Monday, November 28, 2005
February 28 Hall of Fame Announcement Cooperstown
May 5 Pennsylvania Conference on Black History Harrisburg
May 5 Negro League Tribute Night Harrisburg
July 7 9th Jerry Malloy Negro League Research Conference Kansas City
July 28 HOF Induction Cooperstown
August 1 Negro League Tribute Night Lancaster
August 19 Judy Johnson Night Wilmington
Thursday, November 24, 2005
"The screening committee did a great job of handling the first step of narrowing the list of candidates to those who should be seriously considered for election to the Hall of Fame," said Hall of Fame President Dale Petroskey.
The five-member screening committee, including Adrian Burgos, Dick Clark, Larry Hogan, Larry Lester and Jim Overmyer, was appointed by the Board of Directors in July, because of their deep knowledge of the subject matter. The committee developed the two ballots, utilizing the statistics and narrative from a landmark study commissioned by the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2000, funded by Major League Baseball, and completed in 2005. The ballots:
Negro Leagues Ballot
Hughes, Sammy T.
Taylor, Candy Jim
Oms , Alejandro
Pre-Negro Leagues Ballot
Johnson, Home Run
Redding, Cannonball Dick
The screening committee was chaired by Fay Vincent, Major League Baseball's eighth commissioner and an Honorary Director of the Hall of Fame. Vincent, the non-voting chairman, led discussions with committee members.
During two days of deliberations at Dodgertown in Vero Beach, the committee selected 39 candidates for review by the voting committee: 30 on a ballot of former Negro leagues players, managers and executives, and nine on a second ballot of pre-Negro leagues pioneer players and builders. Any candidate to receive votes on 75% of ballots cast will earn election. Every candidate will be voted upon individually.
"I'm very satisfied with the work done by the screening committee," said Vincent. "The committee members had some difficult choices to make, but because they are extremely knowledgeable, had strong research at their disposal and spent a great deal of time reviewing all candidates thoroughly, they did a tremendous job. The final ballots represent players, managers, executives and builders who are top-tier candidates and worthy of review for consideration for election to the Hall of Fame."
Written recommendations from fans, historians and Hall of Fame members were accepted and reviewed by the screening committee. The list was pared down and as a result, the screening committee began with a roster of 94 candidates.
A separate 12-member voting committee, appointed by the Board of Directors and inclusive of the screening committee, will meet February 25-27 to review the final ballots of candidates. After two days of discussion, committee members will cast paper ballots and vote "yes" or "no" for each candidate. Any candidate with "yes" votes on at least 75% of ballots cast will earn election to the Hall of Fame. The 12 voting committee members and their areas of expertise in African-American baseball history include:
Todd Bolton, Latin America
Greg Bond, 19th Century
Adrian Burgos, Latin America
Dick Clark, Negro leagues
Ray Doswell, overall knowledge
Leslie Heaphy, Women's History, Negro leagues
Larry Hogan, overall knowledge
Neil Lanctot, Negro leagues eastern teams
Larry Lester, Negro leagues
Sammy Miller, Eastern and Western teams
Jim Overmyer, Eastern teams and 19th century
Robert Peterson, overall knowledge
Any electees to emerge from the two ballots will be inducted along with any candidates to emerge from 2006 BBWAA voting. The BBWAA ballot will be announced next week and results of the voting will be announced January 10.
Major League Baseball provided the Hall of Fame with a $250,000 grant in July 2000 in order to initiate a comprehensive study on the history of African Americans in Baseball, from 1860-1960. The funds were to allow the Museum to expand the scope and depth of its knowledge and historical collection on this aspect of baseball and American culture.
In February 2001, the Board selected "The Negro Leagues Researchers/Authors Group" research team, led by Dr. Hogan of Union County College (NJ), Dick Clark, and Larry Lester, to conduct the comprehensive study. The three historians led a diverse group of more than 50 other authors, researcher and historians in this first-of-its-kind academic study.
