John Henry Lloyd

John Henry "Pop" Lloyd (April 25, 1884 – March 19, 1964),[7] nicknamed "El Cuchara", was an American baseball shortstop and manager in the Negro leagues. He is generally considered the greatest shortstop in Negro league history, and both Babe Ruth and Ted Harlow, a noted sportswriter, reportedly believed Lloyd to be the greatest baseball player ever.[8][9]

He was a heavy hitter, usually batting cleanup during his prime, but also knew how to play "inside baseball," and was an expert place-hitter and bunter. Lloyd was also a renowned shortstop, ranked by most experts as second only to Dick Lundy among black shortstops before integration, and was referred to as the "Black Wagner," a reference to Pittsburgh Pirates Hall-of-Famer Honus Wagner. (On Lloyd, Wagner said "It's an honor to be compared to him.")[10]

Known for his gentlemanly conduct, Lloyd was probably the most sought-after African-American player of his generation. "Wherever the money was, that's where I was," he once said. His career record bears this out, showing him constantly moving from team to team.

John Henry "Pop" Lloyd
John Henry Lloyd
Born: April 25, 1884
Palatka, Florida
Died: March 19, 1964 (aged 79)
Atlantic City, New Jersey
Batted: Left Threw: Right
Negro league baseball debut
1906Cuban X-Giants
Last appearance
1932Bacharach Giants
Career highlights and awards
  • Lifetime batting average: .343 (Negro leagues)
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
Election MethodNegro League Committee

Early life

Lloyd is thought to have been born in Palatka, Florida.[11] He was a descendant of slaves and his father had died when Lloyd was a baby.[12]

Lloyd's maternal grandmother, Maria Jenkins, raised him in Jacksonville. Jenkins had lived in Jacksonville prior to moving to Palatka. The return to Jacksonville may have been prompted by a great fire that had damaged businesses and changed the overall economic situation in Palatka.[12] Before Lloyd had completed elementary school, he had to go to work full-time. Early on, he delivered items for a grocery store, then he became a railroad porter.[13]

Early career

Lloyd began his professional baseball career in 1905, playing catcher for the Acmes of Macon, Georgia. He played second base with the Cuban X Giants of Philadelphia in 1906. He acquired the nickname "El Cuchara", which translates to "The Shovel" or "The Tablespoon", a reference to his ability to field batted balls.[14]

The following season, Sol White signed him for the X Giants' archrivals, the Philadelphia Giants, and moved him to shortstop, where he would remain through the bulk of his career. Sportswriters Harry Daniels and Jimmy Smith both named Lloyd to their 1909 "All American Team" saying he "is a wonder at fielding and hitting, also a fair base runner."[15]

The 1912 Lincoln Giants

In 1910, Lloyd accepted Rube Foster's invitation to join the Chicago Leland Giants, where he anchored a team that Foster described as the greatest of all time. He rejoined White on the newly organized Lincoln Giants in 1911, batting .475 against all competition.

John Henry Lloyd in 1916

Lloyd took over as player-manager for 1912 and 1913, and in the latter year the Lincolns defeated the Chicago American Giants in a playoff series to become the undisputed champions of black baseball.

In 1914, Lloyd travelled west again to play for the American Giants. He split the 1915 season between the New York-based Lincoln Stars and the American Giants, then spent all of 1916 and 1917 with Foster's team. In 1918, Lloyd served as player manager of the Brooklyn Royal Giants, leaving the club early to work for the Army Quartermaster Depot in Chicago. 1919 saw him join the Bacharach Giants of Atlantic City, then 1920 found him back with the Royal Giants.[5]

Later career

In 1921, he was hired to organize a new team in Foster's young Negro National League. Lloyd's Columbus Buckeyes were not a notable success, however, on the field or in the box office, finishing seventh in a field of eight, and folded upon season's end. The following year, Lloyd was back in the east managing the Bacharach Giants, who had moved to New York City.

