Paul Hardy

This article was written by Jeb Stewart

Paul Hardy (Nior-Tech Research, Inc.)

Paul Hardy was a defensive-minded catcher who played in the Negro leagues for nearly three decades, from 1931 to 1959. He stood 5-feet-10 and weighed just 162 pounds — a slight build for a backstop — but he developed a reputation for durability and regularly caught both ends of doubleheaders during his career. Nicknamed “Piccolo,” “Pickemup,”1 and “Greyhound,”2 the right-hander was a smart player and a leader who frequently served as a player-manager.

Paul James Hardy was born on September 17, 1910, in Meridian, Mississippi. A 1920 Census record from that city notes that his mother was a single woman named Abbie Hardy, who laundered clothes in their home for work. Paul had seven siblings: Jennie, Della, Tom, Helena, Ellen, Beatrice, and Danella.3 Little is known about Hardy’s upbringing and education. However, by 1930 he was employed as a waiter in a boarding house in Meridian, Mississippi,4 and he reportedly attended Alcorn Agricultural and Mechanical College in Lorman, Mississippi.5 

In 1931 Hardy signed with the Montgomery Grey Sox of the newly reorganized Negro Southern League.6 The 20-year-old made his professional debut on May 9 as the Grey Sox defeated the Chattanooga Black Lookouts, 6-1.7 Later that month, his offensive skills powered the Grey Sox as he had three hits in an 8-7 loss to the Nashville Elite Giants.8 He suffered an undisclosed injury during a game against the Birmingham Black Barons in June and had to be taken out of the game.9 The injury had no lasting effect as his name again appeared in line scores within a week.10 Hardy’s rookie campaign launched his reputation as a durable receiver: He caught both games in doubleheaders on at least 11 occasions, according to the available box and line scores.11 Even with rosters capped at 13, this was an achievement in endurance.12 

Montgomery finished the first half of the NSL in fifth place with a 14-22 record.13 According to NSL historian William J. Plott, the Grey Sox won the second-half title and faced the Memphis Red Sox in the playoffs. The series was tied after six games and was canceled for no apparent reason.14   

Hardy returned to the Grey Sox in 1932 and had six straight hits in two games against Atlanta in early May.15 The NSL was elevated to “Negro major league status by baseball historians because it survived while all others fell by the wayside during the worst of the Great Depression.”16 Montgomery had a winning record in the first half at 22-17 but finished in fourth place.17 The results of the second half were clouded in uncertainty as the Grey Sox had a record of 1-6 in the last published standings.18 Hardy was again the catcher of record in most of Montgomery’s twin bills, which exposed his talents to owners in faraway cities.19

Hardy’s play got the attention of Candy Jim Taylor and he joined the Indianapolis ABCs although details of his signing are lost to history.20 The club soon moved to Detroit and was rebranded as the Stars in the reorganized Negro National League.21 Taylor occasionally rested Hardy by penciling him into the lineup as a first baseman after he caught the first game of a doubleheader.22 In August Hardy returned to Montgomery to face his old team; the Grey Sox took two of three games in the series.23 The Stars finished in sixth place in the NNL with a record of 19-30.24

Over the next four years, Hardy continued to switch leagues and teams. In 1934 he returned to Alabama and played for the Birmingham Giants of the NSL, who newspapers sometimes called the Black Barons.25 As usual, he rarely got a day off from behind the plate; in August, while catching both games of a doubleheader against the Brooklyn Bushwicks, he went 3-for-7 and stole a base.26 In 1935 he played for the Columbus/Nashville Elite Giants.27 The following year he may have returned to the Montgomery Grey Sox as a player-manager.28 With Hardy at the helm and behind the plate, the Grey Sox dedicated a new ballpark, Brown’s Park,29 but had an otherwise disastrous season, finishing in last place in the NSL.30 Finally, in 1937, Hardy joined Candy Jim Taylor’s Chicago American Giants of the Negro American League for the next two years.31 However, life in the Negro leagues was always hard, even if a player found stability in one city, as Hardy recalled years later to Wendell Smith:

Paul Hardy, a catcher for the old American Giants … remembers the time his team arrived in Odessa, Tex., after a drive by car from Chicago.

“We arrived in the middle of the night,” Hardy recalled. “We couldn’t find a place to sleep, so we drove directly to the ball park. About an hour later the promoter of the game showed up. He was tall, white and spoke with a heavy Texas drawl. He said: ‘Don’t you all worry about a place to stay — because we ain’t got no place for you to stay.’”

