All-Time Georgia-Born All-Star Team

This article was written by Terry Sloope

This article was published in The National Pastime: Baseball in the Peach State (Atlanta, 2010)

In anticipation of hosting SABR 40, the Magnolia Chapter has selected an All-Time Georgia-born All-Star team. Any major-league player born in the state of Georgia was theoretically eligible; no residency requirement was stipulated. In order to make the process more efficient, the author screened the master list of players to eliminate most “cup of coffee” players and others with less productive careers. A number of Georgia-born African American players who were excluded from the white major leagues were included in the balloting as well. Separate elections were held for each position, with points awarded to a player depending on his assigned rank at his position by each elector. Points were tabulated using a process similar to that used in the voting for the MVP and Cy Young Awards. A first-place vote earned five points (with the exception of the outfield, in which case a first-place vote earned the player six points). In each case, a second-place vote earned one fewer point than a first-place vote, and the one-point decline in points awarded continued for each successive lower rank in the voting. The number of electors participating varied from position to position (ranging from 37 to 44), so point totals are not comparable across different positions. Final standings at each position were determined by the total number of points earned. The team is two deep at each infield position, with five outfielders, five starting pitchers, and a five-man bullpen.

First base

Johnny Mize—Demorest (172 points; 15 first-place votes)

Among all positions, first base clearly had the strongest contingent of quality candidates. Mize was selected as the All-Time Georgia-born All-Star first baseman by the slimmest margin of all positions. “The Big Cat,” who batted from the left side and was known for his power and quickness, played fifteen seasons in the major leagues, beginning with the Cardinals in 1936. During his time with the Cardinals (1936–1941), he led the National League in slugging percentage (SLG) and on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS) for three consecutive seasons (1938–1940). Traded to the Giants after the 1941 season, Mize called the Polo Grounds home for five seasons (not including the three years he served in the military during World War II). In his first full season back (1947), Mize led the National League with 51 home runs, 138 RBI, and 137 runs scored. Sold to the Yankees in August 1949, Mize served as a part-time player for the Bronx Bombers through the 1953 season. He hit .312 for his career with 359 home runs, 1,337 RBI, and a .959 OPS.[fn]Some of the less-obvious acronyms utilized in this article and their meanings include: OBP = on-base percentage; SLG = slugging percentage; OPS = on-base percentage + slugging percentage; OPS+ = OPS relative to a player’s league average OPS during the course of his career. An OPS+ of 100 represents an OPS that is equal to the league’s overall OPS during a player’s career; an OPS+ of 125 means a player had an OPS that was 25 percent higher than the overall league OPS during his career. WHIP = number of walks and hits issued by a pitcher per inning pitched; ERA = earned-run average; ERA+ = ERA relative to a pitcher’s league average ERA during the course of his career. An ERA+ of 100 indicates a pitcher’s career ERA was equal to the league’s overall ERA during his career. An ERA+ of 125 means the pitcher’s career ERA was 25 percent better (i.e., lower) that the overall league ERA during that same time span.[/fn] He was inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 1973 and was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee in 1981. He passed away in 1993 and is buried in Demorest, where Piedmont College maintains a small museum in his honor.

Frank Thomas—Columbus (170; 18) is the reserve first baseman, despite receiving more first-place votes than Mize. “The Big Hurt” was one of the most feared hitters in the American League for most of the 1990s; he hit for a high average with excellent power and a good feel for the strike zone. Many voters chose to discount Thomas as a first baseman, however, because of his many years as a designated hitter and his mediocre defense. Author’s note: If we had included the abomination that is the “designated hitter” on our all-time team, Thomas most certainly would have won the voting for that slot. But I’m writing this article and, therefore, we are not including a designated hitter.

Other first-base finalists receiving votes included Hall of Famer Bill Terry (Atlanta; 150; 10), James “Red” Moore (Atlanta; 8; 1), Ron Fairly (Macon; 7; 0), and Wally Joyner (Atlanta; 4; 0).