The research resulted in a raw narrative and bibliography of nearly 800 pages and a statistical database, which includes 3,000 day-by-day records, league leaders and all-time leaders. The research was culled from box scores from 128 newspapers of sanctioned league games played from 1920-54.
With the research now complete, the study includes sanctioned league game box scores from almost 100% of games played in the 1920s, in excess of 90% of the box scores from games played in the 1930s and box scores from 50-70% of games played in the 1940s and 50s, during which time the various leagues began to disband and newspapers ceased to report game information. The end result is the most comprehensive compilation of statistics on the Negro leagues that have ever been accumulated.
National Geographic, in conjunction with the Hall of Fame, will published a book called Shades of Glory, in February, using material from the research study. This definitive, detailed, richly illustrated book will not only cover the game as it developed on the field, but it will also provide a review of how baseball played an important role within the black community, particularly during the days of segregation.
The announcement of the ballots is the first public step toward honoring the great African-American players who were denied the opportunity to compete in the major leagues. In April of 2006, the Museum will unveil the new Pride and Passion, an expanded exhibit honoring this aspect of baseball history. By that time, fans will know more about many forgotten ballplayers who are now up for Hall of Fame consideration.
"The election guidelines allow for worthy candidates to have a chance at election in February 2006," Petroskey said, "and this step produced two excellent ballots for the voting committee to consider."
© National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Inc. 25 Main Street • Cooperstown, New York • 13326 • 1-888-HALL-OF-FAME
Monday, November 21, 2005
I want, however, to draw your attention to the link to the Other Harrisburg Giant Blog. Please use it. Unlike this site which is a mix of fact and fantasy that site contains nothing but facts concerning the accomplishments of the Giants during their existence in the Eastern Colored League from 1924 through '27. Do yourself a favor - use that link. Educate yourself!
Saturday, November 19, 2005
TO: Interested Fans of the Harrisburg Giants
2005-II Harrisburg Giant Attendance Highlights
Dates Attendance Per Game
Overall 135 250,201 1,853
Island Park 38 75,710 1,992
Cottage Hill 38 63,514 1,671
West End 40 66.954 1,674
Rossmere 19 44,023 2,317
11/13/05 Rossmere (’38 Grays) 3,487
07/04/05 Island Park (’27 Yanks) 3,325
11/16/05 West End (’30 Stars) 2,743
07/16/05 Island Park (’10 Lelands) 2,718
10/09/05 Rossmere (’29 Black Sox) 2,711
11/12/05 Cottage Hill (’38 Grays) 2,302
Revenues per Attendee $1.60
Park Rental (Hbg/Stltn) (58,000)
Park Rental (Lancaster) (14,250)
Highest Salaried Players
Oscar Charleston $20,000
Satchel Paige $20,000
John Beckwith $15,000
Ben Taylor $12,000
Rev Cannady $10,000
PITCHER W-L E.R.A. IP
Charles Geechie Corbett 20-4 3.32 228
Kenneth Ping Gardner 13-11 3.40 223
Daltie Cooper 14-9 2.67 202
Willie Gisentaner 9-14 5.82 201
Cliff Carter 5-14 5.61 152
Mervyn Red Ryan 7-11 4.27 145
Sam Cooper 3-5 4.90 79
Lucas 1-4 5.83 66
Wilbur Pritchett 5-3 5.16 59
Leroy Satchel Paige 2-0 0.47 19
Russ Royster 0-0 4.91 11
Willie Fordham 0-0 8.38 10
Tom Hailey 0-0 8.31 9
Ben Taylor 0-0 6.75 3
79-75 4.27 1407
Games Lucas, 32
WHIP Corbett, 9.5
Ks Gardner, 82
Saves S. Cooper, 3
CG Corbett, 17
Shutouts Corbett, D. Cooper, 5
Streak L 9 Carter
Streak W 9 Corbett
Single Game Leaders
Longest 13 Gisentaner 7/28, ND, 4-6 ;loss ’04 Red Sox
Most Ks 12 Paige 7/6 v ’27 Yanks, 1-0 win
Perfect Game Corbett, 9/7 v ’06 White Sox (Hitless Wonders), 7-0 win
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Mule Suttles first inning homer opened the scoring and Cool Papa Bell’s 5th inning solo shot ended the Stars scoring. In between J.H. Russell knocked in two with a sacrifice fly and a single.