When the Eastern Colored League was formed in 1923, Ed Bolden hired Lloyd to manage the Hilldale Club. Lloyd brought home the first ECL pennant by a wide margin, guiding Hilldale to a 32–17 league record. He did not get along with Bolden and was suspended in early September and fired at the end of the season.[16] In 1924, Lloyd returned to the Bacharachs, now based again in Atlantic City. With the brilliant young shortstop Dick Lundy on the roster, the 40-year-old Lloyd moved himself to second base. He hit .444 to win the 1924 ECL batting title, at one point reeling off 11 straight base hits. The Bacharachs, however, were merely average under Lloyd during his two years there, finishing fourth both seasons (with records of 30–29 and 26–27).

The Lincoln Giants, who had finished in last place in 1925, hired Lloyd to manage them for 1926. They improved to fifth (19–22), then played 1927 and most of 1928 as an independent club. It was during the latter season that Lloyd moved himself to first base, while enjoying a fine season at the plate, batting .402 against top black clubs. In 1929, the Lincolns compiled the second-best overall record (40–26) in the American Negro League. Lloyd finished up his career managing the Bacharach Giants in 1931–32, and upon his retirement settled permanently in Atlantic City.

Lloyd had played extensively in Cuba, beginning with a 1907 visit to Havana by the Philadelphia Giants. Altogether he spent twelve seasons in the Cuban League from 1908/09 to 1930, batting .329 for his career, and playing on three championship teams (Habana in 1912 and Almendares in 1924/25 and 1925/26). In Cuba he was called La Cuchara, "The Spoon," either due to his practice of scooping up ground balls, or because of his prominent chin.

According to the historian John Holway, Lloyd batted .337 (970 hits in 2881 at bats) in the Negro leagues. According to a recent study sponsored by the National Baseball Hall of Fame that covers the organized (post-1920) Negro leagues, Lloyd batted .343 with a .450 slugging percentage.[17]

Later life

After his professional playing days, Lloyd lived in Atlantic City, New Jersey.[18] He was a player-coach for the semiprofessional Atlantic City Johnson Stars until 1942.[19] The team was named after politico Nucky Johnson and was later known as the Farley Stars after powerful state senator Frank S. Farley. (Farley had driven the creation of Atlantic City's Pop Lloyd Field to gain support from the city's large black population.)[20] Lloyd could not run well by that time and he shifted to playing first base, but a former teammate said that he was still able to hit line drives.[21]

Lloyd was a janitor for the Atlantic City School System, including Atlantic City High School.[22] Though he did not have any children, Lloyd became a popular coach in the local youth baseball league.[23] He died in 1964.[22]


John Henry Lloyd plaque
Plaque of John Henry Lloyd at the Baseball Hall of Fame

Lloyd was posthumously inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1977. Lloyd was nominated, along with several athletes and other public figures, for induction into the New Jersey Hall of Fame in 2014. However, basketball player Patrick Ewing was the only sportsperson inducted.[24][25]