Second Base

Jackie Robinson—Cairo (190; 38)

The only surprise in the voting at this position is that Robinson was not a unanimous first choice, receiving just 38 of the 40 first-place votes cast. The two dissenting voters gave no explanation; we can only speculate that they may have penalized Jackie for the brief time he spent in Georgia before his family moved to California. The details of Jackie’s career have been well documented by others; in his 10 seasons with the Brooklyn Dodgers, this courageous man hit .311 with a .409 on-base percentage while contributing a formidable mix of speed and power to the Dodger lineup. He was named Rookie of the Year in 1947 and the NL Most Valuable Player in 1949. He earned induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962 and the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 1998. He died in 1972 at the age of 53.

Tony Phillips—Atlanta (124; 0) is the reserve second baseman. Phillips enjoyed an 18-year major-league career and was one of the most versatile players in baseball during his time. In addition to second base, Phillips had considerable experience at short, third, and in the outfield. He was one of the better lead-off hitters of his time with some pop in his bat and good speed.

Other finalists receiving votes were Jeff Treadway (Columbus; 21; 1) and Roy Hartsfield (Chattahoochee; 13; 1).


Cecil Travis—Riverdale (199; 39)

Many people do not realize just how good Cecil Travis was. Prior to World War II, the Senators’ shortstop was a three-time All-Star with a .327 cumulative batting average and an OPS+ of 113. In 1941, his finest season, he hit .359, drove in 101 runs, posted an OPS of .930 (OPS+ = 150), and led the American League with 218 hits. Like so many of his peers, Travis sacrificed almost four full years of his life and career to serve his country during World War II. Returning to the Senators late in the 1945 season, Cecil was only a shell of his former self as a player. He hit just .241 in his three seasons after the war and retired after the 1947 season, finishing with an overall career batting average of .314. Many observers believe that the war cost Travis a place in the Hall of Fame (see his pre- and postwar statistics below) and blame his decline on the frostbite he suffered to his feet during the war, although he downplayed that excuse and blamed it instead on his inability to get his timing back after being away from the game for so long. He was inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 1975 and passed away in 2006. He is buried in Atlanta.

Cecil Travis’s Prewar and Postwar Splits

Period Games At-Bats BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
1933–1941 1,102 4,191 .327 .381 .436 .817 113
1945–1947 226 723 .241 .307 .302 .608 74

Bucky “Bleepin’” Dent—Savannah (100; 4) is the reserve shortstop. With the possible exceptions of Bobby Thomson and Bill Mazeroski, no player secured his place in baseball history as the result of one timely home run more so than Bucky Dent. The Red Sox Nation curses his name to this day (thus the nickname). The three-time All-Star was named World Series MVP in 1978.

Other finalists receiving votes included Negro Leaguer Pee Wee Butts (Sparta; 48; 0), Stephen Drew (Hahira; 17; 1), Desi Relaford (Valdosta; 8; 0), Ernest Riles (Cairo; 4; 0), and Adam Everett (Austell; 4; 0).

Third Base

Ray Knight—Albany (199; 35)

Third base is the weakest position for Georgia-born players. Our ballot contained a number of candidates but no Hall of Fame–caliber option. Ray Knight, our All-Time Georgia-born third baseman, had a solid if unspectacular career with five teams from 1974–1988. An average fielder, Knight was a career .271 hitter with modest power and no speed. He probably is best remembered for his role in helping the Mets win the 1986 World Series and being named series MVP. He was inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 1995 and is married to professional golf legend Nancy Lopez.

Chone Figgins (127; 7) from Leary, Georgia, is our reserve third baseman. Figgins, who is now with the Seattle Mariners, began his career with the Anaheim Angels. A versatile fielder with a good bat and excellent speed, Figgins is, in the eyes of many voters, on the verge of supplanting Knight as the All-Time Georgia-born All-Star third baseman.