The Giants scored single runs in the 2nd on a Charleston force-out and 6th on Wise Johnson’s fly ball. Manager Charleston used four pinch hitter’s (O for four) in the last three stanzas’s to try to pry lose a run or two. Charleston himself stranded 6 base runners over the course of the game. Trent yielded 10 hits but clamped down in the clutch.
The temporary lights installed for the series will be returned to the Monarchs in Kansas City. The Giants finish the 2005-II season with a 79-75 record and look forward to improvement next year. The 2006-II season is scheduled to open on January 2, 2006 at the West End Grounds. It is rumored that Babe Ruth and the ’27 Yanks will again provide the opening opposition.
StL .110 110 000 - 4 7 0 W-Trent
Hbg 001 001 000- 2 10 1 L- Corbett 20-4
HR - Suttles, Bell
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
The fabled Bronx Bombers were pounded for the second consecutive day in Harrisburg. After being beaten 9-2 yesterday by the Saint Louis Stars; they fell 12-3 this evening to the home standing and defending Harrisburg Giants. Lefty Gomez started and took the loss while Ping Gardner went the route for his 13th victory of the 2005-II campaign.
After Joe DiMaggio’s first inning homer put the Yanks in front, Rev Cannady put the Giants in front for good with a two run single followed by a Beckwith sacrifice fly. Beckwith’s two run homer in the third capped a second three run rally which the Giants repeated yet another time in the 4th led by five consecutive hits chasing the lefthander. Wise Johnson homered later for the Giants while Tommy Henrich added a too little, too late solo shot in the 9th.
The victory sets up a one game showdown tomorrow between the Giants and the challengers – the St. Louis Stars. Ted Trent will toil for the Stars and 20 game winner Geechie Corbett will hurl for the Giants. Game time is 7 p.m. under the temporary lights at West End Ground.
NY 100 100 001 3 11 2 L-Gomez
Hbg 303 310 20x 12 14 0 W – Gardner 14-11
HR – DiMaggio, Beckwith, Johnson, Henrich
Monday, November 14, 2005
The game was a pitching duel between the Star’s Slap Hensley, who yielded just 7 hits (5 over the last three innings) and two solo ninth inning homers to Joe DiMaggio and Lou Gehrig, and the Yanks Red Ruffing who also weakened late and to a larger degree. The Stars scored in the first when Willie Wells doubled and scored on Mule Suttles single. The score held at one until the top of the 8th when Cool Papa Bell tripled in one run and Willie Wells followed with a homer. In the 9th, Dewey Creacy (with a two run homer), Hensley, Bell, and Suttles all knocked in runs. Wells, Suttles, and Creacy had two hits apiece as did Gehrig and Selkirk of the Yanks.
The Stars earned a day off and a chance to win the Hoverter-Reed Cup on Wednesday when they face the Giants. Lefty Gomez will face the Giants and Ping Gardner tomorrow at the Grounds.
St L 100 000 035 9 11 1 W- Hensley
NY 000 000 002 2 7 2 L – Ruffing
HR – Wells, Creacy, DiMaggio, Gehrig
Sunday, November 13, 2005
Named after Harrisburg's two greatest baseball Mayors, this trophy will go to the team that captures this annual round robin. If no team wins two games the Cup remains in the Giants trophy case. The participants are chosen from the teams that performed best in the
2005-II season versus the Giants. On Monday, November 14th, the St. Louis Stars of 1930 will take on the 1937 New York Yankees with the winner challenging for the Cup on Wednesday evening versus the Giants. The loser will play the Giants on Tuesday.