  1. ^ "Philadelphia Giants Subdue Leland Giants" Indianapolis Freeman, Indianapolis, Indiana, Saturday, August 21, 1909, Page 7, Columns 3 and 4
  2. ^ "Diamond Dashes" Indianapolis Freeman, Indianapolis, IN, Saturday, August 27, 1910, Page 4, Columns 5 and 6
  3. ^ "Lincoln Giants Win First Two Games in Championship Series" Indianapolis Freeman, Indianapolis, Indiana, Saturday, August 2, 1913, Page 4, Columns 3 and 4
  4. ^ "All Nations Tackle the American Giants" Chicago Defender, Big Weekend Edition, Chicago, IL, October 7, 1916, Page 7
  5. ^ a b "Giants Too Much for Cubs" Oneonta Daily Star, Oneonta, NY, August 19, 1920, Page 2, Columns 1, 2, and 3
  6. ^ "Empey Has Fine Bill" New York Sun, New York, NY, Page 4, Column 2
  7. ^ There has been some confusion about Pop Lloyd's death date. The 1965 date is the one given by Robert W. Peterson's pioneering work on the Negro leagues, Only the Ball Was White, and has often been repeated (including in Peterson's recently-reissued paperback edition). There is no reference to Lloyd in the necrology of either the 1965 or 1966 editions of The Sporting News Baseball Guide. However, as shown on the Find a Grave website [1], his headstone says 1964, although the article text repeats the 1965 date; and various newspapers, such as the Baltimore Afro-American for March 24, 1964, confirm that 1964 is the correct year of his death.
  8. ^ Riley, p. 489.
  9. ^ Anselmo, p. 8.
  10. ^ DeValeria, Dennis and Jeanne Burke. Honus Wagner: A Biography. Pittsburgh; University of Pittsburgh Press, 1995, p.23
  11. ^ In an interview for the book Only the Ball Was White, Lloyd's widow told Peterson that Lloyd was born in Palatka. According to biographer Wes Singletary, Lloyd's widow later amended his place of birth to Gainesville, Florida. Lloyd himself listed Jacksonville, Florida as his place of birth on official paperwork.
  12. ^ a b Singletary, pp. 8-9.
  13. ^ Hoblin, Paul (2012). Great Hitters of the Negro Leagues. ABDO Publishing Company. p. 7. ISBN 1614803218. Retrieved December 17, 2014.
  14. ^ "Lloyd, Pop". Baseball Hall of Fame. Retrieved December 17, 2014.
  15. ^ "The Base Ball Spirit In The East." Indianapolis Freeman, Indianapolis, Indiana, Saturday, December 25, 1909, Page 7, Columns 1 and 2
  16. ^ Pittsburgh Courier, 10/06/1923
  17. ^ *Hogan, editor, Lawrence D. (2006), Shades of Glory: The Negro Leagues and the Story of African-American Baseball, Washington DC: National Geographic, pp. 381, 392–95, ISBN 0-7922-5306-XCS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  18. ^ "Pop Lloyd, Peace Pilgrim on ballot for New Jersey Hall of Fame". The Press of Atlantic City. Retrieved December 17, 2014.
  19. ^ Mattessich, Carole (August 28, 2008). "Diamond pioneer". Atlantic City Weekly. Archived from the original on December 17, 2014. Retrieved December 17, 2014.
  20. ^ PBS History Detectives, "Pop Lloyd's Baseball Field," original air date: 14 July 2003 (season 1, episode 1) [television program].
  21. ^ DePalma, Anthony (April 26, 1992). "About New Jersey". The New York Times. Retrieved December 17, 2014.
  22. ^ a b Hoffman, Lori. "Pop Lloyd's Northside Empire". Atlantic City Weekly. Archived from the original on December 17, 2014. Retrieved December 17, 2014.
  23. ^ Coyne, Kevin (July 29, 2006). "A revival as tribute, with six bats and a mask". The New York Times. Retrieved December 17, 2014.
  24. ^ "2014 nominees". New Jersey Hall of Fame. Retrieved December 17, 2014.
  25. ^ "New Jersey Hall of Fame Class of 2014 announced". New Jersey Hall of Fame. Retrieved December 17, 2014.


External links

1977 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting

Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 1977 followed the system in place since 1971.

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

elected Ernie Banks.

The Veterans Committee met in closed sessions to consider executives, managers, umpires, and earlier major league players.

It selected three people: Al López, Amos Rusie, and Joe Sewell.

The Negro Leagues Committee also met in person and selected two players, Martín Dihigo and John Henry Lloyd.

The Negro Leagues Committee also determined to disband. It had elected nine players in seven years.

Bacharach Giants

The Bacharach Giants were a Negro league baseball team that played in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Chicago American Giants

The Chicago American Giants were a Chicago-based Negro league baseball team, owned and managed from 1911 to 1926 by player-manager Andrew "Rube" Foster. From 1910 until the mid-1930s, the American Giants were the most dominant team in black baseball. Charter members of Foster's Negro National League, the American Giants won five pennants in that league, along with another pennant in the 1932 Negro Southern League and a second-half championship in Gus Greenlee's Negro National League in 1934. The team ended in 1956.