Other finalists receiving votes included Russ Branyan (Warner Robins; 24; 0) and Willie Greene (Milledgeville; 8; 0).



Josh Gibson—Buena Vista (199; 39)

Negro League legend Josh Gibson is our All-Time Georgia-born All-Star catcher. Many experts consider Gibson, a star with the Homestead Grays and Pittsburgh Crawfords, the most outstanding hitter in the history of the Negro Leagues. He matched prodigious power with an excellent eye at the plate and defensively was compared favorably to Yankee Hall of Famer Bill Dickey. He died of the effects of an untreated brain tumor in January 1947, just three months before Jackie Robinson took the field for the Dodgers. He was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972 and the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 2003.

Athens’s Brian McCann (129; 2), who was selected to the National League All-Star team in each of his first four full seasons, is the backup catcher. McCann is good for 20 home runs and 90 RBI a year and may exceed those numbers with more experience. His catching skills are adequate, although he struggles with pitches in the dirt and is working hard to improve his throwing.

Other finalists receiving votes included Negro League star Quincy Trouppe (Dublin; 81; 0), Ivey Wingo (Gainesville; 29; 0), Jody Davis (Gainesville; 26; 0), Michael Barrett (Atlanta; 10; 0), Negro Leaguer Joe Greene (Stone Mountain; 10; 0), Joe Tipton (McCaysville; 5; 1), and Bill Cash (Round Oak; 3; 0).


Ty Cobb—Narrows (205; 41)

Moises Alou—Atlanta (119; 0)

Fred “Dixie” Walker—Villa Rica (100; 0)

Ty Cobb was the only unanimous selection for this team. He was the only player to be named on every ballot for a given position, and he was every voters’ first choice.

Cobb’s reputation as a fierce and combative competitor is well documented; he was arguably the game’s greatest player in the first 25 years of the modern era. A member of the inaugural class of inductees to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1936, he died in Atlanta in 1961 and is buried in Royston, Georgia. He was elected to the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 1964. A generous donation from Cobb after his playing days were over helped fund a hospital in Royston, and today the Ty Cobb Healthcare System operates the Ty Cobb Museum there.

Moises Alou was born in Atlanta in 1966, when his father, Felipe, played for the Braves. He played for his father early in his career when Felipe managed the Montreal Expos. Moises signed with the Florida Marlins as a free agent after the 1996 season and was a key contributor to the Marlins’ world championship that in 1997. Traded to Houston after the World Series in a salary purge by Marlins owner Wayne Huizenga, the six-time All-Star had a number of productive years with the Astros, Cubs, and Giants before finishing his career with the Mets in 2007–2008.

Dixie Walker, who finished third in the outfield voting, came from a baseball family. His father, Ewart (also known as “Dixie”), pitched briefly for the Senators during the deadball era, and his brother Harry “The Hat” Walker also enjoyed a distinguished major-league career. After stints with the Yankees, White Sox, and Tigers, Dixie developed a loyal fan base while playing for Brooklyn in the 1940s, when he was a five-time All-Star. Dubbed “The People’s Choice” by Brooklyn fans, Walker batted .311 in 1941 and led all NL outfielders in assists while leading the Dodgers to the NL pennant that year. He won the NL batting title in 1944 and led the league in RBI in 1945. One of the most vocal opponents of Branch Rickey’s plan to add Jackie Robinson to the Dodgers’ roster in 1947, Walker was traded to the Pirates after that season, but not before he recognized Robinson’s skill and contributions to the Dodgers’ success. He later managed the Atlanta Crackers to the 1950 Southern Association pennant. He passed away in 1982 in Birmingham, Alabama.

The reserve outfielders include Marquis Grissom (Atlanta; 51; 0) and Wally Moses (Uvalda; 48; 0). Grissom led the NL in stolen bases twice early in his career, and he has won four Gold Glove awards for his outfield play. Moses played for three different teams during a 17-year career in the AL. He batted over .300 in each of his first seven seasons, although he reached double figures in home runs just once (25 in 1937), the same year he established his single-season high in RBI (86). He also exhibited good speed on the bases. He was inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 1989 and passed away in 1990, just two days after his 80th birthday.

