Jake Dunn (Courtesy of Gary Ashwill)

Jake Dunn

This article was written by Jeb Stewart

Jake Dunn (Courtesy of Gary Ashwill)Jake Dunn was a versatile middle infielder and outfielder who played in the Negro leagues for parts of 11 seasons, from 1930 to 1943. He was a right-handed-hitting contact hitter who stood 5-feet-11 and weighed a solid 190 pounds.1 He also served as a player-manager late in his career.

Joseph Phillip Dunn Jr. was born on November 5, 1909, in Luther, Oklahoma. A 1910 Census record covering the city listed “mulatto” as the race for both of his parents, Joseph Phillip Sr. and Annie, both of whom were born in Tennessee.2 His father worked as a farmer and his mother was a farm laborer. Dunn had six older siblings including four sisters (Ethel, Lydia, Zelia Aster, and Vern Christina) and two brothers (Clyde and Kermitt).

By 1930, the family had relocated to Los Angeles, where his father found work as a night watchman in a cotton oil mill3 before later returning to farming.4 While details regarding the family’s decision to leave Oklahoma have been lost to history, they did so several years before the Dust Bowl forced thousands of others to abandon the Great Plains in search of new opportunities in the West.

Little is known about Dunn’s upbringing, education, or how he got interested in baseball. An April 1930 Census record from Los Angeles County noted that he had attended school within the previous year and was working as a laborer at an oil mill.5

Dunn probably got his start in professional baseball as a left fielder and shortstop with the Philadelphia (sometimes identified as hailing from Nashville) Royal Giants in 1930 in the California Winter League as a player named Dunn was mentioned in box scores.6 Whether the player was Jake Dunn is uncertain, but it would have made sense. First, the Giants often played home games at White Sox Park in the Boyle Heights section of Los Angeles, which was not far from his home.7 Second, there is a record of a Jake Dunn who played the following winter for Nashville, hitting .322 with five home runs.8

By early May of 1930, the 20-year-old had impressed the Detroit Stars enough to join the team in the Negro National League (NNL). In his first appearance in a box score, Dunn immediately had an impact as he had a home run and a double as the Stars’ starting shortstop.9 The next month he had four hits in five trips to the plate, including a double and a triple, against the St. Louis Stars.10 According to the same report, “[h]is play in the field was sparkling.”11

In August Dunn led the Stars to four straight wins over the visiting Birmingham Black Barons at Hamtramck Stadium. In one of the games, which the Stars won 14-3, Dunn pounded out three hits, including a triple.12 In another contest in the series, “Dunn got three hits in four trips, a double, triple, and home run, and helped to drive most of Detroit’s tallies across the plate” in a 10-1 win.13 Although newspapers did not report most of Detroit’s games, Dunn’s strong hitting was evident in the box scores that did appear.14

Dunn batted .283 for Detroit and tied Crush Holloway for the team lead in games played with 71.15 He finished second on the team in RBIs (39) and stolen bases (8) and hit three home runs as the Stars finished 52-37 and won the NNL second-half title.

In the playoffs, Detroit fell to St. Louis in an exciting series, four games to three. Based on the available box scores and game accounts, Dunn batted .308 for the series. In three of the games his performance was notable. In Game One, he had a double in two at-bats in a 5-4 loss.16 The next day he contributed a hit and helped turn a triple play to end the game in a wild 11-7 win.17 In Game Five, “[a]lthough Willie] Wells and Mule] Suttles hit home runs, Dunn, the Detroit shortstop, was the batting star of the afternoon with three safeties in four trips to the plate.”18

The St. Louis Stars repeated as champions of the NNL in 1931, while Detroit slipped into the second division with a disappointing losing record.19 Dunn returned to play right field for the Philadelphia Royal Giants in the California Winter League,20 but there is no record of his playing in the NNL in 1931. He may have spent the year barnstorming with the Los Angeles Colored Giants. One report noted that “Dunn was a shortstop for the Nashville Giants, but because of his heavy hitting and lightning speed the L.A. Giants made him over to a center-fielder.”21

Dunn also returned to the California Winter League in 1931-32 as a left fielder with the Royal Giants.22 He then signed with the Washington Pilots of the East-West League as a shortstop for the 1932 campaign.23 With the Pilots, Dunn was regularly described as being flashy with his glove at shortstop.24 He batted .302 for Washington and tied for second in the league with four home runs. Despite his efforts, the Pilots foundered and finished in sixth place with a disappointing 17-30 record.

The following year, Dunn played for two teams in the new Negro National League II (NNL2), the Baltimore Black Sox and the Nashville Elite Giants.25 He appeared in 25 games for Baltimore, where he led the club with a .392 batting average and a 154 OPS+,26 but played in only six games with Nashville.27 His combined .367 batting average was good for fifth in the NNL2 and was the highest for his career.

