Jay Heard

Left-hander Jehosie Heard stepped onto a major-league mound for the first time on a chilly Chicago spring day in April 1954. As he walked out to the mound at Comiskey Park, Heard became the first African-American to play for the Baltimore Orioles. The team was in Chicago for a four-game series against the White Sox; both squads were at .500 after eight games.1 On the previous day the Orioles had won 3-1 in a 10-inning game; however, when Heard stepped to the mound during the eighth on April 24, the Orioles were down 10-0. He was the third of four pitchers manager Jimmy Dykes would tap during the losing effort. Heard pitched a little more than an inning, giving up no hits or walks. The Orioles lost, 14-4, but Heard was happy with his first big-league performance and hoped he would remain with the team.2  Heard’s tenure with Baltimore would last only until June. Eight years of Negro League and minor-league development led to a short four months with the Orioles and then a return to the minors.

Jehosie Heard was born to John and Annie Heard on January 17, 1921, in the small community of High Shoals, Georgia. However, a 1920 census shows a one-year-old Jehovah Heard, the youngest of six children. For most of his career Heard would accumulate multiple variations on his name, thanks to misunderstandings. Jehosa, Josie, Jehova, and Hosea are all recorded in various news stories and records.

High Shoals, about 65 miles east of Atlanta, drew its existence and name from the High Shoals Manufacturing Company, a textile mill established during the 1840s.3 Surrounding the mill were fields of cotton, one of which was owned by Heard’s parents. However, shortly after Jehosie’s birth, John moved his family to Birmingham in order to work at a stove and range factory. It was an auspicious move as the High Shoals mill burned down in 1928. The resultant economic calamity pushed the town of a few thousand down to a few hundred.4

The Heard family had avoided one calamity only to be subjected to a much more serious and personal one in 1924. Jehosie’s father died of pneumonia on August 11, leaving Annie a widow at 29. She took a job as a cotton stripper to support her four young children. The oldest, Emma, returned home after marrying and worked as a laundress.5 Jehosie was enrolled in Birmingham public schools in 1926 and attended the all-black Thomas School and later Parker High School, also a segregated school. Jehosie struggled in school. His attendance was spotty and in 1932 he failed five subjects in the first semester. In 1935 Jehosie had to repeat part of the seventh grade and then in 1937 part of the eighth, putting him far behind his peers. Teachers described him as “sly” and made a note of his “weak” attendance.6 Jehosie entered Parker High in 1937 but did not finish the first semester. His poor academic performance, coupled with the financial pressures put on his mother as a single parent during the Depression, surely pushed Jehosie from school into the workforce.

Sometime before World War II, Annie was unable to work any longer, identified as disabled in census records. Her disability and the challenges of the Depression Era job market forced Jehosie and his mother to move in with a woman named Louise Battle and her younger daughter. Work was scarce for Jehosie, who found steady work for only three months out of the year in 1939. He worked as a gas station attendant in the winter of 1939-40, but lost this job in March of 1940.7

Heard enlisted in the US Army in October 1941 and became one of the many African-Americans who served in the military prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor. His war records were lost to the 1973 National Archives fire; however, according to author Larry Moffi, Jehosie was first exposed to baseball on an Army base during the war. Heard’s family placed his introduction to baseball with his brother John. It is unlikely Heard was never exposed to baseball as a kid given the prominence of the Birmingham Black Barons in the local black community and the near ubiquity of baseball among young boys at the time. Given Heard’s skill at pitching immediately after his release from the Army, it is likely he sharpened his pitching abilities during the war. By all accounts, Heard spent the war stateside.

Soon after Heard’s release, the country was embroiled in a coal miners’ strike, which had a serious effect on the job market in Birmingham. Heard played on the 24th Street Red Sox team before he asked Birmingham Black Barons manager Tommy Sampson for a job.8 Sampson not only gave him a job, but made him the starting pitcher on opening day in May 1946. The Parker High School band, the school’s principal, and local officials showed up to start the season. Heard gave up eight hits and two earned runs while recording six strikeouts and surrendering four walks. He was even responsible for one of the runs that contributed to his team’s 7-2 victory over the Cleveland Buckeyes, the 1945 Negro League champions.9 It was a promising start for his three-year career with the Black Barons.