Club Fé

Club Fé were a Cuban baseball team in the Cuban League. They played from 1904 to 1912. Alberto Azoy managed the team from 1905 to 1910.

Columbus Buckeyes (Negro leagues)

The Columbus Buckeyes were a Negro league baseball team that played for a single season, 1921, in the Negro National League.

Cuban League

The Cuban League was one of the earliest and longest lasting professional baseball leagues outside the United States, operating in Cuba from 1878 to 1961. The schedule usually operated during the winter months, so the league was sometimes known as the "Cuban Winter League." It was always a small league, generally 3 to 5 teams, and was centered in Havana, though it sometimes included teams from outlying cities such as Matanzas or Santa Clara. The league became racially integrated in 1900, and during the first half of the 20th century the Cuban League was a premier venue for black and white players to meet. Many great black Northern American players competed in Cuba alongside native black and white Cuban stars such as José Méndez, Cristóbal Torriente, Adolfo Luque, and Martín Dihigo. After 1947, the Cuban League entered into an agreement with Major League Baseball and was used for player development. Following the 1959 Cuban Revolution, however, tensions rose with the new Communist government, and in March 1961 the government decreed the abolition of professional baseball.

Cuban X-Giants

The Cuban X-Giants were a professional Negro league baseball team that played from 1896 to 1906. Originally most of the players were former Cuban Giants, or ex-Giants. Like the Cuban Giants, the original players were not Cuban (though the team would later sign Cuban players). Edward B. Lamar Jr. served as business manager for the team.

In 1897 the X-Giants beat the Cuban Giants in a series 2 games to 1. With Frank Grant joining in 1898 the club continued to establish themselves as the new powerhouse in the east. Grant and White left in 1900 and Bill Monroe joined at second base; both the Giants and X-Giants claimed to be the champions, a situation that was duplicated a year later. In 1903 the club boasted Rube Foster on the mound and a middle infield of Charlie Grant and Home Run Johnson. They played in the integrated Tri-State Independent League and then took 5 of 7 games from the Philadelphia Giants for the title as top black team in the east. Foster won 4 games in the series and also was 6 for 17 at the plate.

For the 1904 season the Philadelphia Giants signed away Grant and Foster, and later beat the X-Giants in a championship series 2 games to 1, as Foster won two games against his old teammates. (Grant and Foster replaced Frank Grant and Harry Buckner as regulars.) In 1905 the X-Giants took one of two games from the National League's Brooklyn, outscoring them 7–2 in the first game and losing 2–1 in the second. In 1906, the X-Giants signed John Henry Lloyd for his first season in professional baseball, and the team joined the International League of Independent Professional Base Ball Clubs.

In late 1906, the Cuban X-Giants became a founding member of the National Association of Colored Baseball Clubs of the United States and Cuba. The team folded before play started in 1907.


Cuchara or cucharas may refer to:


John Henry Lloyd aka "El Cuchara" (1884-1964) U.S. baseball shortstop and managerPlaces

Cuchara, Colorado, USA; an unincorporated community in Huerfano County

Cuchara Formation, a geologic formation in Colorado, USA

Cucharas Pass, a mountain pass in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in south central Colorado, USA

Cucharas River, a tributary of the Huerfano River in Colorado, USA

Reserva Natural Punta Cucharas, a nature reserve in Barrio Canas, Ponce, Puerto Rico

Cucharas, Ozuluama de Mascareñas, Veracruz, Mexico, see Ozuluama de Mascareñas (municipality)Other uses

Cuchara Valley, a former ski resort (now a county park called Cuchara Mountain Park) in Colorado, USA, see List of Colorado ski resorts

Cuchara (2001 song) from the album "Responsorium" (album)

Cyclone Joe Williams

Joseph Williams (April 6, 1886 – February 25, 1951), nicknamed "Cyclone Joe" or "Smokey Joe", was an American right-handed pitcher in the Negro leagues. He is widely recognized as one of the game's greatest pitchers, even though he never played a game in the major leagues. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1999.

