedly weighing 250 pounds, and known for hitting home runs. Longtime MLB umpire Jocko Conlan once said that Johnson "could hit a ball out of any park."Johnson was part of the all-black 25th Infantry Wreckers, a teammate of other future Negro Leaguers including Bullet Rogan, Lemuel Hawkins, and Dobie Moore. He briefly played for the St. Louis Giants in 1920 while on Army furlough, hitting .300 in 3 games, but did not join the Negro Leagues until his discharge in 1922. In his rookie season with the Kansas City Monarchs, Johnson batted .406, and posted a .345 average in the Cuban winter league. Johnson won a retroactive triple crown in 1923 with a .406 batting average, 20 home runs and 120 RBI in 98 games. Johnson was also the first member of the Monarchs to hit a home run at the new Kansas City Municipal Stadium. Johnson was credited with more than 60 home runs against all opposition in 1924, and batted .296 in the 1924 Colored World Series, which was won by the Monarchs. Johnson then moved to the Baltimore Black Sox, where he posted averages of .345 and .337 in his 2 seasons with the club. In 1927, with the Harrisburg Giants, Johnson hit .316, teaming with John Beckwith and Oscar Charleston. Johnson split the 1928 season between the Cleveland Tigers and the Memphis Red Sox, posting a .315 average overall.Former pitcher Bill "Plunk" Drake said that Johnson was once sleeping on the bench when he was awoken and told to pinch-hit; he grabbed a fungo bat and hit a home run. Despite Johnson's weight, he was described as a "remarkably fast runner for his bulk." He was also described as temperamental and moody, one of the "nasty boys". Johnson finished his career in 1933 with a .337 lifetime batting average.

Rogan

Rogan is an Irish surname, deriving from the Irish Ó Ruadhagáin.

Vicente Rodríguez (baseball)

Vicente Valera "El Loco" Rodríguez (born September 11, 1891) in Havana, Cuba was a baseball player in the Negro Leagues and pre-Negro Leagues from 1912 to 1923. He was primarily a catcher, working with hurling greats like John Donaldson, José Méndez, Frank Wickware, Rube Currie, Bullet Rogan, and many others inside and outside the Negro Leagues.

Rodriguez also pitched at least two games during the 1918 year, winning one game and losing one.

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