“So we slept in two cars,” said Paul Hardy.32

With Chicago, Hardy enjoyed personal success and attention as newspapers “rated [him as] a fine hitter and an excellent receiver.”33 According to the Center for Negro League Baseball Research, “[T] Kansas City Monarchs won both halves of the [1937] season … [and] [t]hen beat the Chicago American Giants in a special post-season Play-Off Series when the American Giants disputed the Monarchs being awarded the Negro American League title.”34 Complete statistics for Hardy are unavailable for 1937, but he played well enough to be selected to represent the North in the NAL’s All-Star game, which was played at Rickwood Field in Birmingham, Alabama, on August 22, 1937.35 Hardy went 1-for-4, also reached base when he was hit by a pitch, and made an error behind the plate. He scored a run in the North’s 13-5 win over the South.36

The next season, 1938, the American Giants finished 40-39, which was good for third place in the NAL.37 Hardy remained with Chicago, and his name regularly appeared in box scores38 as he reportedly hit .332.39 However, he was demoted to a reserve role behind starter Richard “Subby” Byas.40

Whether it was due to reduced playing time in Chicago, or some other reason, Hardy joined the rival Kansas City Monarchs in 1939. The Monarchs had posted the best NAL record the previous two seasons and did so again in 1939 with a record of 42-22.41 Kansas City won the first half of the NAL and then defeated the second-half champion, the St. Louis Stars, four games to one in a playoff series.42 Hardy hit .324 with an on-base percentage of .410.43 In May, he homered in a 15-8 victory over Memphis and followed that up with a key pinch hit in a win over the Paris Tigers.44 Nevertheless, Hardy spent his second year as a backup catcher, this time behind Joe “Pea” Greene.

Birmingham had not fielded a Negro league team in 1939.45 In 1940 the Black Barons returned to the NAL and hired Candy Jim Taylor as their manager. To improve Birmingham’s catching and leadership, Taylor purchased Hardy’s contract from Kansas City.46 The Birmingham News applauded the acquisition, writing:

Hardy is recognized as one of the best handlers of pitchers in Negro baseball, and he will arrive in town in time to catch the Sunday double-header. Hardy is known as such a good field general that he may be appointed captain of the Black Barons for the season of 1940.47

With the Black Barons, Hardy returned to the starting lineup, although he suffered a split finger in the spring, which sidelined him briefly.48 Not only was Hardy a starter behind the plate, once again he caught both ends of doubleheaders with regularity.49 But Birmingham finished a lackluster campaign in sixth place, with a record of 11-21.50

That fall, Hardy appeared for Taylor’s NAL All-Stars and faced Birmingham’s Industrial League All-Stars at Rickwood Field. Future Black Barons Piper Davis, Artie Wilson, Bill Powell, and Ed Steele of the American Cast Iron Pipe Company (ACIPCO) played for the Industrial Leaguers.51

Winfield Welch became manager of the Black Barons in 1941 and retained Hardy as his catcher.52 In a feature article about the club, Hardy was credited as being “a hard worker, [who] handles pitchers well, and is a good director behind the bat.”53 In late April he caught both halves of a twin bill and socked a bases-clearing triple in the second game as the Black Barons earned a split with the New York Black Yankees.54 He caught both ends of doubleheaders at least 10 times.55 His sturdy presence behind the plate did not escape the notice of fans or sportswriters:

Paul Hardy, selected by a vote of the fans as the most valuable Baron for the ’41 season, and presented with a U.S. defense bond by President Tom Hayes, Jr., at last Sunday’s double-header, will catch both Sunday games. Hardy, with a hitting average of .302, has caught most of the double-headers.56

The Black Barons improved to an overall record of 28-20 and finished in second place in the NAL behind Kansas City.57 In a five-game exhibition series against local all-stars, Hardy went 3-for-4 in the deciding fifth game as the Black Barons won, 5-4.58

In the spring of 1942, newspapers hailed Hardy, now 31, as “one of the craftiest catchers in all of Negro baseball,” “a steadying influence with pitchers,” “the veteran catcher who meant so much to the Black Barons last season,” and “one of the hardest workers in the league.”59 Hardy played well in 1942 and was voted onto the West roster for the annual East-West All-Star Game in Chicago.60 All available box and line scores and game accounts indicate Hardy played the entire 1942 campaign for the Black Barons, who finished in third place in the NAL with a record of 27-22.61 However, he may also have appeared in at least one game for the Kansas City Monarchs in 1942.

In The Kansas City Monarchs: Champions of Black Baseball, historian Janet Bruce cites Hardy as a catcher on the roster of the Monarchs in 1942.62 Concerning the rosters from 1920 to 1955, Bruce noted, “Because players frequently jumped their contracts in midseason, rosters changed over the course of the summer … all players who were on the payroll for some part of the season are included.”63 Other sources, including William A. Young’s J.L. Wilkinson and the Kansas City Monarchs, James A. Riley’s Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues, and The Negro Leagues Book, edited by Dick Clark and Larry Lester, list Hardy on the roster of the Monarchs in 1942, the latter identifying him as both a catcher and right fielder.64

Johnnie Dawson and Gready McKinnis were also members of the Black Barons in 1942.65 According to, both appeared in games with the Monarchs that season: McKinniss played in one game, while Dawson appeared in nine.66 However, does not include Hardy on the Monarchs roster.67 Hardy himself later recalled playing “several seasons” for the Monarchs,68 though most sources identify him on the roster only in 1939.