Dick Lundy (baseball)

Richard Benjamin Lundy (July 10, 1898 – January 5, 1962) was an African American shortstop in the Negro Leagues for numerous teams. He was born in Jacksonville, Florida.

In 1921, his batting average was reportedly .484. Lundy became the player-manager of the Bacharach Giants from 1925 through 1928, leading the team to two Eastern Colored League pennants (1926, 1927). In the 1926 Negro League World Series, Lundy had six RBIs, four runs scored, and six stolen bases. The Giants, however, lost the series.

Lundy made one appearance in the East-West All-Star Game, playing shortstop for the East. By this point, he had become part of what was called the "million dollar infield", along with Oliver Marcell, Frank Warfield, and Jud Wilson, playing for the Baltimore Black Sox in 1929. His career was often compared to that of Joe Cronin.

At age 54, Lundy received votes listing him on the 1952 Pittsburgh Courier player-voted poll of the Negro leagues best players ever.Lundy remained in baseball around 33 years, finishing out his baseball career as a manager. He died at age 63 in Jacksonville after a lingering illness. He was among 39 Negro Leagues players, managers, and executives who were considered for the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006, but fell short of the necessary 75% vote. Writer Bill James ranked Lundy as the third-greatest shortstop in Negro league history, behind John Henry Lloyd and Willie Wells.

Eastern Colored League

The Mutual Association of Eastern Colored Clubs, more commonly known as the Eastern Colored League (ECL), was one of the several Negro leagues, which operated during the time organized baseball was segregated.

Lincoln Giants

The Lincoln Giants were a Negro league baseball team based in New York City from 1911 through 1930.

Lincoln Stars (baseball)

The Lincoln Stars (also known as the Lincoln Stars of New York or the New York Lincoln Stars) were a Negro league baseball team that played in New York City from 1914 to 1917. Their home stadium was the Lenox Oval, located at Lenox Avenue and 145th Street in Manhattan. Although they lasted less than four years, they were a good team that featured three players who would later be elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame—Oscar Charleston, John Henry Lloyd, and Louis Santop.

List of Negro league baseball players

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

Lloyd family (Birmingham)

The Lloyd family of Birmingham was a prominent Quaker family who migrated in the seventeenth century to Birmingham, England, from Dolobran Hall near Meifod, Powys (previously in Montgomeryshire), Wales. The family were involved in manufacturing and in the establishment of Lloyds Bank. The principal residence of the senior branch of the Birmingham family was Farm, Bordesley.

At the outbreak of the First World War Gertrude and John Henry Lloyd had four sons of military age:

Alan Scrivener Lloyd who enlisted in the Royal Field Artillery and was killed on 4 August 1916 at Ypres.

Ronald Lloyd joined the Friends' Ambulance Unit in 1914, but following Alan's death enlisted in the Royal Field Artillery.

Eric Lloyd joined the Friends Ambulance Unit in 1914 and enlisted in the Navy in 1916.

Gerald Lloyd was a Conscientious Objector and undertook alternative civilian service with the YMCA.

Max Manning

Maxwell Cornelius Manning (November 18, 1918 in Rome, Georgia, - June 23, 2003 in Pleasantville, New Jersey) was a pitcher in Negro league baseball. He played for the Newark Eagles between 1938 and 1949. In the 1946 Negro World Series, he started two games and went 1-1 to help the Eagles win the championship.

Manning appeared in a 2003 episode of the PBS series History Detectives, which featured an investigation into how a baseball field dedicated to fellow Negro league player John Henry Lloyd (better known as "Pop" Lloyd) came to be in Atlantic City, New Jersey during a period where racial discrimination was in force.

