Ray Dandridge

Raymond Emmitt Dandridge (August 31, 1913 – February 12, 1994), nicknamed "Hooks" and "Squat", was an American third baseman in baseball's Negro leagues. Dandridge excelled as a third baseman and he hit for a high batting average. By the time that Major League Baseball was racially integrated, Dandridge was considered too old to play. He worked as a major league scout after his playing career ended. In 1999, Dandridge was inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame and, late in his life, Dandridge was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Ray Dandridge
Third baseman
Born: August 31, 1913
Richmond, Virginia
Died: February 12, 1994 (aged 80)
Palm Bay, Florida
Batted: Right Threw: Right
Negro leagues debut
1933, for the Detroit Stars
Last appearance
1955, for the Bismarck Barons
Career highlights and awards

Negro leagues

  • Lifetime batting average: .355
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 MethodVeterans Committee

Early life

Dandridge was born in Richmond, Virginia, to Archie and Alberta Thompson Dandridge.[1] He played several sports as a child, including baseball, football and boxing. After sustaining a leg injury in football, Dandridge's father made him quit that sport. He focused on baseball, often playing with a bat improvised from a tree branch and a golf ball wrapped in string and tape.[2]

Dandridge lived for a while in Buffalo, New York, before he and his family returned to Richmond.[3] He played baseball locally for teams in Richmond's Church Hill district. Dandridge became known for his short, bowed legs, which later led to nicknames including "Hooks" and "Squat".[1] While playing for a local team in 1933, Dandridge was discovered by Detroit Stars manager Candy Jim Taylor.


He played for the Stars in 1933 and for the Newark Dodgers, which were later called the Newark Eagles, from 1934 to 1938. While with the Eagles, Dandridge was part of the "Million Dollar Infield" that also consisted of Dick Seay, Mule Suttles, and Willie Wells.[4]:p.55

In 1939, badly underpaid by the Eagles, Dandridge moved to the Mexican League, where he played for nine of the next ten seasons, rejoining the Eagles for one last season in 1944. Bill Veeck of the Cleveland Indians called Dandridge in 1947 and asked him to come play in the Cleveland organization. Though that might have given him the chance to be the first black major league player, Dandridge turned it down because he did not want to move his family from Mexico. He also realized that he had been treated well by club owner Jorge Pasquel, who was paying him $10,000 per season plus living expenses.[2]

Pasquel died the next year in a plane crash, prompting Dandridge to return to the United States as a player-manager for the New York Cubans.[2] Although more than capable of playing in the majors, he never got the call to the big leagues, instead spending the last years of his career as the premier player in Triple-A baseball, batting .362 and leading all American Association third basemen in fielding percentage in 1949. He batted .360 in his last minor league season in 1955.

Dandridge was one of the greatest fielders in the history of baseball, and one of the sport's greatest hitters for average. Monte Irvin, who played both in the Negro leagues and the major leagues and saw every great fielding third baseman of two generations, said that Dandridge was the greatest of them all, adding that Dandridge almost never committed more than two errors in a season. Dandridge was also a tutor to the young Willie Mays. Because of the "gentlemen's agreement" not to allow African Americans in Major League Baseball, Dandridge was dismissed as being too old by the time of integration.

Later life

Ray Dandridge plaque
Plaque of Ray Dandridge at the Baseball Hall of Fame

After retiring from playing in 1955, Dandridge worked as a scout for the San Francisco Giants and later ran a recreation center in Newark, New Jersey. He lived his final years in Palm Bay, Florida. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1987. He died at age 80 in Palm Bay.

Dandridge's nephew, Brad Dandridge, played professional baseball[5] from 1993 to 1998, primarily in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization.[6]


  1. ^ a b Whirty, Ryan (February 18, 2014). "Lost legend". Style Weekly. Retrieved December 6, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c Dawidoff, T. Nicholas (July 6, 1987). "Big call from the Hall". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved December 6, 2014.
  3. ^ "Big Call From The Hall". CNN. 1987-07-06.
  4. ^ Grigsby, Daryl Russell (2012). Celebrating Ourselves: African-Americans and the Promise of Baseball. Indianapolis: Dog Ear Publishing. ISBN 978-160844-798-5. Retrieved 8 August 2012.
  5. ^ Fatsis, Stephan (1995). Wild and Outside. Walker and Company. p. 248. ISBN 0-8027-7497-0.
  6. ^ "Brad Dandridge Batting Statistics". Retrieved 2010-02-01.

Further reading

External links

1913 in baseball

The following are the baseball events of the year 1913 throughout the world.