In May a report stated that the Black Sox had signed Dunn to play shortstop.28 However, in the same month, his name also appeared in game stories as being a member of the Elite Giants.29 With Nashville, he showed off his versatility, playing second and third base as well as center field.30 It is unclear how the Elite Giants obtained Dunn, but, by mid-June, he rejoined Baltimore after he had “deserted the club earlier in the season.”31 It appears Dunn stayed with the Black Sox for the rest of 1933.32 However, Baltimore’s owner, Joe Cambria, apparently wanted Dunn to integrate another team he owned, the Albany Senators of the International League. Jesse ”Mountain” Hubbard recalled:

Joe Cambria owned the Baltimore Black Sox, and he also owned the white team in Albany, New York. Hack Wilson played for him in Albany.

The Black Sox that year had a shortstop named Jake Dunn, a great hitter and an arm out of this world. Best looking young boy you’ve seen in a long time playing short. Jake was lighter than you are, and Joe Cambria wanted him to go up there to Albany and play for the white team. But Jake wouldn’t go, said he wouldn’t leave his wife. His wife was black.

I said, ‘Leave your wife, you’ll be coming here every now and then to play. Shoot man, go up there and play with that white team.’

But he said, ‘Aw, I want my wife to be with me, and they’ll find out I’m colored.’ Instead he went to Puerto Rico, him and Slim Jones, and he won medals for being the best shortstop and Slim Jones for pitching the most scoreless innings and striking out the most men.33

Dunn played well enough to appear on the all-star ballot as a member of the Black Sox.34 He finished second in fan voting for shortstop behind Dick Lundy on the East squad in the East-West All-Star Game, which was played at Comiskey Park in Chicago.35 Columnist W. Rollo Wilson rated Dunn as his top choice at shortstop for the East squad.36

By February of 1934, Ed Bolden’s Philadelphia Stars agreed to join the NNL2.37 Dunn, now 24, was listed among the players being targeted to join the Stars.38 His signing was confirmed by the Philadelphia Tribune on February 15, 1934.39

In April Philadelphia opened the 1934 campaign with an integrated game against Wentz-Olney in front of 3,000 fans on a Sunday, thanks to the repeal of a blue law. Dunn, playing right field for the Stars, went 2-for-5 with an RBI in the 10-4 win.40 On the field, he completed a double play by throwing out a runner at home to prevent another run.41

For the season, Dunn batted .278 and led the Stars with 43 runs batted in and 7 triples. Among Dunn’s highlights for 1934 were the following:

  • On April 25, he had two hits, including a homer, in the Stars’ sweep of Meadowbrook.42
  • He had two hits, including a double and triple, in a 12-0 win over Meadowbrook in May.43
  • Dunn had three hits and scored three runs in a doubleheader against Meadowbrook in June.44
  • He had four hits and scored twice in a 16-6 win over the Germantown Artisans in an exhibition game in June.45
  • He pounded out another four hits in a 10-9 win over the Homestead Grays on July 1.46
  • He had three hits and scored two runs in a doubleheader sweep of the Nashville Giants on July 13.47
  • A week later, he doubled off Satchel Paige to break up a scoreless tie in the fifth inning against the Pittsburgh Crawfords, and added another hit in the Stars’ 2-1 win.48
  • He had three hits in a doubleheader split with the New York Black Yankees on July 22.49
  • He added three hits against the Bacharach Giants on July 29 in the first game of Philadelphia’s City Championship series.50
  • On August 4, he had three more hits in a wild 19-14 win over the Baltimore Black Sox.51
  • On September 7, he again had three hits and scored a run in the Stars’ 2-1 win over Chicago.52

The Stars finished 39-18 in league play, which was the best winning percentage in the NNL2 (.684) and captured the second-half flag. They faced the first-half champions, the Chicago American Giants, in the NNL2 championship series. Before the series, columnist W. Rollo Wilson selected his “all-league” players at each position and was sufficiently impressed by Dunn’s performance to name him as his starting right fielder, writing:

Right Field: Dunn, Stars. A sure fielder, a fast man and the best arm in the outfield, he was a consistent hitter in the second half and draws the assignment over [Jimmie] Crutchfield, Crawfords; [Ted] Page, Crawfords, and Rap Dixon, Baltimore Sox, whose early-season illness kept him from the regular ranks most of the year.53

The Stars won an exciting eight-game series over the American Giants for the championship of the NNL2, four games to three with one tie. Dunn hit a triple in the Stars’ loss in Game Two,54 but his biggest hit of the series came in Game Three. With the Stars trailing 3-1 in the fourth inning, and facing the prospects of a three-games-to-none series deficit, he hit a double, sparking a two-run rally.55 The Stars went on to win the game, 5-3, which probably saved the series.56

However, the American Giants won Game Four, 2-1, forcing the Stars to win the final three games to win the series, which they did, 1-0, 4-1, and 2-0. In Game Eight, Dunn caught Dave Malarcher’s fly ball to right to complete the Stars’ comeback and clinch the NNL2 championship.