Other finalists receiving votes in the outer gardens included J. D. Drew (Valdosta[fn]At the time of the voting, various reference sources listed J.D. Drew’s birthplace as Valdosta, Georgia. That information has since been corrected to reflect his birth in Tallahassee, Florida.[/fn]; 20; 0), Mike Cameron (LaGrange; 7; 0), Harry “Suitcase” Simpson (Atlanta; 6; 0), Nick Markakis (Woodstock; 5; 0), Rondell White (Milledgeville; 4; 0), and Negro Leaguer Eddie Dwight (Dalton; 4; 0).

Starting Pitchers

Kevin Brown—Milledgeville (153; 20)

Tim Hudson—Columbus (102; 4)

Spud Chandler—Commerce (93; 6)

Dick Redding—Atlanta (77; 6)

Kenny Rogers—Savannah (68; 1)

A six-time All-Star, Kevin Brown holds down the number-one spot in our All-Time Georgia-born All-Star starting rotation. A product of Georgia Tech, Brown won 21 games for Texas in 1992 and went to the World Series with the Florida Marlins in 1997, although he did not pitch well in the Series. After leading the Padres to the World Series in 1998, he signed a controversial $105 million, seven-year contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1999. Over the next five seasons, Brown went 58–32 (.644), although the Dodgers failed to make the postseason during that time. Brown finished out his career in 2005 with a disappointing season for the New York Yankees. He was inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 2007.

In just his second year in the majors, Tim Hudson of the Oakland A’s led the AL with twenty wins in 2000 and finished second in the Cy Young voting. A product of Auburn University and a two-time All-Star with the A’s, Hudson was traded to the Atlanta Braves prior to the 2005 season. Although he has pitched well for the Braves, he has not quite lived up to expectations. Tommy John surgery sidelined him for the last half of the 2008 season and most of the 2009 campaign. A free agent after 2009, Hudson re-signed with the Braves for 2010 and is expected to compensate for the loss of starter Javier Vasquez, who was traded to the Yankees in the offseason. Relying on a sinking fastball and a splitter, Hudson’s .655 lifetime winning percentage through the 2009 season ranked fifth highest among active pitchers.

Spurgeon “Spud” Chandler, a University of Georgia alumnus, spent five years in the minor leagues after graduation and did not make his major-league debut until the age of 29. He pitched just 11 seasons in the major leagues, all for the New York Yankees. His .717 lifetime winning percentage is second all-time behind the nineteenth-century star Albert Spalding (.795) and just ahead of Dave Foutz’ and Whitey Ford’s mark of .690. He led the American League with a 20–4 record and 1.64 ERA (ERA+ = 197) in 1943, winning the AL MVP award in the process. He was inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 1969 and passed away in 1990 in Florida.

A tall (6’4?) right-hander, “Cannonball” Dick Redding was a pitching sensation for a number of teams in black baseball in the days before the establishment of organized black leagues. Using a no-windup delivery and relying primarily on a blazing fastball, he threw 30 no-hitters, although many of those masterpieces were against inferior clubs. Pitching for the Lincoln Stars in 1915, Redding won 20 straight games at one point and jumped to the Lincoln Giants late in the season, where he went 3–1 in the playoffs against the Chicago American Giants.[fn]See Riley, The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues, 654.[/fn] After parts of two seasons in the military during World War I, Redding continued to pitch and manage various teams in the Negro leagues through the 1920s, although his effectiveness as a pitcher waned significantly as that decade unfolded. He died in New York in 1948.