Hardy may have been loaned to the Monarchs for a single game, either when the Black Barons were not playing, or when the teams played one another and Kansas City could not field a full squad. Such an occurrence was not uncommon in the Negro leagues and may have been exacerbated because of the outbreak of World War II, which depleted rosters. The Black Barons lost seven players to military service during 1942 alone.69 Loaning players was sometimes necessary to avoid losing gate revenue if a game had to be canceled. Such a practice was not without its critics, however. In 1944 the Monarchs objected when the Chicago American Giants allegedly used borrowed players to defeat Satchel Paige.70 Columnist Wendall Smith loathed the practice, writing:

Chicago contended that both players were originally members of its squad, but had been loaned out early in the season, subject to recall. Now we all know, of course, that such “deals” are in direct opposition to the rules and regulations of organized baseball.

If such “deals” were permissible, it would enable any team in the league to “stack up” with the star players of a club that lacked a mathematical chance of winning a pennant. It would enable one club to build up for one particular series, or mean that all the players in one league could be switched around at the will of the owners.

There is no such thing in baseball as a loaned player. A player is traded or sold to another club. He cannot be put on wheels and shoved back and forth, from one club to another, as has been the case of Willie] Wells and Alex] Radcliffe. And even then, there is a time limit on the trading and selling of players. Certainly such deals cannot be made in the middle of the season without the approval of the other clubs in the league.71

Whether Hardy appeared in a game for the Monarchs in 1942 will remain a mystery unless a box score or additional evidence is located.

The following year, 1943, marked the rise of the Birmingham Black Barons as one of the best franchises in the Negro leagues. Birmingham finished 46-35 and won the first-half title in the NAL.72 For most of the summer, Hardy was the starting catcher, but his name last appeared in a box score on September 3.73

As the Black Barons prepared to face the second-half champion Chicago American Giants in the playoffs, newspapers listed Hardy on Birmingham’s roster.74 However, the US Army had already drafted him,75 and Herman Bell replaced Hardy on the Black Barons.76 Bell himself was then injured against Chicago and could not play in the Negro League World Series.77 The Homestead Grays agreed to allow the Black Barons to use Ted Double Duty” Radcliffe, player-manager of the American Giants, as their catcher.78 The Grays won an exciting seven-game series over the Black Barons. Wendell Smith complained that Radcliffe’s addition to Birmingham’s roster, notwithstanding Homestead’s approval, made the series appear “slip-shod” and called for a league commissioner.79

Hardy was assigned to the Army’s 868th Company at Camp Knight in Oakland, California. He played baseball at Camp Knight and captained the football team while stationed at Camp Plauche, near New Orleans. During his hitch, Hardy achieved the rank of sergeant and was discharged on September 28, 1945.80 He rejoined the Black Barons, who were on a barnstorming tour of the West Coast.81 However, Hardy’s time with Birmingham was soon over and he remained in the West the following year.

Abe Saperstein had been the business manager of the Black Barons for several years in the 1940s. In 1946 Saperstein owned a barnstorming team, the Cincinnati Crescents. He merged the Crescents with the roster of his Harlem Globetrotters baseball club to form the Seattle Steelheads; the Steelheads joined the newly formed West Coast Negro Baseball League.82 He hired Paul Hardy, now 35, as his player-manager and rented Sick’s Stadium in Seattle for most home games.83 The new league collapsed after just two months.84 Hardy and his players then went back to barnstorming. Later that fall, Saperstein organized a 14-game all-star trip to Hawaii where Hardy was joined by former Black Barons Piper Davis, Artie Wilson, and Ed Steele, as well as Luke Easter and Cool Papa Bell.85

In February 1947 the Pittsburgh Courier reported that Hardy was expected to join the Memphis Red Sox for spring training.86 However, Saperstein had other plans. He hired Hardy to manage and catch for the Harlem Globetrotters, whom Saperstein reorganized through a merger of the rosters of the Crescents and Steelheads.87 Like their basketball cousins, the Globetrotters traveled the country playing local teams, Negro league teams, all-star squads, or other barnstorming outfits, such as the House of David.88 Globetrotters games featured shadowball performances along with appearances by baseball clown Eddie Hamman to entertain fans.89 Hardy remained as the player-manager of the Globetrotters from 1947 to 1950.

Before arriving in a particular city, the Globetrotters would issue advertisements disguised as news stories to drum up interest in their coming appearance. Hardy was often described as being “rated as one of the greatest catchers in Negro League baseball” and “one of the best-liked fellows in Negro baseball and certain to go far as a manager.”90 One such example of the effusive praise for Hardy appeared in a 1949 article:

If Paul Hardy wasn’t happily situated as manager of the crack Harlem Globetrotters — which is scheduled at Affleck park against the House of David July 8 — he’d certainly be among the first Negro stars summoned into the major league.