The next year, Dunn was cited as one of the players expected to return for the Stars, who were favored to repeat as NNL2 champions.57 The Pittsburgh Courier repeated the boastful assessment of one Stars fan who had proclaimed “that Ed Bolden’s Philadelphia Stars of 1935 is the greatest colored combination ever to represent Philly.”58 The paper also cited Dunn’s hitting and versatility in the field as being one of the keys to the Stars’ expected success, writing:

It is doubtful if any Bolden-owned club has been better prepared for infield and outfield emergencies. The Stars are fortunate in having two men like Jud Wilson and Jake Dunn on the squad. Both can play around the inner cordon or man the outer walls. And both lug hefty willows to the platter.59

In the early spring the Stars lived up to their billing as the team raced to an 8-0 record in exhibition games.60 For his part, Dunn went 5-for-11 with a double in a two-game sweep of the Bay Parkaways.61

Just as the NNL2 schedule was getting underway, Dunn was mentioned as the postscript to a bizarre murder-suicide story. Dorothy Dunn was living with her mother, Murial Robinson, and her new stepfather, Henry Clare, in Los Angeles.62 Clare suspected his wife was being unfaithful and, in a fit of rage, shot her with his pistol before shooting himself in the head.63 According to the California Eagle, “Mrs. Dorothy Dunn, the married daughter, is the wife of the famous ball player, Jake Dunn, who usually played shortstop for the Royal Giants winter league team for several seasons past at White Sox park.”64

On the other side of the country, Philadelphia failed to live up to the lofty expectations of sportswriters. The Stars fell to fourth place in the NNL2 with a disappointing 37-34-4 record.

However, Dunn, who was now 25, had an exceptionally good year at the plate, batting .321 with an OPS+ of 124. He also posted the highest on-base and slugging percentages of his career. He tied Ted Page for most runs scored on the club with 41, and led the Stars with 30 walks. In a 9-0 win over the Pittsburgh Crawfords in May, he collected four hits.65 Late in the summer, in a doubleheader against the House of David, Dunn had eight hits in 10 at-bats and reportedly played outstanding defense as a shortstop.66 Fans noticed his performance and he finished second behind only Martín Dihigo in voting for right field in the 1935 East-West Game.67

By 1936, Dunn, who had a lifetime batting average of .302 entering the season and was just 26 years old, should have been in the prime of his career. Once again, expectations were high for him and the Stars. Cum Posey observed that “[the] Philadelphia Stars will again have a strong club. … Any club which has Wilson, Roy] Parnell, Lloyd] Davenport and Dunn must be reckoned as hard to beat.”68 Brooklyn Times Union columnist Irwin Rosee was even more effusive with his praise, writing:

The Philly Stars will come to Dexter Park Sunday with their strongest team in history. For pitchers they have Stuart (Slim) Jones, Satchell Paige’s closest rival; Willie Hunter, Tommy Thompson, Ellis Yokely and Manager Webster MacDonald. They also have one of the greatest colored infielders in Jake Dunn and two top-flight outfielders in Turkey Stearns, the Babe Ruth of colored baseball, and Roy Parnell.69

Despite Dunn’s two hits in the opening game in Brooklyn, the Bushwicks rallied from a 5-4 deficit in the bottom of the ninth to defeat the Stars, 6-5.70 The Stars brushed off the defeat and started the season 12-5; they were leading the NNL2 standings on June 13.71 However, they eventually collapsed and finished in last place.

Dunn, who played mostly as a shortstop and second baseman, was one of the few bright spots for Philadelphia in 1936. On July 18 he had three hits, including two doubles, in a 10-9 win over the Homestead Grays.72 He stayed hot for two months from July 11 to September 12, batting .303.73 He finished with a respectable batting average of .287, but his decline had begun.

Dunn’s fortunes mirrored Philadelphia’s performance as the Stars failed to win an NNL title from 1936 to 1940 and finished above .500 only once. Based on the available statistics, which may not tell the complete story, Dunn’s offensive skills also sagged significantly over the same time frame. His batting average plummeted to .255 and his OPS+ fell well below the league average every year from 1936 to 1940.

Even so, there were still some bright spots as Dunn’s career began to wind down. He was chosen to play as a reserve in the East-West Game in 1937 and 1938. In 1937 Dunn finished fourth in the fan voting as a center fielder,74 but he appeared in the game at second base for the East, drawing a walk in two plate appearances in the East’s 7-2 win in Comiskey Park.75

In 1938 Dunn he finished seventh in voting as a shortstop76 but was added to the East team as a utility infielder, reportedly batting .317 with 9 home runs.77 Two weeks before the game, Dunn homered off Jonas Gaines of the Baltimore Elite Giants in the Stars’ 7-3 win at the dedication of Randall’s Island Stadium.78 In the East-West Game, the East trailed 5-4 in the ninth inning. Dunn nearly sparked a rally with his one-out single. However, Double Duty Radcliffe was able to pitch out of trouble to complete the West’s triumph.79

For Dunn, 1938 was a disappointment as he batted only .251 with an 83 OPS+. While Philadelphia managed to finish in second place with a 41-32-3 record, the Stars were a distant 9½ games behind Homestead. There were no NNL2 playoffs that year.