1987 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting

Elections to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum for 1987 followed the system in place since 1978.

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

elected two, Catfish Hunter and Billy Williams.

The Veterans Committee met in closed sessions to consider older major league players as well as managers, umpires, executives, and figures from the Negro Leagues.

It selected Ray Dandridge from the Negro Leagues.

1987 Major League Baseball season

The 1987 Major League Baseball season ended with the American League Champion Minnesota Twins winning the World Series over the National League Champion St. Louis Cardinals, four games to three, as all seven games were won by the home team.

Future Hall of Famer Ken Griffey, Jr. was selected with the #1 overall pick in the draft in June by the Seattle Mariners.

1987 in baseball

The following are the baseball events of the year 1987 throughout the world.

American Association (20th century) Most Valuable Player Award

The American Association Most Valuable Player Award (MVP) was an annual award given to the best player in minor league baseball's American Association. In 1929, Billy Rogell won the first ever American Association MVP Award. In 1997, Magglio Ordóñez won the final American Association MVP Award.

First basemen, with 18 winners, have won the most among infielders and all positions, followed by third baseman and shortstops (7) and second basemen (4). Three catchers also won the award. Sixteen outfielders have won the MVP award. A total of eight pitchers have won the MVP Award. The last pitcher to win was Jack Smith in 1962. In 1969, the American Association established a Most Valuable Pitcher Award.

Eleven players from the Denver Bears/Zephyrs have been selected for the MVP Award, more than any other team in the league, followed by the Indianapolis Indians (9); the Wichita Aeros (7); the Minneapolis Millers (6); the Milwaukee Brewers and Omaha Royals (4); the Louisville Colonels, Oklahoma City 89ers, St. Paul Saints, and Toledo Mud Hens (3); the Columbus Red Birds and Kansas City Blues (2); and the Charleston Senators, Fort Worth Cats, Iowa Cubs, Nashville Sounds, Omaha Dodgers, and Tulsa Oilers (1).

Six players each from the Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds Major League Baseball (MLB) organizations have won the MVP Award, more than any others, followed by the Montreal Expos organization (5), the Boston/Milwaukee Braves, Kansas City Royals, St. Louis Cardinals, and Washington Senators/Texas Rangers organizations (4), the Chicago White Sox, Detroit Tigers, Milwaukee Brewers, New York Giants, and New York Yankees organizations (3), the Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Indians, Pittsburgh Pirates, and St. Louis Browns organizations (2), and the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers organizations (1). Five players came from unaffiliated teams.

Azules de Veracruz

The Azules de Veracruz (Veracruz Blues) were a professional baseball team from Veracruz, Mexico that played in the Mexican League from 1941 to 1951. They won League pennants in 1940, 1941, 1944 and 1951, but were eventually shut down in favor of the other local team, the Águila de Veracruz.


Dandridge is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Bartholomew Dandridge (1737–1785), American lawyer, jurist, and planter.

Bartholomew Dandridge (1691–c.1754), English portrait painter.

Bob Dandridge (1947), American basketball player.

Danske Dandridge (1854–1914), American poet, historian and garden writer.

Dorothy Jean Dandridge (1922–1965), American film and theatre actress, singer and dancer.

Ed Dandridge, Corporate Executive.

John Dandridge (1700–1756), Virginian colonel, planter, and clerk.

Joseph Dandridge (1665–1747), English silk-pattern designer

Martha Dandridge (1731–1802), (later Martha Washington) first First Lady of the United States.

Merle Dandridge, American actress.

Nicola Dandridge, English Lawyer.

Putney Dandridge (1902–1946), American bandleader, jazz pianist and vocalist.

Ray Dandridge (1913–1994), American baseball player.

Ruby Dandridge (1900–1987), American actress

Vivian Dandridge (1921–1991), American singer, actress and dancer.

Dick Seay

Richard William "Dick" Seay (November 30, 1904 – April 6, 1981) was an American Negro league baseball player who played from 1925 to 1947 for the Brooklyn Royal Giants, Newark Stars, Baltimore Black Sox, Newark Browns, Philadelphia Stars, Newark Eagles, Pittsburgh Crawfords, and New York Black Yankees.Seay was born in West New York, New Jersey, and died in Jersey City, New Jersey. He started his baseball career with the independent Pennsylvania Red Caps of New York, where he played shortstop alongside second baseman Chino Smith. Both Seay and Smith went to play professionally in the Negro leagues. Seay also served in the military during World War II from 1943 to 1944.

