Slim Jones (TRADING CARD DB)

Slim Jones

This article was written by Frederick C. Bush

Slim Jones (TRADING CARD DB)The legend of Slim Jones has loomed large over the history of the Negro Leagues due to his death at the youthful age of 25 in 1938. In truth, by the time of his passing, Jones already had entered the pantheon of baseball’s “could have beens” as injury and alcoholism had depleted his pitching ability. His reputation was built upon one glorious season that was never forgotten by the players and fans who witnessed it, a season that has become a part of baseball lore.

Jones was an unproven 20-year-old pitcher with two unremarkable seasons under his belt when he went to Puerto Rico for the 1933-34 winter season. On the island, the 6-foot-6, 185-pound southpaw struck out 210 batters, “the highest total ever recorded in Puerto Rico, [although it] has not been recognized because at that time there were no official leagues, mostly weekly games and tournaments.”1 Jones’s unofficial record foreshadowed his breakout in the Negro Leagues, and his 1934 campaign still stands as one of the greatest seasons by any pitcher in any league and era.

Stewart Jones was born on September 16, 1913, in Baltimore to James and Ida (Brown) Jones.2 At the time of the 1920 census, the family lived in a rented home at 826 South Warner Street in Baltimore’s 22nd Ward. James worked as a miller for a grain company and Ida owned and operated a restaurant, while Stewart’s sister, Alena, who was 10 years older, worked in a factory. His uncle, Winchester Jones, also lived with the family and worked as a chauffeur.

During the 10-year interval between censuses, Jones’s parents divorced. In 1930 Jones was living with his father at 240 Eislen Street, still in Baltimore’s 22nd Ward. James Jones now worked as a packer for a shirt manufacturing company to support himself and his son. The 1930 census indicates that Stewart was no longer attending school at that time; however, it lists no employer either. Whatever work he was doing, he also was honing his pitching skills in local semipro ball and came to the attention of the Baltimore Black Sox.

In 1932 Jones signed with the Black Sox, a member franchise of the ill-fated East-West League. The circuit had been founded by Homestead Grays owner Cumberland Posey that year and died a “quick death by early July.”3 The Black Sox ended the shortened campaign with a 29-26 record in league play (33-33 overall) and finished in third place behind the first-place Detroit Wolves and the Grays.

Jones made his professional debut on Sunday, May 29, 1932, in the first game of a doubleheader against the league rival Hilldale Daisies at Maryland Park. The Baltimore Afro-American provided a report of the new hometown hurler’s exploits, noting that “the 20-year-old [sic] youngster, a former sandlotter with the Baltimore Red Sox, made a lasting impression upon the fans by his performance. He toiled four and one-third innings, allowing but one hit, and fanning four.”4 Baltimore mounted a dramatic ninth-inning comeback to pull out a 4-3 victory. Since Jones was long gone from the mound by then, the Afro-American explained the reason for his early hook: “His peculiar cross fire [sic] delivery so puzzled Umpire Brown that that official missed several perfect strikes. Manager Dick] Lundy, fearful lest Jones become upset, took him out and sent in [Herb] Smith to finish the game.”5

In playing up Jones as a hometown hero, the Afro-American had neglected to mention that he also had walked three men and hit another batter with an errant pitch. During his first year with the Black Sox, Jones appeared in three additional games (two starts) and finished the brief season 0-3 with a 3.96 ERA over 25 innings pitched while striking out 14 hitters and walking 10.

In 1933 the Baltimore club found a new league home in the second iteration of the Negro National League. Financial hardships caused by the Great Depression, along with difficulties in scheduling opponents and the availability of ballparks, created an immense imbalance in the NNL2’s schedule. Baltimore played only 31 league games, finishing in fifth place at 13-18, while the league-champion Pittsburgh Crawfords — the rare Negro League team that owned its own ballpark — played a 64-game league slate and finished 41-21-2.