Through the first half of the 1939 campaign, the Stars limped to an 11-17-1 record. Hoping a change might spark his team, Bolden named Dunn as his new player-manager in place of Jud Wilson.80 Russ J. Cowans reported the news in his column:

In an effort to keep alive the interest in baseball, it has been very low recently, Ed Bolden, owner of the Hillsdale Stars, has demoted Jud Wilson as manager of the Philadelphia team, and elevated Jake Dunn to that exalted position.

Jake, a mild-mannered young chap, has been alternating in the infield and outfield for the Stars for the past six or seven years. He came out of the west by the way of Detroit.

Dunn came to Detroit in 1923, an eighteen-year-old short stop who had made a remarkable record in California. Steve Pierce, then owner of the Detroit Stars, had seen Jake scoop up hot grounders and tear the hide off the ball, before leaving California to take over the Detroit team.

Jake was unable to displace Arvil [sic] Riggins, then in the short field position for the Stars, and the following year joined with the teams in the East.

A little erratic in his field, Dunn made himself a favorite with the Detroit fans with his heavy hitting. Add to this Jake’s fine sportsmanship, both on and off the field, and it can be readily understood why he was so well liked by the Detroit fans.81

With Dunn at the helm, Philadelphia fared better. The Stars won nine out of 11 games and newspapers cited the “… improved style of play under Jake Dunn,”82 as being “responsible for the climb of the Stars since he took over the managerial duties.”83 Dunn also contributed as a hitter. In a win over the New York Black Yankees, he homered twice in the seventh inning, tying an NNL2 record set by Josh Gibson.84 Despite the improvement, Philadelphia finished the second half with a 13-12 record and an overall fifth-place finish.

That winter, Dunn sharpened his managerial skills as the skipper of the Philadelphia Royal Giants in the California Winter League. Early in the season, “he read the ‘riot act’ to his [players]” and “threatened to send any weak hitter home if he did not improve his batting eye.”85 The Giants won the league title and Dunn led the league in hitting with a .350 average and tied for the league lead in homers.86

Entering 1940, Dunn agreed to return and manage the Stars but was “luke warm to retaining the post,” according to columnist Randy Dixon of the Pittsburgh Courier.87 By April, both Chester L. Washington and Cum Posey reported that Bolden had to find a new manager to replace Dunn, who had suddenly abandoned his post and signed to play in Mexico.88 Dunn played in 16 games for the Diablos Rojos del México in the Mexican League, hitting just .188, and also appeared in one game for La Junta de Nuevo Laredo.

Back in Philadelphia, Roy Parnell soon replaced Dunn as the manager, although newspapers continued to include Dunn’s name on the Stars’ roster.89 By June, Dunn returned to manage the Stars. Columnist Russ J. Cowans reflected on the development, but did not attempt to reconcile whether Dunn had deserted the club as Posey had reported:

Roy Parnell, who was placed in the driver’s seat at the beginning of the current season, had not been able to inject an aggressive spirit among the players, and, consequently, the club is down in the league standing. So Jake is back as manager.

Jake Dunn is a credit to baseball. He had always displayed the type of clean sportsmanship which makes him a model for the young ball players to pattern after.90

The Stars were 5-7 (.417) under Parnell and 26-33 (.441) under Dunn, finishing a forgettable fifth in the NNL2 standings in 1940. Dunn’s managing duties were soon behind him for good. Baseball historian James A. Riley noted, “Dunn was not comfortable in the manager’s seat, and he asked to be relieved of the responsibility after the season.”91

There is no record of Dunn appearing in any games with the Stars in 1941. The only evidence that he may have played for Philadelphia was a handful of newspaper stories in spring previews that listed him as an outfielder.92 However, his name did not appear in any of the Stars’ box scores that year.93

It appears that Dunn spent the entire NNL2 season in the Army.94 Sometime in 1939, Dunn had registered for military service, listing “baseball player” as his usual occupation on his registration card. He noted that his place of employment was in Philadelphia, but listed an address in Los Angeles as his home. He identified his sister, Mrs. Verna Smith, as someone who would always know his address. Whether or not he was still married to Dorothy Dunn at this point is unknown, but they did get divorced at some point before his military service.95

An October newspaper article reported that Dunn had been inducted into the Army sometime in 1941 but had been released from duty due to his age; he returned to play in the California Winter League in October.96 However, the league’s schedule was cut short by the United States’ entry into World War II,97 and his professional baseball career was suddenly over at only 31.