Only a smattering of references to Heard can be found for the 1946 season, though what has survived shows an impressive degree of skill given his rookie status, especially a one-hitter he pitched against the Chicago American Giants in Birmingham on August 4.10 He pitched well enough to be invited to participate in an exhibition game at Comiskey Park on September 21. Players from the Chicago American Giants and Cleveland Buckeyes challenged members of the Black Barons and Memphis Red Sox in what was billed as a North vs. South game. Dan Bankhead, the All-Star pitcher from the Red Sox, started but Heard relieved him in the eighth inning after Bankhead was shelled for five runs the inning before. Heard gave up two more runs in the South’s 8-3 loss.11

For 1947, only three games in which Heard pitched were recorded, and he was 2-1 in those contests.  A victory over the Chicago American Giants on June 22 was followed by a loss to the Kansas City Monarchs on July 13. The highlight of 1947 occurred in September when Heard pitched “a one-hit shutout in the five inning nightcap” of a doubleheader against the Memphis Red Sox.12

In 1948 the Black Barons returned to the Negro League World Series, their third trip to the Series and Heard’s first.  Heard saw action in the fourth game of the World Series against the Homestead Grays. After the Barons lost two close games to start the series and won the third game in Birmingham, they suffered a humiliating 14-1 defeat in New Orleans on October 3. Heard, the second of four pitchers used by Birmingham that day, relieved Bill Greason until he himself was replaced on the mound by Jimmie Newberry; the Black Barons’ quartet of hurlers gave up 19 hits and 14 runs to the Homestead Grays.13 Two days later Birmingham lost the final game of the Series, 10-6.14 Despite having home-field advantage, with three of the five games played in Birmingham, the team was no match for the Grays’ batters.

The next year the Memphis Red Sox purchased Heard’s contract from the Barons.15 Heard and his new teammates reported to Martin Stadium in Memphis on March 13 for the start of spring training. However, sometime between February and April, Heard found himself running spring-training drills for the newly minted Houston Eagles of the Negro American League. The venerable Newark Eagles, the 1946 Negro League champions, had been sold by Abe and Effa Manley and the new ownership moved the franchise to Houston, Texas, for the 1949 season.

Houston’s spring training ended in early April and the team headed to Nashville for an exhibition series with the Baltimore Elite Giants.16 Before leaving for Nashville, the Eagles played an exhibition game against Memphis, losing 6-5. Heard was one of three relievers used by Houston manager Reuben Jones.17 The Memphis Red Sox and the Eagles met 15 times between Opening Day and June 11, with the Eagles taking eight of the games.18

In late July a victory by Heard against the Philadelphia Stars led catcher Leon Ruffin, the new Houston manager, to express his confidence that Heard and his other three star pitchers would “bring Houston the league pennant.”19 The Eagles did not win the pennant, though Heard continued to provide yeoman performances on the mound. In an August 28 contest against the Memphis Red Sox, he struck out 11 and allowed only six hits in a 3-0 shutout. He drove in the Eagles’ first tally when he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.20

Heard remained with Houston for the 1950 season, but the team and the entire Negro League suffered from a drain of talent and that resulted in dwindling attendance. By June 16, Houston was in third place in the Negro American League West and Heard’s appearances were leading to losses.21 In June Houston sold two of its best players to the Brooklyn Dodgers and decided to move home games to Nashville due to low attendance in Houston.22 Despite his losing record, Heard was recruited to pitch for an all-star traveling team that battled a team of major-league stars, and a September 2 article in the Chicago Defender referred to him as the “ace of the club.”23 Through October, Heard traveled with and played against the likes of Monte Irvin, Don Newcombe, and Roy Campanella.