It was the second consecutive year that Jones had played an abbreviated schedule with his hometown nine; thus, there were few highlights. Jones had turned in a fine performance on August 6 in the first game of a doubleheader against the Cuban Stars at Baltimore’s Bugle Field. He fanned 10 batters and allowed only four hits while overcoming four walks and three errors behind him in a complete-game 6-4 triumph.6 At the end of the season, his five wins in NNL2 play tied for the franchise lead with Tom Richardson and Burnalle “Bun” Hayes, his 51 strikeouts led the Sox staff, and his 4.23 ERA was second only to Richardson’s 3.44 mark.

Jones was included on the Black Sox roster for the squad’s annual postseason series against an all-star team composed of White major- and minor-league players, an honor he had not earned the previous season.7 He appeared in two games with mixed results. Jones started the first game of a doubleheader on September 17 but lasted only 4⅓ innings as the Sox took an 11-1 drubbing, and he surrendered seven hits, one walk, and five runs while striking out only one batter.8 On September 24, he entered the first game of a doubleheader in relief of Phil Cockrell and threw 5⅔ innings of shutout ball, allowing two hits, striking out six and walking one, in a game the Sox lost by a 6-4 score.9

Jones had shown improvement, but nothing had hinted at the big leap that he was about to take. Nonetheless, Fred “Tex” Burnett, Baltimore’s veteran starting catcher, saw potential in Jones and helped to put him on the road to stardom. After Jones’s breakout season with the Philadelphia Stars in 1934, the Brooklyn Times Union provided the answer to everyone’s “Where did he come from?” queries:

“Last summer Tex Burnett, a leading figure in the colored National League, took an interest in Jones and persuaded the then 21-year-old [sic] kid’s father to permit him to take Stuart [sic] to Porto Rico [sic] for a winter of development in the fast leagues there.

Unstable and green at first, Jones slowly began to rid himself of his faults. Tex gave him confidence and overnight Slim changed from a boy to a man. He pitched amazingly well as the season wore on and fanned 210 players before the campaign ended.

That won him a job with the Philly Stars. …”10

The Stars and their emergent southpaw ace were about to take each other to great new heights.

On May 6, 1934, Stars owner “Ed] Bolden introduced a newcomer to the fans in ‘Slim’ Jones, lanky 7 foot [sic], 20-year-old twirler who pitched six innings and permitted but three men to reach first base” before being relieved by Cockrell.11 A crowd of 6,000 had witnessed Jones’s debut in the City of Brotherly Love as the Stars clobbered the Philadelphia League’s Wentz Olney team by a 12-1 margin.

Jones took the mound for the team’s NNL2 home opener against the Newark Dodgers on May 12 at Passon Field. Dick Lundy, who had managed the Black Sox during Jones’s rookie season, now skippered the Dodgers. If Lundy thought that his team’s batters would feast on the inconsistent southpaw he remembered from 1932, he was soon disabused of that notion. Only 5,000 fans “braved a chilly atmosphere,” but they saw Jones take a no-hitter into the seventh inning before having to settle for a three-hit, 12-0 whitewashing of the Dodgers.12

Eight days later, Jones dueled Satchel Paige and the powerful Crawfords at Greenlee Field in Pittsburgh. The teams split their four-game series, but the Stars bested Paige on Sunday in what could hardly be called a pitchers’ duel. Jones pitched the first eight innings, struck out five men, and surrendered five runs, one of which came on a moonshot home run by Josh Gibson. Paige fanned 11 Philly hitters, and the Crawfords led, 5-3, entering the ninth inning. Suddenly, “a fusillade of bats exploded in front of [Paige], and the great ‘Satch’ couldn’t check the machine-gun batting attack.”13 After the smoke cleared, Philadelphia led, 10-5. Stars pitcher-manager Webster McDonald took the mound and sealed the victory by setting the Smoketown nine’s batters down in order.