In the spring of 1942 several newspapers reported that the New York Cubans had acquired Dunn.98 On May 31 Yankee Stadium hosted a doubleheader showcasing four Negro League teams.99 The Cubans faced the Newark Eagles in the second game. According to the box score, the center fielder for the Stars was “Dunn,” who went 0-for-3 at the plate in the 8-3 defeat. However, the earlier newspaper reports citing “Jake Dunn” on the Cubans’ roster were probably wrong. More than likely, the player was Alphonse Dunn, who was an outfielder with New York in 1942.

Instead of playing baseball in 1942, Dunn had  returned to the Army, as “[he] was one of the first players from the Negro Leagues to enter military service after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.”100 He enlisted on April 25, 1941.101 According to the Center for Negro League Baseball Research, he served in the Army from 1942 to 1945, as a private102 However, he appeared in two games for the Stars in 1943, once at first base and another as a relief pitcher, perhaps while on leave. Additional details regarding his military career have not been uncovered.

After the war, Dunn may have attempted a brief comeback. On July 4, 1946, an advertisement appeared in the California Eagle for a game between the Oakland Larks and the Los Angeles White Sox that was scheduled for July 8 at Wrigley Field in the short-lived West Coast Colored Association.103 The advertisement highlighted Dunn as one of the star players for the White Sox. Neither a box score nor a story of that game has been located. Notably, the teams had played a doubleheader in Oakland the day before the scheduled game in Los Angeles. Dunn did not appear in either box score.104 Whether he ever appeared in a game with the White Sox will likely remain an unanswered question.

Dunn is not forgotten, but his contributions to the history of the Negro leagues have largely been overlooked. He does not have a player file with the National Baseball Hall of Fame Library.105 He may not have been soft-spoken, but he was probably quiet around sportswriters; none of the newspaper sources in this biography include any direct quotes from him. While there have been many retrospective articles about the Negro Leagues, it does not appear he was ever featured in any stories while he was still alive. The details about his career in most books about the Negro Leagues are also sparse.

What is known about Dunn is that he was a solid if unspectacular .275 hitter and a reliable defensive player during his career in the Negro Leagues. He was also indefatigable as he continued to play baseball each winter (truly his “usual occupation”) rather than taking a break.106

Dunn lived another 41 years after his playing days but his life after baseball is mostly a mystery. According to the 1950 Census, he married Jessie L. Dunn, and the couple resided in Los Angeles with his sister Verna.107 He worked as a truck driver for a paper box company and his wife made rubber balls in a factory.108 Dunn died on July 24, 1984, in Los Angeles at the age of 74, and is buried in Lincoln Memorial Park Cemetery in nearby Carson.109

In 2020, Major League Baseball announced that seven professional Negro Leagues that operated from 1920 to 1948 have been designated as major leagues.110 Thus, Dunn has finally been recognized as a major leaguer for his decade in professional baseball.


Sources and Acknowledgments

All player statistics and team records were taken from Seamheads.com, except where otherwise indicated.

The author is grateful to James Tate, a member of the Historical Negro League Baseball Site, for responding to questions about Dunn. Rick Bush provided important details about Dunn’s military service and wives. In addition, Gary Ashwill of Seamheads was generous to provide information regarding Dunn’s 1933 season and his life after baseball. The author also appreciates editor Bill Nowlin’s patience and helpful suggestions.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Gary Ashwill.



1 https://www.seamheads.com/NegroLgs/player.php?playerID=dunn-01jak.

2 Oklahoma. Logan County. 1910 U.S. Census.

3 California. Los Angeles County. 1930 US Census.

4 California. Los Angeles County. 1940 US Census.

5 California. Los Angeles County. 1930 US Census.

6 Hal Cwain, “Shells Win Over Royal Giants 5-2, Will Play Again Today,” Long Beach (California) Sun, February 2, 1930: 11; “Crowded White Sox Park Sees The Nashville Royal Giants In Action,” California Eagle (Los Angeles), October 24, 1930: 9.

7 “Shell Oils Nose Out Pirrone All-Stars, 6-5,” Long Beach Sun, November 11, 1929: 11.

8 William F. McNeil, The California Winter League: America’s First Integrated Professional Baseball League (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland Publishing, 2002), 148.

9 “St. Louis Stars Beat Detroit Team, 18 To 8, Then Lose, 10 To 1,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 5, 1930: 16.

10 “Stars Drop First To St. Louis Nine,” Detroit Free Press, June 22, 1930: 18.

11 “Stars Drop First To St. Louis Nine.”

12 “Stars Triumph And Retain Lead,” Detroit Free Press, August 24, 1930: 19.

13 “Dunn’s Slugging Helps Stars Win,” Detroit Free Press, August 26, 1930: 17.