Because of the low attendance in 1950, the Eagles were moved to New Orleans in 1951. The New Orleans Eagles spent spring training in Hot Springs, Arkansas, and played exhibition games in Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana.24 Heard, now used as a starter rather than a reliever, lost his first game at Pelican Stadium in New Orleans, 10-8, giving up five hits and striking out only three.25 But by the summer he was being referred to as an “outstanding southpaw” with his 13-4 record. The Chicago Defender declared Heard one of the “four … top pitchers of the league” as it recorded the explosion of wins the Eagles were racking up.26 The Kansas City (Kansas) Plaindealer reported Heard was being scouted by the White Sox and the St. Louis Browns.27 Heard scored a victory against every team in the Negro American League on Sundays in the preceding months, earning him the moniker “Sunday pitcher.”28 In the 1951 All-Star voting, Heard came in second among pitchers to Theolic Smith, a 15-year veteran of the Chicago American Giants.29 In the East-West All-Star Game, Smith started while Heard came to the mound in the sixth inning as the West’s third reliever. Heard struck out three, gave up two hits, walked none, and allowed one run.30 For the season he had a 16-5 record and a league-leading 149 strikeouts.31 Heard had an impressive year on the mound, but in a rarity for pitchers, he also saw success at the plate.

Heard’s batting skills were first credited in a news story on April 29, 1951. While it’s not clear exactly how he hit during the second game of a doubleheader against the Baltimore Elite Giants, it must have been impressive enough to warrant the headline “Heard’s Stickwork Gives Eagles Even Break in Bill.”32 Heard ended the 1951 season with the headline “Jehosie Heard Top NAL Batter” thanks to a .396 batting average. His average had been as high as .422 at midseason.33 Heard had 106 trips to the plate in 51 games with 42 hits, 4 doubles, 3 triples, and 7 RBIs. To keep Heard’s hot bat in the game, the Eagles used him as an outfielder when he was not pitching.34

Heard’s performance on the mound and at the plate drew the attention of the major leagues. Rogers Hornsby, who briefly managed the St. Louis Browns in 1952, reportedly said that “he liked everything about him except for his size.”35 (He was listed as 5-feet-7 and 155 pounds.) Still, the Browns purchased his contract and infielder Curley Williams’s from the Eagles for an estimated $100,000 at the end of August.36 After six years in the Negro American League, Jehosie Heard was headed to a world far from his Southern home.

In December of 1951, on the heels of his new baseball opportunity, Heard married Mildred Davis. The two had met sometime between 1946 and 1948 while Heard played for Birmingham. During a road series in Memphis, the young ballplayer was introduced to 20-year-old Mildred at Metropolitan Baptist Church. She hailed from a working-class family in Memphis, was a college graduate, and worked as a social worker for the City of Memphis.37

Heard was sent to the Portland Beavers in the winter of 1952 and reported to training camp in Riverside, California, in March. There he was described as “painfully bashful” but displayed a “dazzling variety of fast and slow curves” and a “‘sneaking’ fastball.”38 Heard was used in relief, and eventually was optioned to the Victoria Tyees in April.39 The first report of his performance with Victoria came in a May 9 game between Victoria and Wenatchee where he closed out the game. Heard “whiffed the four batters he faced” to hold onto Victoria’s 3-2 lead. The Sporting News called the 1 ⅓ innings “one of the most impressive mound performances of the season.”40 By the end of May, Heard had pitched 34 innings with 27 strikeouts and a 4-1 record.

The Tyees started June with a 33-15 record and a 3½-game lead over the Spokane Indians. On two days’ rest on June 7, Heard pitched a 4-2 win over Lewiston, making him the Western International League’s first eight-game winner. He gave up only one walk in the victory and collected on a steak-dinner prize awarded to pitcher with fewer than two walks in a game. It was the second time Heard had collected on the prize.41 A month later Heard had pitched 146 innings in 27 games with 117 strikeouts and had a 12-6 record.

Heard’s first recorded no-hitter occurred on September 10, 1952. The four walks he surrendered to the Lewiston Broncs, along with three fielding errors behind him resulted in two runs allowed. The final score was 11-2. In addition to his performance on the mound, Heard scored three runs. He was struck in the head on his fifth appearance, tried to continue with the at-bat, but then acquiesced to suggestions that he get checked out.42 Heard’s 20-win season caused Portland to recall him after the September 10 game.43 Due in large part to Heard’s 2.94 ERA and 216 strikeouts, Victoria won the Western International League pennant.44

As Heard worked his way up through the minor leagues, he was recruited by the Leones del Caracas of the Venezuelan League. He and Mildred boarded a Pan American flight out of New York on October 7 and headed out of the United States for the first time, celebrating their first anniversary in Venezuela.45