Hardy, a youthful veteran, is equipped with everything to make the grade — ability, hustle, brains, a great competitive spirit and a deep love for the game. He long has rated among the greatest sepia catching stars, and he has been back of the plate and managing the Globetrotter nine since its inception.91

Under Hardy’s leadership, the Globetrotters reportedly had a record of 500-125 (.800),92 though newspapers seldom published game accounts or line scores. In a rare report on a contest between the Globetrotters and the House of David, Hardy’s pickoff throw to first nailed a runner to end the game.93

Besides his baseball duties, Hardy often drove the bus for the basketball Globetrotters during the winter.94 However, by 1951, the Globetrotters ceased baseball operations.95

Winfield Welch had taken over the struggling Chicago American Giants. Thanks to Saperstein, many of the Globetrotters ended up on his roster, including Hardy.96 Hardy was the starting catcher and shared managing duties with Welch.97 His defensive prowess was on display in a barnstorming victory over the South Bend Indians in May as “Hardy won a round of applause after a long run, climaxed by a one-hand catch of Scott’s foul in the seventh.”98 Buoyed by former Globetrotters, the American Giants improved on their 1950 record (15-31 and last place in their division) to finish 34-24 and claim second place in the NAL West in 1951.99 Later that fall, Hardy played catcher and shortstop on Roy Campanella’s All-Stars, along with Piper Davis, Larry Doby, Luke Easter, Monte Irvin, Willie Mays, Verdell Mathis, Hank Thompson, Joe Black, Don Newcombe, and Jimmie Newberry, among others.100

In 1952 the Chicago American Giants finished 32-31 for a third-place finish in the team’s coda in the NAL. The reliable Hardy returned as player-manager until the end amid dubious reports that the 41-year-old catcher had “refused numerous major league offers to remain as manager of the Giants on a year-round basis.”101 Hardy again barnstormed with the Roy Campanella All-Stars after the season. In one of his final games, the All-Stars faced the Birmingham Black Barons before a crowd of 2,227 at Rickwood Field. Hardy singled to drive in Willie Mays for the final run in the All-Stars’ 5-3 win.102

After his apparent retirement from baseball, Hardy continued driving the bus for the Globetrotters basketball squad for several years.103 However, in 1959 he may have returned to the NAL to play for the Birmingham Black Barons. From June 19 to July 20, the name “Hardy” appeared in the line score as a catcher four times during the Black Barons’ NAL championship season.104 The question is whether it was Paul Hardy.

In Appendix B to Black Baseball’s Last Team Standing: The Birmingham Black Barons, 1919-1962, William J. Plott concluded that the catcher was indeed Paul Hardy.”105 His inclusion, even as a 48-year-old catcher on the Black Barons, would have made some sense. Piper Davis was the manager and considered the team to be an “exhibition outfit by then.”106 He and Hardy had been teammates on the Black Barons in 1943 and 1945. Also, both had regularly driven the Globetrotters’ bus during offseasons; Davis had done so during the winters of 1958 and 1959.107

The Globetrotters employed Hardy for 37 years.108 By 1964, he estimated he had already “driven more than 1.7 million miles in the United States and other parts of the world minus a single accident,” a distance he figured as second only to Abe Saperstein.109 In the same feature story, he described his greatest baseball moment for columnist Al Warden: “This happened in Merrill, Wisconsin. Our rivals had the bases loaded and the batter put on the squeeze play and I was the starter of a sensational triple play. This was my biggest baseball thrill.”

Hardy died on August 28, 1979, at the Lakeside Veterans Hospital in Chicago.110 He left behind his wife, Ruthe Hardy, and three daughters, Vivona Summers, Peggy Love, and Emily Norris.11



The author wishes to thank fellow SABR researchers Bill Young, Chris Hicks, Alan Cohen, Donna Halper, Tim Tassler, and Bill Plott, who took time to answer emails about whether Paul Hardy played for the Kansas City Monarchs in 1942. In addition, Janet Bruce Vaughn, Gary Ashwill, and Larry Lester were generous with their time and helpful in responding to questions about Hardy. Finally, the author is grateful to Cassidy Lent, a reference librarian at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, who provided him with Paul Hardy’s obituary.




2 William J. Plott, Black Baseball’s Last Team Standing: The Birmingham Black Barons, 1919-1962 (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland Publishing, 2015), 248.

3 Mississippi. Lauderdale County. 1920 US Census.

4 Mississippi. Lauderdale County. 1930 US Census.

5 “Grey Sox Divide Tilts With ’Nooga; Hit Road Till June,” Montgomery Advertiser, May 12, 1931: 10. It is possible, the reference to Paul Hardy attending Alcorn may have been mistaken as Grey Sox pitcher Wheeler Hardy also attended the school. William J. Plott, The Negro Southern League: A Baseball History, 1920-1951 (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland Publishing, 2014), 83. The author was unable to confirm whether Paul Hardy played baseball at Alcorn because the school does not have records from the 1930s. Robbie Kleinmuntz, assistant athletic director for sports information at Alcorn State University, email correspondence with author, September 23, 2020. Assuming Hardy attended Alcorn, he apparently did not mention this to Al Warden when he was featured in his column in 1964. Al Warden, “The Sports Highway,” Odgen (Utah) Standard-Examiner, February 10, 1964: 6. Also, Hardy’s obituary made no mention of his education. “Obituaries: Paul Hardy,” Chicago Tribune, August 30, 1979: 49.