14 “Stars Drop Pair to Cuban Team, Detroit Free Press, May 14, 1930: 22 (two hits in the first game; and one hit in the second); “Stars Win First From Birmingham,” Detroit Free Press, August 11, 1930: 15 (a double); “Stars Continue Winning Streak,” Detroit Free Press, June 15, 1930: 19 (one hit); “Detroit Stars Win In Overtime Game,” Detroit Free Press, August 31, 1930: 20 (three hits).

15 https://seamheads.com/NegroLgs/team.php?yearID=1930&teamID=DS&LGOrd=1&tab=bat&sort=SB_a. All statistics in this biography are from Seamheads or Retrosheet.org.

16 “Stars Win First Game of Negro World Series,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, September 14, 1930: 24.

17 “Triple Play End Stars’ Rally And Detroit Wins, 11-7, Stars Continue Winning Streak,” St. Louis Star and Times, September 16, 1930: 17.

18 “Stars take Lead In Title Series, Detroit Free Press, September 21, 1930: 52.

19 https://seamheads.com/NegroLgs/year.php?yearID=1931.

20 “Giants To Play Asahis Sunday In Stadium Mix,” Honolulu Star-Bulletin, May 30, 1931: 11.

21 “L.A. Colored Giants Bringing up Good Outfit.” Ventura County Star (Camarillo, California), August 21, 1931: 9.

22 “Colored Ball Club Billed for Sunday At Seaside Park,” Ventura County Star, February 19, 1932: 7.

23 “Wolves To Meet Revamped Pilots,” Detroit Free Press, June 30, 1932: 17; “Pilots Add Evans, Suttles, Eggleston; Balto. Going Strong,” Pittsburgh Courier, June 19, 1932: 15.

24 “Fast Negro Clubs In Title Clashes,” Richmond Times Dispatch, June 23, 1932: 8; “Suttles Stocks Up With New Bats As Pilots Prep For Craws Here,” Pittsburgh Courier, July 2, 1932: 15.

25 James A. Riley, The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues (New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers, 1994), 257. Adding to the confusion, Riley noted that Dunn also played for the independent Philadelphia Stars in 1933 and Baseball Reference’s Bullpen also makes this claim. Riley, 257; also see https://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/Jake_Dunn. The author was unable to confirm this in news reports. However, Dunn does not appear on the Stars roster in Dick Clark and Larry Lester, The Negro Leagues Book (Cleveland: SABR, 1994), 113. Seamheads.com does not list Dunn as a member of the Stars in 1933 either. https://seamheads.com/NegroLgs/team.php?yearID=1933&teamID=PS&LGOrd=2.

26 https://www.seamheads.com/NegroLgs/team.php?yearID=1933&teamID=SOX&LGOrd=1.

27 https://www.seamheads.com/NegroLgs/team.php?yearID=1933&teamID=NEG&LGOrd=1.

28 “Black Sox To Open Season Here Sunday with Pittsburghers,” Baltimore Evening Sun, May 15, 1933: 21.

29 “Stars Shut Out Nashville Nine,” Detroit Free Press, May 21, 1933: 18; “Nashville Loses To Stars Again,” Detroit Free Press, May 23, 1933: 20; “Detroit Takes Nashville Series,” Pittsburgh Courier, May 27, 1933: 15; “Elites Win First Tilt From Grays, 7-1,” Pittsburgh Courier, June 10, 1933: 15.

30 “Stars Shut Out Nashville Nine”; “Detroit Takes Nashville Series”; “Elites Win First Tilt From Grays, 7-1.”

31 “Sox Return Home Sunday; Hubbard After 2 Quakers,” Baltimore Evening Sun, June 15, 1933: 29.

32 “Baltimore Sox Bow To Giants By 14-3,” Akron Beacon Journal, July 7, 1933: 26; “Black Sox To Face Philadelphia Stars In Twin Attraction,” Baltimore Evening Sun, July 28, 1933: 26; “No-hit Game Spoiled by Walt Rogers’ Bat,” Central New Jersey Home News (New Brunswick), August 17, 1933: 16; “Grays Top BlackSox, 10 To 6,” Pittsburgh Courier, August 26, 1933: 14; “Baltimore Sox Beaten In 16-Inning Thriller,” Baltimore Sun, September 4, 1933: 8.

33 John B. Holway, Black Giants (Springfield, Virginia: Lord Fairfax Press, 2010), 33.

34 “Here You Are, Fans! Take Your Pick Of The All-Star Teams For The Chicago Classic,” Pittsburgh Courier, August 5, 1933: 15.

35 “The East-West Game Player Vote,” Pittsburgh Courier, September 9, 1933: 15.

36 W. Rollo Wilson, “Sport Shots,” Pittsburgh Courier, August 12, 1933: 14.

37 “Baseball Men Meet In Philly; Favor League,” Baltimore Afro-American, February 17, 1934: 19.