Heard donned a Caracas jersey for the first time on October 17 before a crowd of over 30,000 on Opening Day for the Venezuelan League and was one of two relievers as Leones del Caracas defeated the Venezuela Patriots, 9-5. Back pain kept Heard on the bench until he came in as a reliever on November 10.46 Heard grabbed his first win on November 16 against Vargas, relieving in the fifth inning and leading Caracas to a 4-2 victory in 10 innings.47 By Christmas Eve Caracas was in first place and Heard was being consistently used as a reliever. Caracas dominated the Venezuelan league, but was outmatched in the Caribbean Series, losing five of six games. Heard relieved in two games, and started in another. All three were losses.48

Heard returned stateside and joined his new team, the Portland Beavers of the Pacific Coast League, in March. The first reports of his success on the mound appeared in April with the “143-pound Negro lefty” picking up right where he left off in 1952. On April 26 Heard gave up only one unearned run in an 8-1 victory over the Sacramento Solons.49

For the second year in a row, however, late July and August proved to be a difficult time for Heard. Through the last weeks of July and the first of August, he lost six times in seven starts.50 He ended the season 16-12 with a 3.19 ERA, 85 strikeouts, and 92 walks. Portland finished fourth, a position the team held every year between 1950 and 1953.51

As soon as Portland’s season ended, Heard was on a flight to South America to play for Caracas. His performance in Venezuela, where he also played for Magallanes that season, did not matter much; his stint with Portland had been impressive enough for the Orioles to purchase his contract for $20,000. The 1954 season was the first for the Orioles after the St. Louis Browns were relocated to Baltimore. Aside from his 1952 and 1953 win totals, the Orioles based their decision on scouting reports from as far back as his Negro American League All-Star Game performance in 1951.52 Bill Greason, one of Heard’s former Birmingham teammates, also attributed Heard’s selection to his “soft spoken nature.” According to Greason, teams looked for black players “who could handle the abuse without cracking” and could integrate teams with little disruption.53

Heard was one of 18 pitchers at spring training in Yuma, Arizona, in 1954.54 The initial list of players slated for Yuma included Satchel Paige as well, though his age and disinterest in the Orioles ultimately led to Heard being the only African-American at spring training. The expectations were high for the “smallest player in the Baltimore camp.”55 A former Baltimore resident living in Hollywood who had a chance to see Heard play reported to the Baltimore News Post that Heard had a “good chance of being the rookie of the year.”56 The Washington Post concurred, stating that Heard “could be Baltimore’s No. 1 left-handed pitcher.” 57

The Orioles won the Cactus League title with a 12-5 record over the Giants, Indians, and Chicago Cubs. Coming out of spring training, “only Jehosie Heard … has given [manager Jimmy] Dykes cause for cheers in the southpaw department,” wrote the New York Times.58 As Opening Day approached, Heard settled into the role of reliever rather than starter. Pitching was a serious weight on Dykes’s mind, the lack of solid starters negating the strong infield he put together. Surveying his team, Dykes described them as a “sixth-place outfit.”59

The pessimism and gloom were largely contained to Dykes and sportswriters. Baltimoreans, on the other hand, was excited to see the return of the Orioles after 52 years without a major-league team. On a chilly Opening Day, April 15, half a million fans lined the streets to welcome them. More than 46,000, including Vice President Richard Nixon, packed Memorial Stadium to watch the home opener.60 Heard told the Baltimore Afro-American that “the spirit here in Baltimore makes me proud I’m starting here,” and added, “I can only hope I can help the club pay off these fans.”61

Heard’s debut game on April 24 was broadcast across the country as ABC’s Game of the Week.62 When he stepped to the mound in the eighth, the game was already out of hand; the Orioles were down 10-0. Heard pitched 1⅓ innings and gave up no hits or walks.