Here is how the teams qualified based on performance (W-L and scoring margin) during the season:
Major League Negro League
1937 New York Yankees 4-1 +31 1930 Saint Louis Stars 3-0 + 17
1934 Saint Louis Cards 4-1 +6 1945 Cleveland Buckeyes 3-0 + 13
1930 Philadelphia A's 4-1 +5 Washington Potomacs ECL 3-0 + 8
1930 Saint Louis Stars
In 1930, the Stars won both halfs of the NNL season. The Saint Louis Stars won the first half and the Detroit Stars won the second half. The St. Louis version compiled the best overall record (69-24 .742) and beat the Detroit version in a 7 game post season playoff. The Stars were led by MVP Willie Wells, slugger Mule Suttles, versatile Ted Radcliffe, and pitchers Slap Hensley, Ted Trent and Leroy Matlock.
To earn the Cup invite, they swept the Giants three straight in mid-October. After winning two low scoring games (3-0, 2-1) they needed to win by a wide margin the third in order knock the Cleveland Buckeyes out of the Cup spot. The Stars responded with with an 18-5 romp. Double Duty Radcliffe caught the first game of the doubleheader and pitched the second.
Willie Wells .403, 15 HRs, 17 steals in perhaps a Triple Crown season
Cool Papa Bell .362 with 15 steals
Mule Suttles .422, 12 HRs in a limited role having played in both NNL & NAL
Double Duty Radcliffe .293 as a hitter and 9-3 as a hurler
Wells, Bell, Suttles, Hensley, Russell were all All Stars
Mgr Johnny Reese
1937 New York Yankees
This team won 102 games in '37 and 409 games during their four year run as World Champs. They finished 13 games ahead of the 2nd place Tigers. This was the original Bronx Bombers team managed by Joe McCarthy. They won a subway series with the rivals from across the Harlem River, the New York giants, in five games. They earned their way here by outscoring the Harrisburg Giants by 31 runs in winning 4 of 5.
Gehrig .351 37 159
Dickey 332 29 133
Joe 346 46 167
Crosetti with 127 runs scored was 4th on team!
Gomez 21-11 2.33
Ruffing 20-7 2.99
Murphy 13-4, 10 saves
The Giants, of course, are a composite of players from their tenure in the Eastern Colored League plus several players from before and after. The Giants compiled a 129-96 .573 record during their four year stay in the major Negro Leagues. The Giants feature eight players named to the 1952 Pittsburgh Courier All-Time Negro League All Star team.
11/14 St. Louis (Hensley 18-7) v New York (Ruffing 20-7)
11/15 Harrisburg (Gardner 13-11) v St L (Trent 11-2) or NY (Gomez 21-11)
11/16 Harrisburg (Corbett 20-3) v StL (Trent 11-2) or NY (Gomez 21-11)
2-0 wins cup, 1-1 leaves it with Giants
Next game: 1/2/06 to begin the 2006-I season.
Thursday, November 03, 2005
After sweeping the Homestead Grays to get to 18-14, the Harrisburg GIANTS took on the World Champion 1965 Los Angeles Dodgers managed by Hall of Famer Walter Alston and featuring immortals Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale, former Negro Leaguers Jim Gilliam and Lou Johnson, and stolen base king Maury Wills. The result was a 3 game to two series win for the Dodgers.
Dodgers 6 GIANTS 4 WP-Don Drysdale LP- Ping Gardner 3-4
Dodgers 7 GIANTS 3 WP-Sandy Koufax LP- Willie Gisentaner 3-3
GIANTS 3 Dodgers 0 WP-Wilbur Pritchett 1-1 LP- Claude Osteen
Dodgers 6 GIANTS 4 WP-Johnny Podres LP- Cliff Carter 3-1
GIANTS 9 Dodgers 7 WP-Wilbur Pritchett 2-1 LP- Howie Reed
Wilbur Pritchett steped up big time in game three when starter Geechie Corbett got tossed out of the game and hurled 7 1/3 inning of one-hit shutout relief. Ironically, since the opponent was The Vulture’s (i.e. Phil Regan) future team itself, Pritchett picked up a second relief win in the finale.