6 “Negro Southern League Organized,” Nashville Banner, March 15, 1931: 28; “Grey Sox Divide Tilts With ’Nooga; Hit Road Till June.”

7 “Grey Trounce Chattanooga,” Montgomery Advertiser, May 10, 1931: 9.

8 “Elites Subdue Grey Sox, 8-7,” Nashville Banner, May 24, 1931: 28.

9 “Black Barons Bow to Grey Sox, 7 to 5,” Montgomery Advertiser, June 7, 1931: 7.

10 “Grey Sox Beaten By Atlanta, 11-1,” Montgomery Advertiser, June 12, 1931: 10.

11 “Grey Sox Divide Tilts With ’Nooga; Hit Road Till June”; “Barons Lose Night Games to Grey Sox,” Birmingham Reporter, June 27, 1931: 7; “Grey Sox Split With Memphis,” Montgomery Advertiser, June 29, 1931: 7; “Grey Sox Beat Knoxville Nine,” Montgomery Advertiser, July 6, 1931: 10; “Grey Sox Capture Double Bill, 6-1 — 3-0,” Montgomery Advertiser, July 20, 1931: 6; “Mobile Loses Three Straights to Sox,” Montgomery Advertiser, July 25, 1931: 7; “Grey Sox Split With Giant Foe,” Montgomery Advertiser, August 3, 1931: 12; “Grey Sox Romp on Jacksonville ‘Stingerees,’” Birmingham Reporter, August 8, 1931: 7; “Sox Defeat Giants in a Twin Bill,” Birmingham Reporter, August 22, 1931: 3; “Sox and Barons Split Twin Bill,” Birmingham Reporter, August 29, 1931: 3; “White Sox Win, Lose,” Louisville Courier-Journal, August 31, 1931: 7.

12 Plott, The Negro Southern League, 82.

13 “Elites Lead Dixie League,” Pittsburgh Courier, July 18, 1931: 14.

14 Plott, The Negro Southern League, 88. Adding to the confusion, newspapers cited the Nashville Elite Giants as being champions of the Negro Southern League in advertisements for the Negro Dixie Series against the Negro Texas-Louisiana League champions, the Monroe Monarchs. “Negro Dixie Series,” Times (Shreveport, Louisiana), September 5, 1931: 11.

15 “Grey Sox Open Season With Atlanta Team Here Today,” Montgomery Advertiser, July 20, 1931: 6; Plott, The Negro Southern League, 95.

16 Plott, The Negro Southern League: 91.

17 “Monarchs Triumph in Colored League,” Monroe (Louisiana) News-Star, July 6, 1932: 6.

18 Plott, The Negro Southern League, 100.

19 “Grey Sox Take Two from Crax,” Montgomery Advertiser, April 25, 1932: 5; “Barons Win Four, Lose One,” Montgomery Advertiser, May 21, 1932: 4; “Grey Sox Lose to Louisianans,” Montgomery Advertiser, May 30, 1932: 6; “Little Rock Loses Twice to Grey Sox,” Montgomery Advertiser, June 6, 1932: 6; “Black Caps Take Two from Montgomery Sox,” Louisville Courier-Journal, July 11, 1932: 5; “Grey Sox Grab Two Games from Louisville In 2nd Place Fight,” Montgomery Advertiser, July 25, 1932: 6.

20 “Lincoln Giants Defeat Indianapolis Team, 9-7,” Town Talk (Alexandria, Louisiana), April 7, 1933: 12.


22 “Nashville Takes Lead from Giants in Negro National,” Birmingham News, August 7, 1933: 7.

23 “Detroit Team Plays Here Against Locals Tonight,” Montgomery Advertiser, August 11, 1933: 3; “Grey Sox Capture Abbreviated Game,” Montgomery Advertiser, August 12, 1933: 6; “Grey Sox, Detroit Divide Twin Bill,” Montgomery Advertiser, August 14, 1933: 6.


25 “Negro Teams Play Sunday at ‘Wood,’” Birmingham News, May 13, 1934: 16; “Cincy Takes Double Bill From Barons,” Pittsburgh Courier, June 16, 1934: 15. According to Plott, “The Birmingham News referred to the ball club as ‘Birmingham Giants, alias the Black Barons.’” Plott, The Negro Southern League, 117.

26 “Chambers and Grampp Defeat Black Barons; Farmers Win Twin Bill,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, August 20, 1934: 8.

27 “Elite Giants Make Debut Here Sunday,” Tennessean (Nashville), April 4, 1935: 15; “Black Eagles Gain Split With Elites,” Times Union (Brooklyn), June 24, 1935: 11; “Grays Divide with Columbus,” Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph, June 30, 1935: 42; “Eagles Defeated by Strong Rivals,” Times Union, July 22, 1935: 11; “Dukes Beaten by Elite Nine in Thrillers,” Times Union, September 16, 1935: 13.