By Heard’s second appearance, on May 28, the excitement of the April parade had waned and fans now occasionally booed pitchers.63 Heard took the mound in the fifth inning of the first game of a doubleheader against the White Sox at Memorial Stadium with Chicago up 4-2. Heard held them for an inning, but gave up five hits and five runs in the sixth inning; four of the runs scored on a grand slam by Cass Michaels. The Orioles lost 11-6.64

On June 6 the Orioles optioned Heard back to the Portland Beavers, whose performance had suffered by his absence from their pitching staff. The Afro-American wrote that the Orioles felt Heard “was not fast enough for the major leagues,” an assertion borne out in previous observations that he relied mostly on his curve.65 Former teammate Greason observed, “He didn’t have a fastball to go with those breaking balls, but he threw strikes.”66

The Afro-American also cited a more salacious reason for the demotion. Heard’s neighbors had reported a domestic disturbance in the Heard household on the weekend of May 15-16 that involved broken furniture and “blood smears.” The paper found a record of a husband and wife matching Jehosie and Mildred’s description seeking medical treatment on the night in question. The mystery couple gave a nonexistent address similar to the Heards’. On the night of the incident, Heard had complained of a “stomach ailment” and had not reported to the ballpark for the Orioles game.67

Adding to the mystery was the fact that Heard filed a missing-person report for his wife at 2 A.M. on June 9. According to the paper and the police report, Heard reported that his wife had left with “approximately $80 in cash and that there was a possibility she had gone to Washington to the home of relatives.”68 Heard later claimed it was a misunderstanding and that Mildred was in New York at her sister’s home and had not expected him back from a road trip. Further intrigue was the result of a reference in Heard’s missing-person report to a scar over Mildred’s right eye. The medical records of the mystery couple from May 15-16 included a reference to a cut over the woman’s right eye.69

Heard denied any notion of trouble in his marriage. Reports from teammates were conflicting, with some commenting on his “typical” wandering eye and carousing while others suggested that his drinking had caused him to miss team meetings.70 The Orioles denied any knowledge of trouble in Heard’s marriage or that anything other than baseball ability influenced their decision to release Heard; however, the team expressed bewilderment as to why Heard was not on his way to Portland, having “provided his transportation and paid him off in full.”71 Heard finally made his way back to the Portland Beavers and spent the next three years trying to make it back to the majors, though he never succeeded.

Heard struggled again during the late summer of 1954 and suffered a personal tragedy as well when on August 10 his mother died in Birmingham.

Heard was not giving up many runs in his scant number of innings, but Portland had lost confidence in his ability to start and produce solid performances on a consistent basis. On October 6, 1954, the Orioles ended Heard’s option to Portland and officially traded him to the Beavers in exchange for Robert Alexander, a right-handed pitcher.72

After the end of the regular season, Heard joined a travelling group of Negro League All-Stars composed of players from the Negro American League and the minor leagues, but he did not fare well against the major leaguers whom they played

In January 1955 Portland traded Heard and infielder Rocky Krsnich to the Seattle Rainiers for former New York Giant Artie Wilson.73 In Seattle, the lefty would be a part of what was termed “the best pitching staff in the [Pacific Coast League]” by The Sporting News and observers at Seattle’s 1955 spring training in Palm Springs, California.74

Nonetheless, Seattle optioned Heard to the Charleston (West Virginia) Senators in July. There he accrued a 1-3 record and a 5.43 ERA.75 During the first week of August, Charleston sent Heard to the fifth-place Tulsa Oilers in the Texas League. The league had desegregated in 1952 but by 1955 there were still only a few African-American players in the circuit.76 By mid-August Heard had racked up three victories and had pitched 27 consecutive innings without giving up an earned run.77

The Dallas Morning News’s characterization of Heard’s pitching at the end of August was a far cry from the descriptions of newspapers a year or two earlier. He was described as throwing an “assortment of ‘junk,’” a mixture of “slow and medium speed pitches.” Tulsa finished the season tied for fourth with the Houston Buffaloes and Heard had a 6-2 record.78 Tulsa and Houston played a tiebreaker to see which team entered the playoffs. Heard started the game and gave up six hits, one walk, and one run through eight innings. But he threw a wild pitch in the ninth that allowed a Houston runner to score for a 2-1 victory.79

After the season Heard again joined the Negro American League All-Stars who toured with the Major League All-Stars organized by Don Newcombe and Willie Mays. While the NAL All-Stars rarely won, Heard had moments of pitching success, retiring every batter in order between the 7th and 12th innings of an October 23 matchup.80 In a game in mid-October, he gave up home runs to both Ernie Banks and Hank Aaron.81

Afterward Heard headed south of the border again for winter ball, this time ending up in the Dominican League. He started with the Tigres del Licey in Santo Domingo, earning at least one win, on November 19. However, he ended the season with the Estrellas Orientales in San Pedro de Macoris. The latter team cut Heard just before Christmas.82