Jones, the gangly lefty, and Paige, the equally lanky righty, faced each other again a mere three days later at Eagle Park in York, Pennsylvania, their repeated encounters perhaps appearing like battles between baseball-slinging giraffes. This time, the Stars emerged with a 3-0 victory. Both hurlers both went the distance, and each amassed 11 strikeouts, but Jones held the Crawfords to four hits while Paige allowed twice that number, which resulted in Philly’s three runs.14

Although there were other teams in the NNL2 besides the Stars and Crawfords, the imbalanced league schedule resulted in these two squads facing off repeatedly.15 On June 11, they clashed at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and Jones lost a 1-0 duel to Sam Streeter in which the only run came on Vic Harris’s homer. Both pitchers had allowed only six hits in what the Harrisburg Evening News called “[o]ne of the classiest baseball games ever staged in this city.”16 Not to be outdone, the Harrisburg Telegraph, while noting that Harris had “straightened out one of Mr. Jones’ fast balls [sic]” to win the game, also raved: “Mr. Jones, incidentally, had real smoke on that pill. If there was ever a colored prototype of Lefty Grove, it is the said Mr. Jones. Tall, lanky, and with speed that makes the ball resemble a pea going over the plate, it is a fine thing to know that he has remarkable control; if he ever misgauged, he’d knock the opponent into the next county.”17

On June 23 the Stars swept a doubleheader from the Cleveland Red Sox at Passon Field. Jones struck out nine batters and pitched “splendid ball” in the opener to come out on the winning end of a 1-0 pitching duel with Script Lee.18 The next day the Stars swept another twin bill from Cleveland and moved into second place in the standings.

The NNL2 used a split-season format, and the Stars fell one spot to finish in third place in the first-half standings. The Chicago American Giants claimed first place and the Crawfords finished second. However, in late July, those two squads were “now battling for second place as the Philadelphia Stars [had] stepped away out in the lead for supremacy of the second half.”19

As the calendar turned to August, the Stars took both ends of a doubleheader against Chicago to remain in first place.20 Then, on August 18, Philadelphia swept another doubleheader, this time from Pittsburgh at Greenlee Field, with Jones capturing a 6-3 win in the opener and Paul Carter tossing a 1-0 victory in the nightcap.21 However, the Crawfords returned the favor at Philadelphia just two days later, notching their own doubleheader sweep, with “Lefty Jones, the Stars’ giant southpaw, […] the peak victim of the Crawfords’ 14-hit attack,” an onslaught that included two Josh Gibson round-trippers that accounted for seven of Pittsburgh’s eight runs.22

As the Stars, Crawfords, and American Giants continued to jockey for position in the standings, the time arrived for the second annual East-West All-Star game at Chicago’s Comiskey Park. A crowd estimated at 25,000 turned out on August 26 to watch the best players in Black baseball compete. Since members of the Stars and Crawfords were both part of the East team, Jones and Paige combined their efforts on this day. Jones started the game, pitched three innings of one-hit shutout ball, and struck out four batters. Harry Kincannon of the Crawfords continued to keep the West off the scoreboard in the fourth and fifth innings and then ceded the hill to Paige. In a classic pitchers’ duel, the East’s James “Cool Papa” Bell scored the game’s only run in the top of the eighth inning. Paige pitched the final four frames, in which he allowed only two hits and struck out five batters.23

On September 3 the NNL2’s season concluded, and the Stars claimed the second-half title,24 which meant that they would meet Chicago in a playoff series to determine the league champion. Prior to that clash, Jones and Paige dueled yet once more. On September 9, “[t]he largest crowd to ever witness a baseball doubleheader played by colored teams in New York — estimated by some as over 30,000 — turned out at the Yankee Stadium on Sunday afternoon.”25 In the first game of the four-team slate, Chicago beat the New York Black Yankees, 4-3. It was a good contest, with the Black Yankees creating excitement by scoring three runs over the final two innings. However, it paled in comparison to the second game between the Crawfords and Stars, which became an epic battle that everyone remembered.