28 No other “Paul Hardy” has been identified as playing in the Negro Leagues in 1936. Newspapers referred to the Grey Sox player-manager only as “Hardy.” Adding to the confusion, a 1937 article stated, “Hardy worked for Manager Taylor at Washington.” Hank Casserly, “Chicago Club Faces Locals Wednesday and Thursday,” Capital Times (Madison, Wisconsin), May 25, 1937: 17. This reference was likely to the 1936 season when the Elite Giants played in Washington. However, given Hardy’s prior connection with the Montgomery club and his position as a catcher (which was the same as Montgomery’s player-manager named “Hardy”), the author assumes the Montgomery references to “Hardy” were to Paul Hardy. His association with Candy Jim Taylor was probably during the 1935 season when Hardy played with the Columbus/Nashville Elite Giants before the club played in Washington. “Columbus Giants to Play Grey Sox in New Ball Park,” Montgomery Advertiser, April 12, 1936: 23; “Grey Sox to Play Chicago Negro Ball Club Today,” Montgomery Advertiser, April 26, 1936: 6; “Tigers Stage Rally,” Cincinnati Enquirer, May 18, 1936: 18.

29 “Grey Sox Host In Twin Bill Today to Atlanta All-Star,” Montgomery Advertiser, July 19, 1936: 22.

30 Plott, The Negro Southern League, 140;

31 “Black Barons and Chicago Club to Open 1937 Season,” Birmingham News, April 24, 1937: 8; Hank Casserly, “Chicago Club Faces Locals Wednesday and Thursday,” Capital Times, May 25, 1937: 17.

32 Wendell Smith, “Baseball Pays Bill to Satchel,” Boston Globe, February 10, 1971: 39.

33 Casserly, “Chicago Club Faces Locals Wednesday and Thursday.”


35 “Negro Teams Set for Battle Here,” Birmingham News, August 22, 1937: 20.

36 “Northern Negro All-Stars Down Southern Team,” Birmingham News, August 23, 1937: 8.


38 “Black Barons Go Down in Defeat in Pair of Battles,” Birmingham News, May 2, 1938: 13; “Locals Error in Fifth to Help Visitors,” South Bend (Indiana) Tribune, May 28, 1938: 8; “Colored Team Boasts Great Hurling Staff,” Sheboygan (Wisconsin) Press, August 9, 1938: 10.

39 Ray T. Rocene, “Sports Jabs,” Missoulian (Missoula, Montana), June 22, 1939: 6.

40 Hank Casserly, “Great Negro Club Here Wednesday and Thursday,” Capital Times, June 7, 1938: 13.


42 “Kansas City Monarchs Win American League Pennant by Beating St. Louis Three Straight,” Pittsburgh Courier, September 9, 1939: 16.


44 “Monarchs Win,” St. Joseph (Missouri) Gazette, May 19, 1939: 6; “Monarchs Rally to Beat Paris,” Paris (Texas) News, May 21, 1939: 9.

45 Plott, Black Baseball’s Last Team Standing, 121.

46 “Black Barons Clash with Baltimore Club in Twin Bill Sunday,” Birmingham News, April 20, 1940: 8.

47  “Black Barons Clash with Baltimore Club in Twin Bill Sunday.”

48 “Black Barons to Have Their Full Forces for St. Louis Sunday,” Birmingham News, May 8, 1940: 8.

49 “American Giants Win Twice from Birmingham Nine,” Chicago Tribune, May 31, 1940: 20; “First Game Goes 14 Innings,” Pittsburgh Courier, June 8, 1940: 17; “Black Barons Divide Double-Header Here With Cleveland Team,” Birmingham News, June 24, 1940: 11; “Black Barons Defeat Chicago Team Twice by Scores of 4-2, 3-2,” Birmingham News, August 19, 1940: 13; “Bushwicks Cash In Twice Behind Effective Hurling,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, August 26, 1940: 15; “Black Barons to Play Baltimore Team Here in Twin Bill Sunday,” Birmingham News, September 21, 1940: 10.


51 “Jim Taylor to Send His All-Star Squad Against Local Team,” Birmingham News, October 6, 1940: 29.

52 “Black Barons Open Season Here April 20 Against New Yorkers,” Birmingham News, April 13, 1941: 21.

53 “Black Barons Headed for Home; ‘Welch Day’ Here to Be Season’s Big Attraction,” Weekly Review (Birmingham, Alabama),  August 15, 1941: 7.

54 “Black Barons Divide Pair With Yankees; Gone for Two Weeks,” Birmingham News, April 21, 1941: 12.