Heard was back with Tulsa in March 1956, but he struggled on the mound the first few months. The Oilers traded Heard to the Havana Sugar Kings of the International League in July. He entered a team and country in the midst of revolutionary rumblings. Heard’s performance with Havana continued as it had with Tulsa, an uneven mixture of solid pitching and tough outings. The Sugar Kings ended the season in sixth place, and Heard ended it with a 3-5 record.83

Heard returned to the barnstorming circuit in October, but quickly signed on with the Vanytor team in the Colombian Winter League. He posted a 7-7 record with a team contending for another championship.  Heard ended the season as one of the better pitchers in the league, registering a 2.08 ERA over 139 innings.

The 1957 season was the last of Heard’s baseball career. He was back with the Sugar Kings, but he pitched only one or two innings at a time and produced little. In the fall of 1957, he signed with Leon in the Nicaraguan League. His last recorded games included a 5-0 shutout and then a 1-0 loss, both against the Cinco Estrellas.84

Heard attempted to find a place on a team in 1958 but was unsuccessful. He returned home to Memphis but moved back to Birmingham sometime after 1960. In Birmingham he took a job operating a dye machine for the Avondale Mill, eventually rising to a supervisory position.85 According to the Baltimore Sun, Heard was an “avid fisherman” and maintained a social network of former Negro League players in the years after he retired.86

According to a relative, Heard “was proud of [integrating the Orioles], but he never talked about it.” Heard suffered a stroke sometime in the 1990s and moved into a nursing home. He died of cancer on November 18, 1999.87


This biography appears in “Bittersweet Goodbye: The Black Barons, the Grays, and the 1948 Negro League World Series” (SABR, 2017), edited by Frederick C. Bush and Bill Nowlin.



1 “Major League,” Chicago Tribune April 24, 1954: 1.

2 Bob Luke, Integrating the Orioles: Baseball and Race in Baltimore (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, 2016), 24.

3 Steven Moffson, “High Shoals Historic District.” National Register of Historic Places Inventory/Nomination Form. Historic Preservation Division, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Atlanta, August 2006.

4 John Eisenberg, “O’s Quiet Pioneer,” Baltimore Sun, April 23, 2004: 1E.

5 1930 US Census, Precinct 46, Birmingham, Jefferson County, Alabama; p. 25, family 390, dwelling 370, lines 87-91; April 16, 1930.

6 Birmingham Independent School District, Jehosie Heard Cumulative Record for Elementary and High Schools.

7 1940 US Census, Precinct 46, Birmingham, Jefferson County, Alabama; p. 2, dwelling 18, lines 8-11; April 2, 1940.

8 Eisenberg.

9 “Buckeyes Lose to Birmingham: Black Barons Win Home Opener 7-2,” Chicago Defender (National edition), May 18, 1946: 11.

10 “Birmingham and Chicago Divide,” Chicago Defender, August 10, 1946: 11.

11 “Jessup Hurls North to Win,” Chicago Defender, September 28, 1946: 11; Rory Costello, “Dan Bankhead,” sabr.org/bioproj/person/62db6502 [accessed December 31, 2016].

12 “Memphis Loses Two to Barons,” Chicago Defender, September 6, 1947: 11.

13 William Dismukes, “Homestead Grays Swamp Black Barons,” Chicago Defender, October 9, 1948: 10.

14 “1948 Negro World Series,” Baseball-Reference.com, baseball-reference.com/bullpen/1948_Negro_World_Series [accessed December 31, 2016].

15 “Heard to Memphis,” Chicago Defender, February 19, 1949: 13.

16 “Eagles and Baltimore Play Easter,” Chicago Defender, April 16, 1949: 14.

17 “Sox Beat Eagles 6-5,” Chicago Defender, April 16, 1949: 2.

18 “Eagles Open 2nd Series vs. Red Sox,” Chicago Defender, June 11, 1949: 16.

19 “Stars Schedule Double-Header for Thursday,” Chicago Defender, August 13, 1949: 16; “Eagles Make First Trip to Kay Cee,” Chicago Defender, August 6, 1949: 15.