After a game for the ages, one reporter lamented that Jones “was cheated by fate of a deserving victory on an unfortunate break in the eighth.”26 The Stars struck early against Paige as they scored a run in the bottom of the first. Jake Stephens drew a leadoff walk, advanced to second on Dewey Creacy’s base hit and — after Chaney White whiffed — scored on Jud Wilson’s fielder’s-choice grounder. Jones made the 1-0 lead stand until the top of the eighth. In that fateful frame, Judy Johnson led off with a single and took second when Stars right fielder Jake Dunn muffed the play. Chester Williams laid down a bunt that Jones fielded, but he threw the ball to first to retire Williams and allowed Johnson to advance to third. Clarence “Spoony” Palm pinch-hit for Ted Page and was walked; Jimmie Crutchfield entered the game as Palm’s pinch-runner. Leroy Morney then singled to drive home Johnson with the tying run.

Philadelphia almost pulled out a win in the bottom of the ninth, but “Paige arose to his greatest height in this inning when he filled the bases by walking two pinch hitters and then struck out the last two batters in a row.”27 The game ended in a 1-1 tie as it “had to be called at the end of the ninth inning because it was seven o’clock and so dark the batters would strike at the ball and duck.”28 Jones had allowed only three hits and struck out nine while Paige had surrendered six hits and fanned 12.

Two days later, Chicago and Philadelphia met in Game One of the championship series at Passon Field. Rocky Ellis started for the Stars and held a 3-2 lead when he gave way to Jones at the top of the ninth inning. Jones surrendered two runs to hand the American Giants a 4-3 victory.29 Games Two and Three were part of a doubleheader at Cole’s Park in Chicago on September 16. Jones started Game Two but lost a tough 3-0 ballgame to Chicago’s Ted Trent, who stymied the Stars with a four-hitter.30 Philadelphia salvaged the nightcap by a 5-3 score, but lost Game Four the next day by a 2-1 tally to find itself in a three-games-to-one hole.31

Ellis kept the Stars alive with a tough-as-nails 1-0 shutout in Game Five at Passon Field on September 27, and Paul Carter followed with a complete-game four-hitter in a 4-1 triumph on September 29 that knotted the series at three games apiece.32

Prior to Game Seven of the championship series, another four-team doubleheader was held at Yankee Stadium on September 30. The sequel did not live up to the original as “[a]ll prospects of a pitching duel [between Paige and Jones] was [sic] ruined at the outset of the first game when Seay, the Stars second baseman, missed a fast roller in the first inning, giving the Crawfords their first score.”33 Oscar Charleston also tallied a run in the first inning for a quick 2-0 Pittsburgh lead. Both teams scored a single run in their respective halves of the seventh inning, and the 3-1 margin stood up as the final score. After the Black Yankees turned the tables on the American Giants and defeated them in the nightcap, it was time for Chicago and Philadelphia to finish their battle for the championship.

Game Seven at Passon Field on October 1 ended in a 4-4 tie when the game had to be called after nine innings because of darkness.34 The game was replayed the next day, and Jones not only “twirled the Ed Bolden crew to the loop diadem with his speedball and baffling cross-fire to turn in six strikeouts, but he also put the game on the proverbial ice when he blasted in the final run with a sharp single to left in the seventh.”35 He finished the championship clincher with a five-hit, 2-0 triumph.

Few pitchers have experienced a season like the one Jones had in 1934. He pitched to a 20-4 record in NNL2 regular-season play with 164 strikeouts and a minuscule 1.24 ERA over 203 innings of work. He led the league in every major pitching statistic and no one — not even Paige — was close. Yet he never approached that level of success again.