55 “Black Barons Divide Pair With Yankees; Gone for Two Weeks”; “Black Barons Defeat Eagles in Nightcap After Losing Opener,” Birmingham News, May 5, 1941: 14; “Black Barons Split Memphis Twin Bill,” Birmingham News, June 2, 1941: 14; “Black Barons Victors in Opener, but Lose Nightcap To Memphis,” Birmingham News, June 9, 1941: 14; “Black Barons Capture First Game, 4 to 3, but Lose Second, 4-0,” Birmingham News, June 30, 1941: 16; “Black Barons Defeat Red Caps in First Game but Lose Second,” Birmingham News, July 5, 1941: 10; “Black Barons Divide Twin Bill With Caps; Both Are Close Tilts,” Birmingham News, July 7, 1941: 13; “Black Barons, Red Sox Split Two in Memphis; Welch Day Here Aug. 27th,” Weekly Review (Birmingham, Alabama), August 8, 1941; H.J. Williams, “Barons Win Double Bill,” Weekly Review, August 29, 1941: 7; “Black Barons Close Out Successful Year Against New Yorkers,” Birmingham News, September 28, 1941: 20.

56 “Diamond Strategist of Negro Champions to Play With Team,” Birmingham News, September 14, 1941: 14.


58 “Black Barons Victors Over All-Stars,” Birmingham News, October 5, 1941: 22.

59 “Black Barons Will Open Season Against Kansas City Outfit,” Birmingham News, April 17, 1942: 31; “Black Barons, Monarchs Will Initiate Season,” Birmingham News, April 19, 1942: 23; “Black Barons to Show Classy Outfit Here Monday Night,” Montgomery Advertiser, May 16, 1942: 7.

60 “Ethiopian Clowns Bring Pranks for Black Baron Frays,” Birmingham News, August 23, 1942: 11D.


62 Janet Bruce, The Kansas City Monarchs: Champions of Black Baseball (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1985), 139. Ms. Bruce, who is now Janet Vaughan, no longer has her research on the rosters. Email from Janet Vaughan, October 25, 2020.

63 Bruce, 133.

64 William A. Young, J.L. Wilkinson and the Kansas City Monarchs (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2016), 202; James A. Riley, The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues (New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers, Inc., 1994), 355; Dick Clark and Larry Lester, eds., The Negro Leagues Book, (Cleveland: SABR, 1994), 131. Bill Young was kind enough to check his notes from the 1942 Kansas City Call but found no references to Hardy on the Monarchs roster. Email from Bill Young, December 5, 2020. Likewise, Larry Lester confirmed that Paul Hardy was not included in any of Kansas City’s team photographs in 1942; and the sources listing him on the Monarchs’ roster are wrong. Email from Larry Lester, April 24, 2020.



67’s Gary Ashwill has not located any box scores with Hardy included on the club. Nevertheless, he has not ruled out the possibility that Hardy played for the club briefly. Facebook message from Gary Ashwill, October 12, 2020.

68 Al Warden, “The Sports Highway,” Ogden Standard-Examiner, February 10, 1964: 6. Hardy may have played for the Monarchs on June 7. The Black Barons and Monarchs played a doubleheader before 7,000 fans at Rickwood Field. Double Duty Radcliffe caught both games for the Black Barons “during the absence of Captain Hardy,” which the article did not explain. Monarchs catcher Johnnie Dawson was thrown out of the second game for cursing at an umpire, which created the need for a replacement. However, the article did not mention who took over behind the plate and the line scores did not list the batteries. “Barons Put On Hitting Spree to Win 12-2, but Lose Heart Breaker 5-4,” Weekly Review, June 13, 1942: 7. However, a box score in another newspaper lists both Frank Duncan and Joe Greene as appearing at catcher after Dawson’s ejection. “Black Barons Divide Couple With Monarchs,” Birmingham News, June 8, 1942: 17.

69 “Black Barons Meet New York Cubans in Double Bill Sunday,” Birmingham News, September 14, 1942.

70 “‘Loaned’ Players Beat Paige, Kansas City Protest,” Pittsburgh Courier, July 15, 1944: 12.

71 “‘Smitty’s’ Sports Spurts,” Pittsburgh Courier, July 15, 1944: 12.


73 “Fore River Battles Barons to 2-2 Tie,” Boston Globe, September 3, 1943: 26.

74 “Negro Giants, Barons Start Series Today,” Chicago Tribune, September 12, 1943: 38.

75 “Sox Park Is Site of Negro Game Today,” Chicago Tribune, September 26, 1943: 34.

76 “Black Barons Drop Opener to Giants,” Birmingham News, September 14, 1943: 17; “Black Barons Trip Chicago in Bowl, 4-1,” Montgomery Advertiser, September 18, 1943; “Black Barons Clinch Negro American League Flag; Whip Giants, 1-0,” Birmingham News, September 20, 1943: 17.

77 “Black Meet Homestead Grays at Rickwood Sunday,” Birmingham News, September 29, 1943: 19.

78 “Sox Park Is Site of Negro Game Today,” Chicago Tribune, September 26, 1943: 34.

79 “‘Smitty’s’ Sports Spurts,” Pittsburgh Courier, October 2, 1943: 16.