While a player with the Eagles, Seay was part of the "Million Dollar Infield," consisting of Seay, Ray Dandridge, Mule Suttles, and Willie Wells.

Hooks (nickname)

As a nickname, Hooks may refer to:

Hooks Cotter (1900–1955), American Major League Baseball infielder

Ray Dandridge (1913–1994), American Negro league infielder

Hooks Dauss (1889–1963), American Major League Baseball pitcher

Hooks Foreman (1895–1940), American Negro league catcher

Hooks Iott (1919–1980), American Major League Baseball pitcher

Hooks Warner (1894–1947), American Major League Baseball infielder

Hooks Wiltse (1879–1959), American Major League Baseball pitcher

List of Negro league baseball players

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

Mandak League

The Manitoba-Dakota League was an independent baseball league based in North Dakota and Manitoba that was founded in 1950. It became the home for many African-American and Latino players. The league lasted through the 1957 season. It was known informally as the Mandak League or Man-Dak League.

It was the outlet for former Negro Leaguers to continue playing and entertaining fans, occupying fields with ex-major leaguers, minor league stars and some of the best Manitoba, North Dakota,and Minnesota born players. It featured such greats as Willie Wells, Leon Day, Ray Dandridge and Satchel Paige, who pitched briefly for the Minot Mallards in 1950.

Marianao (Cuban League baseball club)

The Marianao baseball club played in the Cuban Professional League between the 1922–1923 and 1960–1961 seasons. The club represented the populous town of Marianao in Havana and played their games at La Tropicana Stadium, official site of the league.

Mule Suttles

George "Mule" Suttles (March 31, 1901 – July 9, 1966) was an American first baseman and outfielder in Negro league baseball, most prominently with the Birmingham Black Barons, St. Louis Stars and Newark Eagles. Best known for his power hitting, Suttles was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006.

Newark Eagles

The Newark Eagles were a professional Negro league baseball team which played in the Negro National League from 1936 to 1948. They were owned by Abe and Effa Manley.

Oliver Marcell

Oliver Hazzard Marcelle (June 21, 1895 – June 12, 1949), nicknamed "Ghost", was an American third baseman in the Negro Leagues for a number of teams around the league from 1918-1931. He also played shortstop. A Creole born in Thibodaux, Louisiana, he batted and threw right-handed.

While the Negro Leagues had many statistics recorded in the 1920s, Marcelle put up outstanding numbers. In 1922 with the Bacharach Giants, he posted a .379 batting average. Again in 1924, he hit well, putting up a .352 average for Bacharach and the New York Lincoln Giants.

Although "Ghost" was a top-class hitting infielder, his defensive skills took center stage by comparison. He was considered by most to be the greatest fielding third basemen in the league throughout the 1920s and possibly of all time. Baseball Hall of Famer Judy Johnson once admitted that Marcelle was a better defensive player than himself. During that time, he and shortstop Dick Lundy made up one of the best left-side infields ever.

Marcelle was known for a terrible temper, with umpires and opponents commonly drawn into arguments with him, and even teammates sometimes fighting him. Marcelle once hit Oscar Charleston in the head with a bat. He participated in two Negro League World Series, both for the Bacharach Giants. He put up fairly good numbers during one of them (.293, six RBIs in 11 games). In the other, he posted a .235 average with 2 RBIs in 9 games. However, he did much better than that when he got his chance against white competition. He went 23-for-63, good for a .365 average, in 17 exhibition contests against white players. Marcelle was rated ahead of Hall of Famers Judy Johnson and Ray Dandridge in the renowned 1952 Pittsburgh Courier player-voted poll of the Negro Leagues' best players.

In a strange incident in the late 1920s, Marcelle's teammate Frank Warfield reportedly bit Marcelle's nose off after the two got into a fight, when both men were playing in the Cuban Winter League. Bill Yancey, another teammate of Marcelle's, said, "What got [Marcelle] out of baseball, he and [teammate] Frank Warfield had a fight in Cuba [probably in the winter of 1927-28, over a dice game] and Warfield bit his nose off. He was a proud, handsome guy, you know, and then he used to wear a black patch across his nose and he got so he couldn't play baseball anymore." Marcelle had been a staple of the Cuban Winter League throughout the decade. In the 1923-24 season, he batted .393 to lead the league. He ended with an overall .305 average in Cuba.