20 “Houston Eagles Defeat Memphis Red Sox,” Chicago Defender, September 3, 1949: 15.

21 Jerry Parker, “The Score Book” Kansas City (Kansas) Plaindealer, June 16, 1950: 4.

22 Russ J. Cowans, “Russ’s Corner,” Chicago Defender, July 8 1950: 16; “American League Announces Second Half of Baseball Schedule,” Kansas City Plaindealer, June 16, 1950: 4.

23 “Red Sox Make Final Bid for 2nd Half Title,” Chicago Defender, September 2, 1950: 18; “Major League Stars Open Southern Tour,” Chicago Defender, October 14, 1950: 18.

24 “New Orleans Eagles in 1st Game April 14,” Chicago Defender, April 14, 1951: 16.

25 “New Orleans Eagles Split Twin Bill Against Barons,” New Orleans Times Picayune, April 16, 1951: 48.

26 “Eagles Blow Hot and Earn Title of Wonder Team,” Chicago Defender, June 30 1951: 17.

27 “Monarchs to Meet New Orleans Eagles in Three Game Series,” Kansas City Plaindealer, July 27, 1951: 4.

28 “Ford Rebuilds Strong Eagles Club Around Heard and Curley Williams,” Chicago Defender, July 28, 1951: 18.

29 “Chicago Hurler Leads East-West Voting,” Chicago Defender, July 28, 1951: 18.

30 “21,312 See East Beat West, 3-1 in Annual Chicago Classic,” Pittsburgh Courier, August 18, 1951: 7.

31 “Jehosie Heard Top NAL Batter,” Chicago Defender, September 8, 1951: 16.

32 “Heard’s Stickwork Gives Eagles Even Break in Bill,” Times Picayune, April 30, 1951: 27.

33 “Ford Rebuilds Strong Eagles Club Around Heard and Curley Williams,” Chicago Defender, July 28, 1951: 18.

34 “Jehosie Heard Top NAL Batter,” Chicago Defender, September 8, 1951: 16. A September 15, 1951, article in the Chicago Defender incorrectly lists Ed Steele as the batting champion with a .370 average, .026 lower than Heard’s. It also lists 163 strikeouts instead of 149.

35 L.H. Gregory, “Beavers’ Staff Bulwarked by Diminutive Lefty Heard,” The Sporting News, August 5, 1953: 23.

36 Russ J. Cowans, “Russ’s Corner,” Chicago Defender, September 1, 1951: 16.

37 Ruth Jenkins, “Church Was ‘Lovers Lane” for the Heards,” Baltimore Afro-American, May 4, 1954: 10.

38 L.H. Gregory, “Beavers’ Staff Bulwarked by Diminutive Lefty Heard,” The Sporting News, August 5, 1953: 23.

39 “Deals of the Week Majors-Minors,” The Sporting News, April 30, 1952: 36.

40 “Western International League,” The Sporting News, May 21, 1952: 33.

41 “Western International League,” The Sporting News, June 18, 1952: 34.

42 Jim Tang, “Heard Hurls First ’52 Gem in W-I Loop for 20th Win,” The Sporting News, September 17, 1952: 33.

43 “Deals of the Week Majors-Minors,” The Sporting News, September 17, 1952: 40.

44 L.H. Gregory, “Beavers’ Staff Bulwarked by Diminutive Lefty Heard,” The Sporting News, August 5, 1953: 23.

45 The National Archives, Washington, D.C.: Series Title: Passenger and Crew Lists of Vessels and Airplanes Departing from New York, New York, 07/01/1948-12/31/1956; NAI Number: 3335533; Record Group Title: Records of the Immigration and Naturalization.

46 Antonio Lutz, “Magallanes’ Hex on Caracas Tightens Venezuelan Race,” The Sporting News, November 19, 1952: 24.

47 Antonio Lutz, “Magallanes Drop Two, Caracas in Venezuelan Lead,” The Sporting News, November 26, 1952: 20.

48 Pedro Galiana, “Santurce Wins Six in Row to Notch Caribbean Series,” The Sporting News, March 4, 1953: 25.

49 “Pacific Coast League,” The Sporting News, May 6, 1953: 26.

50 “Pacific Coast League,” The Sporting News, August 19, 1953: 34.