The weekend series found the 20-17 GIANTS taking on the 1946 Negro League World Champion Newark Eagles featuring immortals Monte Irvin, Leon Day and Larry Doby.
Eagles 5 GIANTS 1 WP – Leon Day LP – Lucas 0-2
GIANTS 3 Eagles 2 WP – Daltie Cooper 3-3 LP – Max Manning
Eagles 5 GIANTS 1 WP – Rufus Lewis LP – Corbett 5-1
2005-II-Week 6 41-48 08/08-14/05
The Gas House Gang moved past the '27 Yanks as the leader for the Hoverter-Reed invite
Cardinals 13 GIANTS 7
Cardinals 9 GIANTS 8
Cardinals 6 GIANTS 3
GIANTS 7 Cardinals 2
Cardinals 1 GIANTS 0
Likewise, the Washington Potomacs moved into the Negro League Hoverter-Reed spot
GIANTS 2 Potomacs 0
Potomacs 5 GIANTS 4
Potomacs 9 GIANTS 0
2005-II-Week 7 49-56 08/15-21/05
Oscar Charleston v Barry Bonds
GIANTS 6-4 Giants
Giants 4-2 GIANTS
GIANTS 12-2 Giants
Giants 7-0 GIANTS
GIANTS 9-3 Giants
GIANTS 7-2 Monarchs
Monarchs 7-2 GIANTS
Monarchs 4-2 GIANTS
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
The Cup will be awarded to the winner of a year ending three game series to be played at West End Grounds in 2005-II. Hosting the series every year will be the Harrisburg Giants. The venue will rotate annually among the Giants four home parks. Invited to compete for the Hoverter-Reed Cup will be both the Negro League team and the Major League team that performs best against the Giants during the regular season. Opponents will be ranked by W-L with cumulative margin being the tiebreaker.
To date, in 2005-II, the 1930 St. Louis Stars and the 1937 New York Yankees hold the leads in the respective races to make it to the finale. The series will be a round robin with the two opponents playing each other in the opener and each playing the Giants in single games the following two days. An opponent needs to sweep to capture the trophy; the Giants merely need to split to retain it. More details forthcoming.
When Spottswood Poles playing days were over, he started a string of taxis in his hometown of Winchester, VA, and later would move back to Harrisburg and work at the Olmstead Air Force Base in Middletown. Unlike many of the hard luck stories of former ballplayers, he never wanted financially the rest of his life. He and his wife never had any children of their own and it seems that their nephew’s summer visits filled that space in their lives.
A story that Reid tells about his uncle shows what a competitor Spottswood Poles really was. He was coaching Reid’s team in a game where the winning team took 60 percent of the gate. It was late in the game and the score was tied and they really needed a hit. His uncle called time and put himself in to pinch hit. Reid was filled with angst since his uncle was well into his sixties and Reid wondered if they were about to be embarrassed. His worry was unfounded since his uncle drilled a screaming line drive through the hole between first and second for a clean hit. His uncle was puffing with gusto as he took himself out for a pinch-runner. To quote Reid, “We won that daggone game. I’ll never forget that.”
When I contacted former Harrisburg Patriot News Editor Saul Kohler in April of 1998 and asked him about Spottswood Poles who he had interviewed for an article that was printed in the paper in 1953, his first response was to say that Spottswood Poles was one of the finest gentleman he had ever met and that it would be an honor to have his name mentioned in the same article as Spottswood Poles. The mayor of Winchester, VA, between 1978-82, Elizabeth Glaize Helm told me she knew Spottswood and Bertha Poles when she was a young girl and has nothing but the fondest memories of them and had to respond to my open letter to the Winchester Star newspaper seeking to make contact with anyone who had known Spottswood Poles.