Kenny Rogers pitched in the major leagues for twenty years, primarily in the American League. He threw a perfect game for the Rangers in 1994 and earned his first All-Star appearance in 1995 with a 17–7 record for Texas. Signing with the Yankees as a free agent in 1996, Rogers had two nondescript years with the Yankees, including a horrendous postseason in 1996. He suffered through another horrible postseason during a brief stay with the Mets in 1999 before returning to Texas for the 2000 season. He was selected to the American League All-Star team two more times (2004-5) while with the Rangers, and he was the starting pitcher in the 2006 All-Star game after he had moved to the Tigers. That same year, he won three games for the Tigers in postseason play. He finished his career with the Tigers in 2008.

Other finalists receiving votes included Nap Rucker (Crabapple; 16.5; 1), Bill Byrd (Canton; 11; 0), Jim Bagby Sr. (Barnett; 8.33; 0), Whitlow Wyatt (Kensington; 8.33; 0), John “Blue Moon” Odom (Macon; 6; 0), Jim Hearn (Atlanta; 5.33; 0), Erskine Mayer (Atlanta; 4; 0), Connie Johnson (Stone Mountain; 4; 0), Adam Wainwright (Brunswick; 3; 0), and Felix Evans (Atlanta; 2; 0), while Tom Cheney (Morgan) Phil Douglas (Cedartown), Willard Nixon (Taylorsville), Tully Sparks (Etna), and Roy Welmaker (Atlanta) each received one fifth-place vote. (The top five Georgia-born starters who were not selected to the starting rotation were included on the bullpen ballot.)


Todd Jones—Marietta (151; 21)

Hugh Casey—Atlanta (78; 5)

Nap Rucker—Crabapple (68; 6)

Jonathan Broxton—Augusta (50; 2)

Jim Bagby Sr.—Barnett (49; 2)

Todd Jones saved 319 games over the course of a 16-year career that came to a close with the Tigers in 2008. He was on an All-Star team for the only time in his career in 2000 and won the American League Rolaids Relief Award that year for posting 42 saves for Detroit.

Hugh Casey pitched for just nine seasons in the major leagues, mostly with Brooklyn during the 1940s. He was the unfortunate victim of Mickey Owen’s untimely passed ball on a third strike to Tommy Henrich with two outs in the ninth inning in Game 4 of the 1941 World Series. Henrich reached first and Casey collapsed, allowing the Yankees four runs and losing the game 7–4. A retroactive application of the saves criteria revealed that Casey led the NL in saves in 1942 and 1947 with 13 and 18, respectively. Casey developed a serious problem with alcohol and committed suicide in Atlanta in 1951, two years after his major-league career came to a close with the Yankees. He is buried in Atlanta and was elected to the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 1991.

Nap Rucker was a highly regarded southpaw who posted a career record of 134–134 over the course of ten seasons for a bad Brooklyn club during the deadball era. He pitched a no-hitter against the Boston Braves in 1908. By the time the Brooklyn club made its first World Series appearance in 1916, Rucker’s career was coming to a close. He appeared in just nine games that year and pitched two scoreless innings in the World Series, which was won by the Red Sox. He was elected to the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 1967 and was buried in Roswell, Georgia, after passing away in 1970.

Jonathan Broxton has established himself as a dominant closer after just five seasons in the major leagues. He has averaged almost 12 strikeouts per nine innings for his career. He was credited with 36 saves in 2009 while averaging an incredible 13.5 strikeouts per nine innings.

Jim Bagby Sr. won 31 games, including six in relief, for the world-champion Cleveland Indians in 1920. He was on the mound when Bill Wambsganss completed his historic unassisted triple play in the Indians’ win over Brooklyn in Game 5 of that year’s World Series. Bagby pitched just nine seasons in the major leagues and finished with an overall record of 127-89 (.588). He died in Marietta, Georgia, in 1954 and is buried in Atlanta’s Westview Cemetery.