However, before 1934 ended, Jones added one final jewel to his crown against Dizzy and Daffy Dean and their all-star team on October 16 at Philadelphia’s Shibe Park. The Dean brothers had accounted for all the St. Louis Cardinals’ victories — two apiece — in their seven-game World Series triumph over the Detroit Tigers, and they were cashing in on their fame with a barnstorming tour. Webster McDonald spun an 8-0 shutout for Philadelphia in the first game of the doubleheader as the Dean brothers played the corner outfield spots. Dizzy then pitched the first two innings of the seven-inning nightcap, in which Jones and Philly prevailed by a 4-3 score. Jones struck out eight all-stars as he went the distance for the win.36

Jones played winter ball in Puerto Rico again, but there were no reports about his performances in the American press. Upon his return, Jones began the 1935 season appearing to pick up where he had left off the previous year. After the Stars had lost the first game of a twin bill against the Brooklyn Eagles, he hurled his team to a 5-1 triumph in the six-inning nightcap.37

In early July, however, it was reported that Jones “has just recovered from a sore arm.”38 His rehabilitation regimen apparently did not satisfy Stars owner Ed Bolden, who “stopped Jones’s salary and suspended him from the Stars for his ‘failure to attain proper physical condition.’”39 The second, and more critical, effect that the injury had on Jones was that he turned to alcohol to numb the pain he now experienced.

Jones struggled to a 4-5 record in league games and struck out only 36 batters in 67⅓ innings while his ERA ballooned to an unsightly 5.88. The Stars finished with a 37-31-4 record and failed to make the playoffs.

Jones’s last hurrah came in a losing cause on August 11, 1935, in the East-West game at Comiskey Park. Despite his injury, suspension, and poor record, Jones received the nod as the East’s starting pitcher for the second consecutive year. He again threw three innings of one-hit, shutout ball, although he struck out only one batter this time. For good measure, he also hit a solo homer in the top of the fourth that increased the East’s lead to 3-0. In the end, however, the West’s Mule Suttles was the hero of the day as his 11th-inning circuit clout won the game, 11-8.40

After Jones’s stellar showing in the East-West game, Crawfords owner Gus Greenlee tried to turn back the clock to 1934 by arranging a Paige-Jones tilt as part of a four-team doubleheader at Yankee Stadium on September 22. Paige took $300 from Greenlee for the appearance and then pulled one of his infamous no-shows. After the Nashville Elite Giants had edged the New York Cubans, 4-3, in the opening game, Ernest “Spoon” Carter started in Paige’s place for the Crawfords against the Stars. Pittsburgh pounded Philadelphia, 12-2, and knocked Jones out of the box after just one inning of work in which he allowed four runs, thus sending the fans home doubly disappointed.41

Subsequently, Jones traveled to Puerto Rico in November for his last season of winter ball. Considering his miserable 1935 season, it might have been wiser for him to rest, as the additional workload probably aggravated his arm injury.

Jones went from bad to worse in 1936 as his record fell to 2-4 in 14 appearances (four starts) and his ERA climbed to 6.96. The Stars finished 33-42-1 in NNL2 play under Webster McDonald, who was replaced as manager by Jud Wilson the following year.

By 1937, Jones was a pitcher in name only. He won his lone mound appearance despite surrendering three runs in 5⅓ innings of work. Wilson used him at first base on the rare occasions when he was healthy enough to play. Jones batted .333 (12-for-36) with seven RBIs, but his contributions were minimal as the Stars struggled to a 30-32-1 record and a third-place finish.

Prior to the 1938 season, there was hope that Jones finally would rebound into his 1934 incarnation. A late-April news article reported:

“When Slim Jones visited Bolden in Philadelphia before leaving for training duties in the Southland and to sign his contract, he seemed to be in excellent form. When asked about his outlook for the coming season, Slim definitely went on record that he guarded his health throughout the winter with plenty of rest and is looking forward to a minimum of 25 victories.”42

The comeback was not meant to be, though, as Jones could not overcome his injury issues. He made seven appearances (one start) and pitched to a 1.42 ERA, but he worked only 12⅔ innings. Wilson again played him at first base, as well as in left field and as a pinch-hitter, but now Jones went 11-for-52 at the plate for a lowly .212 batting average. The Stars improved to 41-32-3 in league play but finished a distant second behind the Grays.