Seosamh Laoide

Seosamh Laoide (English: Joseph H. Lloyd, 1865–1939), known as "Mac Tíre na Páirce" ("Wolf of the Park"), was an Irish language scholar and activist during the period 1893 – 1915. Today he is perhaps best remembered for his work on Irish placenames, particularly on the placenames of Dublin which often became the established Irish versions on the city's streets following the establishment of the Irish state in December 1922.

Laoide was born at 7 Annaville Lower in Ranelagh, Dublin on 24 May 1865. He was the eldest son of an Irish Protestant couple, Joseph Henry Lloyd PhD and Anne Phair. His father was a linguist, member of the Irish Language Preservation Society/Chumann Buanchoimeádta na Gaeilge, and friend of the Irish scholar P.W. Joyce.

Laoide was awarded sizarships to attend Trinity College, Dublin in 1890 where he studied under Professor James Goodman (1828-1896) who awarded him a prize each year until 1894 when he left without completing his degree.

In the autumn of 1893 Laoide is recorded as joint treasurer of Conradh na Gaeilge, which had been founded on 31 July of that year. Around the same time he visited Peadar Ó Laoghaire to encourage him to begin writing. In these years Laoide developed an extensive knowledge of Irish dialects and became active in the then mass movement that was Conradh na Gaeilge most especially in publishing books and articles in Irish. When Scoil Ard-Léinn na hÉireann was established by Kuno Meyer in 1903 Laoide was one of the first students and became a prolific publisher of books in Irish on folklore, dialects, placenames and the like.Sometime after 1915 Laoide left Ireland and became a civil servant in London. While there he suffered mental health issues and was hospitalised for some time. He also married a wealthy Irish woman named Elizabeth Sharp. They returned to Ireland in 1920, where they settled in Stillorgan, Co. Dublin. In 1933 they moved to Dún Laoghaire. Laoide died on 21 September 1939 and, following a small private ceremony, was buried in Deansgrange, Co. Dublin.Under the heading 'Distinguished Gael laid to rest" The Irish Press of Monday 25 September 1939 recorded his death thus:'The funeral of Mr. Joseph Henry Lloyd (Seosamh Laoide), Royal Terrace West, Dún Laoghaire, took place to Deansgrange Cemetery, on Saturday morning, where the Service was conducted by the Rev. A. W. R. Camier, M.A., Christ Church.... Mr. Lloyd, who was a distinguished Irish scholar, was, with the President Dr. Douglas Hyde, one of the founders of the Gaelic League.... The late Mr. Lloyd was a member of the Head Office staff of the Great Southern Railway Company, from which he retired. The chief mourners were: Mr. W J. Lloyd, Belfield, Raheny (brother); Mra. Lloyd (sister-in-law). - Also present: Mr. and Mrs . John Montgomery, "An Seabhac " (Pádraig Ó Siochfhradha), and Séamus Ó Casaide, B.L." Laoide deposited papers with the Royal Irish Academy in 1933, and the executor of his estate, his brother W.J. Lloyd, donated them to the RIA in 1950.According to the records of Deansgrange cemetery, at the time of his death Seosamh lived at No. 1 Royal Terrace in Dún Laoghaire. He was buried with his wife, who was recorded as Elizabeth Lloyd, who had died on 14 February 1936. A third person, Sheila Bradley, who died on 26 July 1944 is buried in the same grave. Only the name of this last person is on Seosamh Laoide's grave in 2016. Tom Casement, brother of Roger Casement, who died in March 1939 is buried in the grave immediately next to his.

Sol White

King Solomon "Sol" White (June 12, 1868 – August 26, 1955) was an American professional baseball infielder, manager and executive, and one of the pioneers of the Negro leagues. An active sportswriter for many years, he wrote the first definitive history of black baseball in 1907. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006.

BBWAA vote
Veterans Committee
Negro League Committee
J. G. Taylor Spink Award
First basemen
Second basemen
Third basemen
Designated hitters
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