After some time with the Detroit Stars, Marcelle didn't play very much longer. His final career average was supposedly around .315 with 11 home runs. Marcelle died in poverty in 1949 in Denver, Colorado and was buried in an unmarked grave in Riverside Cemetery.At age 57, Marcelle got the most votes as best third baseman in the 1952 Pittsburgh Courier player-voted poll of the Negro leagues best players ever.42 years after his death, Oliver Marcelle’s last chapter was finally closed. At 10:30 a.m. on June 1, 1991, members of Riverside’s ownership, the Fairmount Cemetery Co., gathered with members of the Erickson Monument Co., the Black American West Museum, and the Denver Zephyrs, the Triple-A inheritors of, in part, Marcelle’s Denver baseball legacy, to honor The Ghost one final time. In the culmination of a long effort led by baseball historian and Denver-area resident Jay Sanford, there, weeks shy of what would have been the legend’s 94th birthday, they unveiled a simple grave marker.

Palm Bay, Florida

Palm Bay is a city in Brevard County, Florida. The city's population was 103,190 at the 2010 United States Census, making it the most populous city in the county. It developed at Turkey Creek at its mouth at Indian River, which flows into the Atlantic Ocean.

Palm Bay is a principal city of the Palm Bay−Melbourne−Titusville Metropolitan Statistical Area, which had a population of 543,376 at the 2010 census.

Sports Hall of Fame of New Jersey

The Sports Hall of Fame of New Jersey was established in 1988 to honor athletes, teams, events and contributors associated with the state of New Jersey. There is currently no physical site or structure for the hall, but its members are honored with plaques that are displayed at Meadowlands Arena — in the Meadowlands Sports Complex — in East Rutherford.The first group of members was inducted in May 1993. Inductees are honored in a public ceremony that takes place during New York Giants football games.

Third baseman

A third baseman, abbreviated 3B, is the player in baseball whose responsibility is to defend the area nearest to third base — the third of four bases a baserunner must touch in succession to score a run. In the scoring system used to record defensive plays, the third baseman is assigned the number '5'.

The third baseman requires good reflexes in reacting to batted balls, as he is often the closest infielder (roughly 90–120 feet) to the batter. The third base position requires a strong and accurate arm, as the third baseman often makes long throws to first base. The third baseman sometimes must throw quickly to second base in time to start a double play. The third baseman must also field fly balls in fair and foul territory.

Third base is known as the "hot corner", because the third baseman is relatively close to the batter and most right-handed hitters tend to hit the ball hard in this direction. A third baseman must possess good hand-eye coordination and quick reactions in order to catch hard line drives sometimes in excess of 125 miles per hour (201 km/h). Third basemen often must begin in a position even closer to the batter if a bunt is expected, creating a hazard if the ball is instead hit sharply. As with middle infielders, right-handed throwing players are standard at the position because they do not need to turn their body before throwing across the infield to first base. Mike Squires, who played fourteen games at third base in 1982 and 1983, is a very rare example of a third baseman who threw lefty. Some third basemen have been converted from middle infielders or outfielders because the position does not require them to run as fast.

Expectations of how well a third baseman should be able to hit have varied a great deal over time; in the early years of the sport, these expectations were similar to those for shortstops, the third baseman being merely the less skilled defensive player. Players who could hit with more ability often were not suited for third base, either because they were left-handed or because they were not mobile enough for the position. However, the beginning of the live-ball era in the 1920s created a greater demand for more offense, and third basemen have since been expected to hit either for a high average (.290 or better) or with moderate to substantial power. Since the 1950s the position has become more of a power position with sluggers such as Eddie Mathews, Mike Schmidt and Ron Santo becoming stars.

There are fewer third basemen in the Baseball Hall of Fame than there are Hall of Famers of any other position. Furthermore, with the notable exception of John McGraw and Bobby Cox, few third basemen have gone on to have successful managing careers, with Jimmy Dykes and Negro Leaguer Dave Malarcher being perhaps the next most prominent managers who began their careers at third base.

Willie Wells

Willie James Wells (August 10, 1906 – January 22, 1989), nicknamed "The Devil," was an American baseball player. He was a shortstop who played from 1924-48 for various teams in the Negro leagues and in Latin America.

Wells was a fast baserunner who hit for both power and average. He was at his finest with his glove, committing almost no errors and having the speed to run down anything that came in his direction. He is widely considered the best black shortstop of his day. He also taught Jackie Robinson how to turn a double play.Wells was also notable as being the first player to use a batting helmet, after being hit and getting a concussion while playing with the Newark Eagles. (His first helmet was a construction helmet.)

He is a member of the baseball halls of fame in the United States, Cuba and Mexico.

Veterans Committee
J. G. Taylor Spink Award
Ford C. Frick Award
First basemen
Second basemen
Third basemen
Designated hitters
Executives /

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