51 “Pacific Coast League,” The Sporting News, September 23, 1953: 20, 26.

52 Hugh Trader Jr., “Ehlers Promised Initial Crack at Big Slugger,” The Sporting News, December 23, 1953: 8.

53 Eisenberg.

54 “Orioles Will Take 44 to Training Camp,” Washington Post, January 17, 1954: C2.

55 “Navy Lists Spring Drills,” Washington Post, February 25, 1954: 19.

56 “Rodger H. Pippen, Sports Editor, says,” Baltimore News Post, February 12, 1954: 32.

57 “Navy Lists Spring Drills.”

58 Lou Hatter, “Orioles Return to Major Leagues Marked by Successful Spring,” New York Times, March 28, 1954: S3.

59 Hugh Trader Jr., “Dykes Now Doubts Orioles Can Finish Higher Than Sixth,” The Sporting News, April 14, 1954: 11.

60 Herb Heft, “Orioles Pick Coleman to Face Tigers,” Washington Post & Times Herald, April 17, 1954: 13; Sam Lacy, “46,354 fans in Stadium for Orioles Opening Game,” Baltimore Afro-American, April 17, 1954: 1; Herb Heft, “Baltimore Flips Lid – 500,000 at parade, 46, 354 See Game,” The Sporting News, April 21, 1954: 13.

61 Lacy.

62 “April 24 ‘Game of Week’ to Show Chisox, Orioles,” The Sporting News, April 21, 1954: 16.

63 Herb Heft, “Is Honeymoon Over? Fans Give the Bird to Wobbling Orioles,” The Sporting News: June 9, 1954: 9.

64 “How They Stand,” The Sporting News, June 9, 1954, 19; “Games of Friday May 28,” The Sporting News, June 9, 1954: 19.

65 “Why the Orioles Released Heard,” Baltimore Afro-American, June 12, 1954: 1.

66 Eisenberg

67 “Why the Orioles Released Heard.”

68 Ibid.

69 Ibid.

70 John Klima, Willie’s Boys: The 1948 Birmingham Black Barons, The Last Negro League World Series, and the Making of a Baseball Legend (Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, 2009), 74; Eisenberg.

71  “Why the Orioles Released Heard.”

72 “Orioles Obtain Pitcher,” Washington Post & Times Herald, October 7, 1954: 29. Baseball-Reference.com shows him with a 3.22 ERA.

73 “Deals of the Week,” The Sporting News, January 26, 1955: 28.

74 John B. Old, “4 Coast Teams Warm in Praise of Desert Sites,” The Sporting News, March 16, 1955: 31-32.

75 “Deals of the Week,” The Sporting News June 22, 1955, 24; “The 1955 Charleston Senators,” Baseball-Reference.com, baseball-reference.com/register/team.cgi?id=2a0d00fb [accessed December 31, 2016].

76 Eisenberg.

77 “Dallas, Padres in Slump; Lead Narrows,” Sweetwater (Texas) Reporter, August 16, 1955: 2; “Missions Lose Speed in Chase for Pennant,” Austin (Texas) American Statesman, August 16, 1955: C2.

78 “TL Playoffs Open Wednesday Night,” Dallas Morning News, September 7, 1955: 18.

79 “Buffs Nip Tulsa in Ninth,” Dallas Morning News, September 8, 1955: 23.

80 “Jones Triple in 13th Wins Game,” New Orleans Times Picayune, October 24, 1955: 27.

81 “Mays-Newk Gates in Dixie Dropping With Temperature,” The Sporting News, October 26, 1955: 23.

82 “Dominican League,” The Sporting News November 30, 1955, 34; “Dominican League,” The Sporting News, December 28, 1955: 22; The National Archives, Washington, D.C.; Series Title: Passenger and Crew Lists of Vessels and Airplanes Arriving at Miami, Florida. NAI Number: 2771998; Record Group Title: Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

83 “International League,” The Sporting News, September 19, 1956: 30-31.

84 Emigdio Suarez, “U.S. Imports Put Bounce in Boers in Chase of Leon,” The Sporting News, November 20, 1957: 25.

85 Eisenberg.

86 Ibid.

87 Ibid.

Full Name

Jehosie Heard


January 17, 1921 at High Shoals, GA (US)


November 18, 1999 at Birmingham, AL (US)

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