In September Pittsburgh Courier columnist Randy Dixon wrote, “Remember when Slim Jones emerged from the obscurity of the Baltimore backlots to become a burning satellite flashing brilliantly across the baseball horizon of 1934?”43 Plenty of people still remembered, but it seemed long ago, and Jones’s career appeared to be at an end.

And then, suddenly, Jones’s life ended. A story spread that Jones had “sought an advance on his salary, and when his request was refused, he sold his overcoat to buy a bottle of whiskey and subsequently contracted pneumonia and died shortly afterward.”44 A slight variation of this tale had Jones “freezing to death on the streets of Philadelphia.”45

Whether Jones sought an advance on his 1939 salary or sold his overcoat to buy whiskey is uncertain, but he neither froze to death nor died of pneumonia. However, there was truth in the assertion that Jones’s alcoholism had contributed to his death. He was admitted to Baltimore’s Bay View City Hospital on November 14, and was diagnosed with uremia, urinary extravasation, and gangrene of the prostate gland. In sum, his kidneys were failing, and he had numerous infections.46 Jones’s doctor performed a procedure to provide relief, which was likely also a precursor to further surgeries, but his condition was too advanced, and he died on November 19, 1938.

Jones had lived with his father his entire life, and their last home together was at 505 Welcome Alley in Baltimore. James Jones had his son buried in Baltimore’s Mt. Calvary Cemetery on November 24, 1938. Ed Bolden delivered Jones’s eulogy, and “[a] large number of Quakertown fans attended the rites.”47

In a 1976 interview, Satchel Paige, a Hall of Famer and living legend, named Slim Jones as one of the three best pitchers he had ever seen, along with Bob Feller and Dizzy Dean.48

 

Acknowledgments

Thanks to Rachel Frazier, reference archivist for the Maryland State Archives, for providing a copy of Stewart Jones’s death certificate.

This biography was vetted by Phil Williams, fact-checked by Kevin Larkin, and copyedited by Len Levin.

 

Sources

Ancestry.com was consulted for public records such as census information and ships’ passenger logs.

Negro League player statistics and manager/team records were taken from Seamheads.com, unless otherwise indicated.

 

Notes

1 William F. McNeil, Black Baseball Out of Season: Pay for Play Outside of the Negro Leagues (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2007), 115. The Puerto Rico Winter League’s first season was in the winter of 1938-39.

2 Two items bear discussion here: 1) the correct spelling of Jones’s first name, and 2) his correct date of birth. Regarding the first item, numerous sources — including the Seamheads Negro League database — spell Jones’s first name as Stuart. However, census records, ships’ passenger logs, his death certificate, and most contemporary newspaper articles spell his name as Stewart; thus, the author has chosen to use Stewart. (It is also of interest to note that, although Jones grew up in the city, he was known by the nickname “Country” in addition to the much more common moniker Slim). As to the second item, every print and internet source lists Jones’s date of birth as May 6, 1913. This author found numerous ships’ passenger logs from Jones’ trips to Puerto Rico and back: One log listed May 8, 1913, as his birth date while another year’s log did indeed have the date as May 6, 1913. However, Jones’s death certificate, for which his father provided all personal information, has his birth date as September 16, 1913; considering this documentation and its source, the author has chosen to provide September 16 — rather than May 6 — as Jones’s birth date.

3 Lawrence D. Hogan, Shades of Glory: The Negro Leagues and the Story of African-American Baseball (Washington: National Geographic, 2006), 240.

4 “Black Sox Take Doubleheader from Hilldale Club/Daisies Drop Two by 1-Run Margin,” Baltimore Afro-American, June 4, 1932: 14.

5 “Black Sox Take Doubleheader from Hilldale Club.”

6 “Cuban Stars and Baltimore Sox Break Even in 2 Games,” Chicago Defender, August 12, 1933: 9.