38 “Blacksox, Grays Not Included, Seek 7th Club,” Pittsburgh Courier, February 17, 1934: 14.

39 “Baseball Magnates Convene In Parley Here,” Philadelphia Tribune, February 15, 1934: 1.

40 “Bolden’s Stars Swamp W. Olney In First Game,” Pittsburgh Courier, April 14, 1934: 12.

41 “Bolden’s Nine Wins Sunday’s Ball Opening,” Chicago Defender, April 14, 1934: 17.

42 “Bolden’s Stars Win 2 From Newark,” Philadelphia Tribune, April 26, 1934: 12.

43 “Stars Topple Newark 12-0 For Initial Win,” Philadelphia Tribune, May 17, 1934: 12

44 “Stars Divide Twin Bill After Losing Four In Row,” Philadelphia Tribune, June 7, 1934: 12.

45 “Stars Trip Artisians In Frantic Fuss,” Philadelphia Tribune, June 28, 1934: 12.

46 “Bolden Boys Trip Grays, 10-9, 6-2; Tie 1,” Philadelphia Tribune, July 1934.

47 “Boldens Whip Nashville,” Chicago Defender, July 14, 1934: 16.

48 W. Rollo Wilson, “Boldenmen Trip ‘Craws’ Twice to Take Top Run Of League Flag Ladder,” Pittsburgh Courier, July 21, 1934: A4.

49 “Stars Win Five, Drop 2; Player Breaks Leg,” Philadelphia Tribune, July 26, 1934: 12.

50 “Stars Drub Bees in City Series Start: Boldenboys Take Two Games,” Philadelphia Tribune, August 2, 1934: 12.

51 “Balto. Black Sox Lose To Stars,” Philadelphia Tribune, August 9, 1934: 12.

52 “Giants Lose To Philly; Then Tie 1-1,” Chicago Defender, September 8, 1934: 17.

53 W. Rollo Wilson, “Baseball’s Curtain Falling On Season,” Pittsburgh Courier, September 15, 1934: A4.

54 “Giants, Stars Break Even In DoubleHeader,” Chicago Tribune, September 17, 1934: 23.

55 “Giants Split With Philly Stars in Chicago Clash,” Baltimore Afro-American, September 22, 1934: 21.

56 “Giants Split With Philly Stars in Chicago Clash.”

57 Chester Washington, “Sez ‘Ches,’” Pittsburgh Courier, January 19, 1935: 15.

58 “Better Than The Hilldale Club?,” Pittsburgh Courier, June 8, 1935: 17.

59 “Philly Preps For Brooklyn Series,” Pittsburgh Courier, May 11, 1935: 15.

60 “Philly Stars Thump Dukes In Twin Bill,” Brooklyn Times Union, April 29, 1935: 13.

61 “Philly Stars Thump Dukes In Twin Bill.”

62 “Kills Wife, Commits Suicide,” California Eagle, May 10, 1935: 1-2.

63 “Kills Wife, Commits Suicide.”

64 “Kills Wife, Commits Suicide.” Details regarding Dunn’s marriage to Dorothy have not been uncovered.

65 “Philadelphia All-Stars Shut Out Pittsburg Crawfords, 9-0,” York (Pennsylvania) Daily Record, May 29, 1935: 10.

66 “Philadelphia Stars Carry Off Both Ends Of Doubleheader To Win Series,” York Daily Record, September 21, 1935: 10.

67 “Shifts Seen Leaders as E-W Game Vote Spurts,” Pittsburgh Courier, August 3, 1935: 14.

68 “Cum Posey’s Painted Paragraphs,” Pittsburgh Courier, April 25, 1936: 14.

69 Irwin N. Rosee, “Philly Star Nine Menaces Dexters,” Brooklyn Times Union, April 29, 1936: 10.

70 Irwin N. Rosee, “Dexters Shine As Late Rally Tops Star Nine,” Brooklyn Times Union, May 4, 1936: 11.

71 “League Standings,” Pittsburgh Courier, June 13, 1936: 16.

72 “Grays Divide with Stars,” Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph, July 19, 1936: 16.

73 “Individual Batting Averages, Negro National League July 11-Sept. 12,” New York Age, September 26, 1936: 9.

74 “Final East-West Game Vote,” Pittsburgh Courier, Aug. 7, 1937: 18.

75 “Come East Young Man,” Pittsburgh Courier, Aug. 14, 1937: 17.

76 Larry Lester, Black Baseball’s National Showcase, The East-West All-Star Game, 1933-1953 (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2001), 119.

77 “Here’s The East’s Line-Up For Dream Game,” Pittsburgh Courier, August 20, 1938: 16.

78 “Many Organizations To Participate In Dedication of Randalls Island Stadium,” New York Age, July 16, 1938: 8; “Byrd and Scales Hit First Home-Runs at Randalls Island Stadium – Philly Stars Win,” New York Age, August 20, 1938: 8.