80 “Harlem Baseball Team to Play at East Helena,” Independent-Record (Helena, Montana), June 19, 1947: 9; “Hardy Leads Globetrotters,” Salt Lake Tribune, July 20, 1948: 17.

81 “First Loss for Barons,” San Francisco Examiner, October 22, 1945: 17; “Meusel All Stars Defeated by Barons,” San Bernardino County (California) Sun, October 27, 1945: 8.

82 Norm King, “Abe Saperstein,” accessed at;

83 Lee Dunbar, “On the Level,” Oakland Tribune, May 3, 1946: 20; “Negro Teams in League Contest,” San Bernardino County Sun, May 17, 1946: 19; David Eskenazi, “Wayback Machine: A legacy of black baseball,” May 5, 2015: accessed at

84 Eskenazi.

85 Don Watson, “Speaking of Sports,” Honolulu Star-Bulletin, July 27, 1946: 17; Al Warden, “Patrolling the Sport Highway,” Ogden Standard-Examiner, September 26, 1946: 8.

86 “Memphis Reds Bolster Team,” Pittsburgh Courier, February 22, 1947: 17.

87 “Harlem Team to Train In South,” Weekly Review, April 5, 1947: 7; “Globetrotters Doing well,” Weekly Review, April 12, 1947: 7.

88 “’Trotters Will Play Detroit,” Pittsburgh Courier, April 12, 1947: 15; “Harlem Baseball Team to Play at East Helena”; “Davids Lose 2 to 0 as Ball Season Ends,” Herald-Press (Saint Joseph, Michigan), September 13, 1947: 5.

89 “Trotters in Game Here,” Kansas City Times, August 23, 1948: 12; “City League All-Stars Play Harlem Globetrotters June 17,” La Crosse (Wisconsin) Tribune, June 11, 1950: 29.

90 “Globetrotters Boast Best Negro Catcher; Test Hawaii Stars Here Today,” Ogden Standard-Examiner, July 22, 1948: 23; “Hardy Leads Globetrotters,” Salt Lake Tribune, July 20, 1948: 17.

91 “Trotters Have Great Star in Paul Hardy,” Ogden Standard-Examiner, July 30, 1949: 21.

92 “Everett to Be Scene of Negro League Contest,” Cumberland (Maryland) Evening Times, August 13, 1951: 7; “League Game Set at Everett by Negro Loop,” Bedford (Pennsylvania) Gazette, August 10, 1951: 3.

93 “Davids Lose 2 to 0 As Ball Season Ends.”

94 “Trotter Boss Dies at 47,” St. Joseph News-Press, January 15, 1951: 8.

95 “Indians and Giants Play at Lippincott,” South Bend Tribune, May 29, 1951: 13.

96 “Indians and Giants Play at Lippincott.”

97 “Black Barons Open Spring Training Drills Sunday at State College,” Montgomery Advertiser, April 8, 1951: 22 (Hardy identified as manager); “Sea Gulls Meet Chicago Giants,” Pensacola News Journal, April 15, 1951: 17 (Welch identified as manager); “Chicago Giants Invade City Monday to Face Black Barons,” Montgomery Advertiser, April 22, 1951: 23 (Hardy identified as manager); “Negro Big League Clubs Play Here,” Monroe Morning World, May 13, 1951: 10 (Welch identified as manager); “League Game Set at Everett by Negro Loop,” Cumberland Evening Times, August 13, 1951: 7 (Welch identified as manager).

98 “Bob Towner, Indians Lose Home Opener by 4-2 Score,” South Bend Tribune, May 30, 1951: 16.



101 “Takes Charge,” Kokomo (Indiana) Tribune, August 5, 1952: 9.

102 “Joe Black Pitched His Team to 5 To 3 Victory Over Barons,” Alabama Tribune (Montgomery), October 24, 1952: 7.

103 Al Warden, “The Sports Highway,” Ogden Standard-Examiner, February 10, 1964: 6.

104 “Memphis Clips Barons in 10th,” Shawnee (Oklahoma) News-Star, June 19, 1959: 11; “Raleigh Tigers Split Twinbill,” Raleigh News and Observer, June 29, 1959: 14; “Tigers Win, 7-2,” News and Observer, June 30, 1959: 14; “Black Barons’ Lead Still Intact,” Birmingham News, July 20, 1959: 23.

105 Plott, Black Baseball’s Last Team Standing, 284. On page 125, Plott concluded that Hardy’s “career with Birmingham spanned three decades.”

106 Prentice Mills, “The Baron of Birmingham, an Interview with Lorenzo ‘Piper’ Davis,” Black Ball News, Vol 1. No. 5, 1993: 12.

107 Mills.

108 “Obituaries,” Paul Hardy, Chicago Tribune, August 30, 1979: 49.

109 Warden, “The Sports Highway”: 6.

110 “Obituaries”: 49.

111  “Obituaries”: 49.

Full Name

Paul James Hardy


September 17, 1910 at Meridian, MS (USA)


August 28, 1979 at Chicago, IL (USA)

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