7 “Black Sox Open Series with Double Tomorrow,” Baltimore Sun, September 24, 1932: 10; “All-Stars Open Annual Series with Sox Today,” Baltimore Sun, September 17, 1933: 21.

8 “Heffner’s Bat Defeats Sox,” Baltimore Sun, September 18, 1933: 9.

9 “Baltimore Sox Split Pair with All-Stars,” Baltimore Sun, September 25, 1933: 11. Cockrell had played for the independent Philadelphia Bacharach Giants during the 1933 season but had joined Baltimore for the series against the all-stars.

10 “Colored Ace Made Good in a Hurry,” Brooklyn Times Union, October 9, 1934: 15.

11 “Phila. Stars Outhit Wentz Olney to Win,” Philadelphia Inquirer, May 7, 1934: 16.

12 W. Rollo Wilson, “Jones Holds Lundymen to Three Hits; Phila. Stars Win Opener in Big Way,” Pittsburgh Courier, May 19, 1934: 14.

13 Chester L. Washington, “Crawfords Win 2 Out of 3 from Philly Stars/Hunter Holds Foe to 2 Hits, Wins, 3 to 0,” Pittsburgh Courier, May 26, 1934: 14. The Courier’s headline is a bit misleading as the two teams had played the opening game of the series, won by the Stars, on Thursday, May 18; however, that game had been reported in the newspaper’s previous edition while the three weekend games were reported in this article.

14 “Philadelphia Stars Triumph/Defeat Pittsburgh Crawfords in Great Pitchers Battle at Eagle Park,” York (Pennsylvania) Daily Record, May 24, 1934: 10.

15 At the conclusion of NNL2 play, each team had played the following number of league games: Pittsburgh Crawfords, 77; Philadelphia Stars, 56; Chicago American Giants, 51; Nashville Elite Giants, 47; Newark Dodgers, 32; Philadelphia Bacharach Giants and Cleveland Red Sox, 25 each; and the Baltimore Black Sox, 13.

16 “Crawfords Take Fast Colored Game Here; Major Clubs Idle/Home Run Sends Philadelphia to Defeat in Duel,” Harrisburg Evening News, June 12, 1934: 13.

17 “Nobe” Frank, “It Just Occurred to Me,” Harrisburg Telegraph, June 16, 1934: 6.

18 “Philadelphia All-Stars Win Four/Capture a Pair of Twin Bills and Take 2d Place,” Chicago Defender, June 30, 1934: 16.

19 “Crawfords to Meet Chicago Champions on Carlisle Field,” Harrisburg Telegraph, July 26, 1934: 12. Since the Seamheads.com Negro League database was used as the primary source for player statistics, team records, and league standings, it should be noted that the site is in error about the 1934 NNL2 champions. It inadvertently has reversed the first- and second-half champions, listing the Stars as the former and the American Giants as the latter; however, newspaper articles, such as the one cited here, clearly indicate that the American Giants were the first-half champions.

20 “Philly Beats Chi, Holds League Lead; Nashville Elites Second/Philly All-Stars Stop Chi Twice, Keep Lead,” Pittsburgh Courier, August 4, 1934: 15.

21 “Crawfords Lose Twice to Stars,” Pittsburgh Press, August 19, 1934: 14.

22 “Crawfords Twice Trip Phila. Stars,” Philadelphia Inquirer, August 21, 1934: 26.

23 Dan Burley, “East Shuts Out West in Classic Tilt, 1-0/Satchel Paige Bests Foster in Slab Duel,” Atlanta Daily World, September 2, 1934: 5.

24 Christopher Hauser, The Negro Leagues Chronology: Events in Organized Black Baseball, 1920-1948 (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2006), 83.

25 William E. Clark, “30,000 Attend Four-Team Double Header at Yankee Stadium; Black Yanks Lose; Stars-Crawfords Tie,” New York Age, September 15, 1934: 5.