79 Lester, 114.

80 Russ J. Cowans, “Thru The Sports Mirror,” Detroit Tribune, July 1, 1939: 7.

81 “Thru The Sports Mirror.”

82 “Phila. Stars Aim To Win Two Tilts,” Philadelphia Inquirer, July 8, 1939: 25.

83 “Tonight’s Rival Has Been Tough Foe For Locals,” Delaware County Daily Times (Chester, Pennsylvania), August 18, 1939: 13.

84 Chester L. Washington Jr. “Sez Ches,” Pittsburgh Courier, September 9, 1939: 16.

85 “Roofers In Ball Bow Tomorrow,” Los Angeles Evening Citizen News, October 21, 1939: 14.

86 McNeil, 199.

87 Randy Dixon, “The Sports B-U-G-L-E,” Pittsburgh Courier, January 20, 1940: 17.

88 Cum Posey, “Newark Eagles Count on Rookies,” Pittsburgh Courier, April 27, 1940: 16; Chester L. Washington, Jr. “Sez Ches,” Pittsburgh Courier, Apr. 27, 1940: 16.

89 Cum Posey, “Posey’s Points,” Pittsburgh Courier, May 4, 1940: 16; “Braves Open Friday,” Long Branch (New Jersey) Daily Record, May 27, 1940: 7; “Homestead Replaces Black Yankees On Belmar Schedule,” Red Bank (New Jersey) Daily Standard, May 28, 1940: 16; “Braves Pitted Against Stars,” Asbury Park (New Jersey) Press, June 4, 1940: 10; “Twin Bill Here Sunday,” Harrisburg (Pennsylvania) Telegraph, June 8, 1940: 8.

90 Russ J. Cowans, “Thru The Sports Mirror,” Detroit Tribune, June 15, 1940: 7.

91 Riley, 257.

92 “Bay Parkways Now To Battle Philly Stars,” Brooklyn Citizen, May 1, 1941: 6; “Bay Parkways, Philly Stars To Play 2 Games,” Brooklyn Citizen, May 3, 1941: 6; “Teams Well Matched,” York Observer, May 27, 1941: 16; “Bushwicks, Parkways In Bulb Battle,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, June 20, 1941: 17; “Philly Stars Parkway Foes in 2 Tomorrow,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, June 21, 1941: 11.

93 “Cuban Stars Win Opener,” Philadelphia Inquirer, May 11, 1941: 64; “Baltimore Beats Phila. Stars, 9-4,” Philadelphia Inquirer, May 18, 1941: 40; “Stars Divide With Yanks,” Philadelphia Inquirer, May 25, 1941: 40; “Roy Nassau, Memphis Nine Jolts Quaker City Rivals,” Harrisburg Telegraph, August 13, 1941: 15; “Phila. Stars Jolt N.Y. Yanks, 6-0,” Philadelphia Inquirer, September 1, 1941: 20.

94 Smith, 119.

95 California. Los Angeles County. 1950 US Census; United States World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946.

96 Cullen J. Fentress, “Down in Front,” California Eagle, October 16, 1941: 13.

97 McNeil, 15.

98 “Negro Stars Fill Cubans Roster,” Chambersburg (Pennsylvania) Public Opinion, May 22, 1942: 4; “Cuban Stars In Doubleheader,” Harrisburg Telegraph, May 22, 1942: 14: “Present Judgment On Teams Of Coming Game,” Michigan Chronicle (Detroit), May 30, 1942: 14; “Large Crowd Expected To See Two Games,” Michigan Chronicle, June 6, 1942: 17.

99 “17,000 See Elite Giants And Newark Eagles Win At Stadium,” New York Age, June 6, 1942: 11.

100 Riley, 257.

101 United States World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946.

102 http://www.cnlbr.org/Portals/0/RL/Served_in_WWII.htm; United States World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946.

103 “League Baseball,” California Eagle, July 4, 1946: 14. The league was more commonly referred to as the West Coast Negro Baseball League.

104 “Larks In Double Win Over Sox,” Oakland Tribune, July 8, 1946: 7.

105 Cassidy Lent, director, Library at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, email correspondence with author, May 16, 2022.

106 Against big-league teams in four exhibition games, Dunn batted .188 in 16 at bats. Todd Peterson, ed., The Negro Leagues Were Major Leagues: Historians Reappraise Black Baseball (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2020), 232.

107 California. Los Angeles County. 1950 US Census.

108 California. Los Angeles County. 1950 US Census.

109 Email from Gary Ashwill, April 7, 2022.

110 https://www.mlb.com/news/negro-leagues-given-major-league-status-for-baseball-records-stats.

Full Name

Joseph Phillip Dunn


November 5, 1909 at Luther, OK (USA)


July 24, 1984 at Los Angeles, CA (USA)

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