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Meet the Negro League players honored by Grave Marker Project

Gravestone of Negro League baseball player John William

Gravestone of Negro League baseball player John William Crutchfield. Credit: Jeremy Krock

Since 2004, the Negro Leagues Grave Marker Project has installed 38 headstones to graves of African Americans associated with pro baseball before and during the Negro Leagues. Three of the players are members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.

John “Jimmie” Crutchfield (1910-93): Teamed with `Cool’’ Papa Bell and Ted Page on the Pittsburgh Crawfords in what was considered best outfield in the Negro Leagues. Made a barehanded catch in the 1935 All-Star game.

John Wesley Donaldson (1891-1970): Lefthanded pitcher won over 400 games, struck out more than 5,000 and threw 14 no-hitters in a largely barnstorming career. Later became MLB’s first full- time African American scout.

“Candy Jim” Taylor (1884-1948): Infielder who played on the 1928 St. Louis Stars, winners of the Negro National League championship. Batted .389 in 1927.

Robert ``Fuzzy’’ Garrett (1902-1997): Shortstop who played with Kansas City Monarchs and later in pro basketball with the Harlem Globetrotters. Also umpired.

Theodore ``High Pockets” Trent (1903-1944): Pitcher for the St. Louis Stars. Also called ``Stringbean’’ and ``Big Florida’’ because of his height.

Daniel Gardner Burley (1907-1962): Sports reporter and editor who covered the Negro Leagues and Jackie Robinson’s entry into Major League Baseball in 1947. Became managing editor of Jet Magazine and associate editor for Ebony Magazine.

Guy C. Ousley (1911-1964): Played from 1931-32 with the Chicago American Giants, Memphis Red Sox, Cleveland Cubs and Louisville Black Caps.

William James “Jack” Marshall (1908-1990): Light-hitting but good fielder. Played every position but pitcher in a 19-year career.

Roosevelt “Rosey” Davis (1904-1968): RHP went 65-41 from 1924-44.

Paul James Hardy (1910-1979): Catcher for seven tears from 1932-45. Ended career in 1939 with Kansas City Monarchs.

Othello Strong (1923-1991): Pitcher who hit four home runs and batted .317 in 1951 for the Winnipeg Buffaloes, a team reportedly comprised largely of former Negro League players.

Jonathan Boyce “Steel Arm” Taylor (1879-1956): A RHP who in 1903 started 30 to 40 games for the Birmingham Giants. Brothers Ben, C.I. and Johnny joined him on the Giants in 1908.

Franklin L. Mann (1894-1965): Sketchy information for Mann, who is known to have played first base for the 1918 Chicago Union Giants.

Lester Lockett (1912-2005): Outfielder from 1938-50, mainly for Birmingham Black Barons and Baltimore Elite Giants. Three-time All-Star.

Gable Patterson (1919-1991): Outfielder who served in World War II. Started career with New York Black Yankees in 1941.

Robert Gaston (1910-2000): Backup catcher to future Hall of Famer Josh Gibson.

Sam Bankhead (1910-1976): Played for 20 years, starting in 1930. Named first-team utility player on the All-time Negro Leagues All-Star team.

William “Bobby” Robinson (1903-1902: Played from 1925-42. Called ``The Human Vacuum cleaner’’ based on his fielding ability. William Miller “Big Bill” Gatewood (1881-1962): Pitcher and outfielder for 15 teams in a 24-year career. Said to have developed future Hall of Famer Satchel Paige.

James “Sap” Ivory (1939-2008): Played toward the end of the Negro leagues. Was in spring training for the San Francisco Giants in 1957 but failed to make the team.

FRANK GRANT (1865-1937): Hall of Famer. In 1887, at 22, the middle infielder he hit 11 home runs and stole 40 bases for the Buffalo Bisons of the International League.

Carroll Ray “Dink” Mothell (1897-1980): Played from 1920-34. Starting center fielder for Kansas City Monarchs on their 1924 pennant-winning team.

SOLOMON “SOL” WHITE (1868-1955): Hall of Famer was infielder, manager, executive and author of baseball books. First played in Long Islands Babylon Village. Died in Central Islip, buried in Staten Island.

George Walter Ball (1877-1946): Played 10 years as the only black on all-white minor league teams in Minnesota and North Dakota. Pitched into his 40s as the Negro Leagues were formed in 1920.

Bruce “Buddy” Petway (1885-1941): Started playing in the early 1900s. Known as the greatest defensive catcher in black baseball history, once throwing out six would-be base stealers. Threw out Ty Cobb in an exhibition game against the Tigers.

PETE HILL (1882-1951): Hall of Famer. Lifetime batting average of .326. Considered the best hitter of the ``dead ball’’ era.

Olivia Taylor (1885-1935): First female owner of a black baseball team, taking over the Indianapolis ABC’s in 1922 when her husband, C.I. Taylor, died.

Ted Page (1903-1984): Part of a group of Negro Leagues players who faced Dizzy Dean, Paul Dean, Larry French and retired Hack Wilson in an exhibition series.

Ted Strong (1914-1978): Hit .308 for four teams, including the Monarchs. Also played basketball with the Globetrotters.

William ``Billy’’ Francis (1879-1942): The 5-5 third baseman spent time with eight teams and also played in Cuba. He managed in the Negro National League.

Grant ``Home Run’’ Johnson (1872-1963): Believed to have hit 60 homers for the Page Fence Giants in 1895. Reportedly played until he was 58. Career home run total is not known.

Constance Enola Morgan (1935-1996) At 5-4, became the third female to play Negro Leagues Baseball when signed in 1954 by Indianapolis Clowns. Was said to be a good fielder in her one season with the team.

Fred Goree (1892-1925) Owner and manager of the Chicago Independent Giants.

William Binga: (1869-1950): Third baseman, catcher and manager before the Negro Leagues began. Associated with 15 teams during his career.

Clarence E. ``Waxey’’ Williams (1866-1934): The catcher started his career in 1885 with the Cuban Giants, the first all-black professional team.

John Thomas ``Topeka Jack’’ Johnson (1883-1940: Infielder and manager who started his career in 1903 with the Chicago Union Giants. Also was a professional boxer and trainer.

Weldy Wilberforce Walker (1860-1937): In 1884, the outfielder became the second black to play to play in the American Association, then an affiliate of Major League Baseball, behind his brother, Moses Fleetwood.

Gus Brooks (1867-1895): Played for the St. Louis West Ends, Chicago Union and Page Fence Giants.

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