26 Edgar T. Rouzeau, “New York Wants Baseball/Exciting Games at the Yankee Stadium Bring Out 30,000 Enthusiastic Fans,” New York Amsterdam News, September 15, 1934: 10.

27 Clark, “30,000 Attend Four-Team Double Header at Yankee Stadium.”

28 “30,000 Attend Four-Team Double Header at Yankee Stadium.”

29 Hauser, 84.

30 “Giants Lead Philly in World’s Series 3 to 1,” Chicago Defender, September 22, 1934: 16.

31 “Giants Lead Philly in World’s Series 3 to 1.”

32 “Phila. Stars Triumph,” Philadelphia Inquirer, September 28, 1934: 22; “Stars Jolt Giants and Tie Up Series,” Philadelphia Inquirer, September 30, 1934: 51.

33 Edgar T. Rouzeau, “Paige Again Stars at Stadium/Thousands Again Turn Out to Witness Four-Game Double-Header at Stadium,” New York Amsterdam News, October 6, 1934: 10. The Amsterdam News reported the crowd for this sequel doubleheader at 25,000, but the New York Age gave a figure of 35,000; see C. Augustus Austin, “35,000 Fans See Black Yankees and Pittsburgh Crawfords Defeat Chicago and Phila. at Stadium, New York Age, October 6, 1934: 5.

34 Hauser, 85.

35 “Stars Upset Giants Win National Title/‘Slim’ Jones Hurls Phila. Negro Team to 2-0 Win Over Chicago Rival,” Philadelphia Inquirer, October 3, 1934: 22.

36 “Dizzy-Daffy Stars Lose Double Bill/J. Dean Twirls 2 Frames; Paul Plays Afield,” Philadelphia Inquirer, October 17, 1934: 17.

37 “Brooklyn Eagles Get an Even Break,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, May 13, 1935: 12.

38 Lewis K. Dial, “The Sports Dial,” New York Age, July 6, 1935: 8.

39 Courtney Michelle Smith, Ed Bolden and Black Baseball in Philadelphia (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2017), 92.

40 Al Monroe, “Suttles’ Home Run Wins for West, 11-8: Blow Comes in 11th with Score Knotted and 2 On,” Chicago Defender, August 17, 1935: 6.

41 William E. Clark, “15,000 Fans See 4-Team Series at Yankee Stadium Sunday; Crawfords and Elite Gts. Win,” New York Age, September 28, 1935: 8.

42 “Philly Stars’ Chances Up with Jones Back in Form,” New York Amsterdam News, April 30, 1938: 15.

43 Randy Dixon, “The Sports Bugle,” Pittsburgh Courier, September 24, 1938: 17.

44 James A. Riley, The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues (New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers, Inc., 1994), 451. Some contemporary newspapers also erroneously reported the cause of death as pneumonia; for one such account, see “Bury Slim Jones, Bolden’s Philadelphia Stars’ Ace,” Chicago Defender, December 10, 1938: 9. Yet other outlets gave the cause incorrectly as tuberculosis; see “Bay Parkways Meet Eagles,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, May 4, 1939: 21.

45 Thom Loverro, The Encyclopedia of Negro League Baseball (New York: Checkmark Books, 2003), 163.

46 As the author of this biography is not a doctor, numerous reliable medical websites — such as the National Institutes of Health — were consulted to determine what Jones’s conditions, as well as the surgical procedure he underwent, entailed. The explanation provided in the main text of this article is unsophisticated but accurate.

47 “Phillies Star Pitcher Buried/Services for ‘Slim’ Jones Conducted in Baltimore,” New York Amsterdam News, December 3, 1938: 19.

48 Dave Anderson, “Satch Surveys Catfish and Ages,” New York Times, October 12, 1976: 55.

Full Name

Stewart Jones

Born

September 16, 1913 at Baltimore, MD (US)

Died

November 19, 1938 at Baltimore, MD (US)

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