Other bullpen finalists receiving votes included Rick Camp (Trion; 48; 0), Matt Capps (Douglasville; 28; 0), Whitlow Wyatt (Kensington; 28; 0), Bill Byrd (Canton; 23; 1), Jim Hearn (Atlanta; 22; 2), John Rocker (Statesboro; 22; 0), Connie Johnson (Stone Mountain; 7; 0), Chris Hammond (Atlanta; 7; 0), Dave Beard (Atlanta; 3; 0), and Willard Nixon (Taylorsville; 2; 0).


Bill Terry (Atlanta; 28 votes)

Although he missed election at first base, “Memphis Bill” Terry is the All-Time Georgia-born All-Star manager. He led the New York Giants to three pennants and one World Series title in 10 years as manager, amassing an overall record of 823–661, a winning percentage of .555. He was elected to the Hall of Fame (as a player) in 1954. He is the last National Leaguer to hit .400 (1930). He died in 1989 in Jacksonville, Florida.

Other managerial finalists receiving votes included George Stallings (8) and Ty Cobb (1).


All-Time Georgia-Born All-Star Roster

Bill Terry                        
Starting Lineup POS Games Played Hits Runs HRS RBI BA SB OBP SLG OPS OPS+
Ty Cobb CF 3035 4189 2246 117 1937 .366 892 .433 .512 .945 167
Jackie Robinson 2B 1382 1518 947 137 734 .311 197 .409 .474 .883 132
Dixie Walker RF 1905 2064 1037 105 1023 .306 59 .383 .437 .820 121
Josh Gibson C Negro Leagues
Johnny Mize 1B 1884 2011 1118 359 1337 .312 28 .397 .562 .959 158
Moises Alou LF 1942 2134 1109 332 1287 .303 106 .369 .516 .885 128
Cecil Travis SS 1328 1544 665 27 657 .314 23 .370 .416 .786 108
Ray Knight 3B 1495 1311 490 84 595 .271 14 .321 .390 .711 98
Frank Thomas 1B 2322 2468 1494 521 1704 .301 32 .419 .555 .974 156
Tony Phillips 2B 2161 2023 1300 160 819 .266 177 .374 .389 .763 109
Bucky Dent SS 1392 1114 451 40 423 .247 17 .297 .321 .618 74
Chone Figgins 3B 936 1045 596 31 341 .291 280 .363 .388 .751 99
Marquis Grissom OF 2165 2251 1187 227 967 .272 429 .318 .415 .730 92
Wally Moses OF 2012 2138 1124 89 679 .291 174 .364 .416 .779 109
Brian McCann C 611 623 263 91 389 .293 12 .356 .497 .853 121
Starting Rotation Games Started Complete Games W L PCT IP WHIP ERA ERA+
Kevin Brown 476 72 211 144 .594 3256.1 1.22 3.28 127
Tim Hudson 310 22 148 78 .655 2059.2 1.26 3.49 126
Spud Chandler 184 109 109 43 .717 1485.0 1.21 2.84 132
Dick Redding Negro Leagues
Kenny Rogers 474 36 219 156 .584 3302.2 1.40 4.27 108
Bullpen Games Games Started W L SAVES WHIP ERA ERA+
Todd Jones 982 1 58 63 319 1.41 3.97 111
Hugh Casey 343 56 75 42 55 1.34 3.45 111
Nap Rucker 336 274 134 134 14 1.18 2.42 119
Jonathan Broxton 308 0 19 12 55 1.16 2.92 146
Jim Bagby Sr. 316 208 127 89 29 1.29 3.11 109


I thought it would be interesting to compile a hypothetical staring lineup from the first-place finishers at each position (see the accompanying table). This lineup has the potential to score a lot of runs. With the possible exception of Ray Knight in the eight hole, there is not a weak spot in the lineup. The trio of Cobb, Robinson, and Dixie Walker at the top of the lineup has a cumulative on-base percentage of over .400; moreover, Cobb and Robinson’s speed and daring on the bases undoubtedly would serve as a major distraction to opposing pitchers. While we can only speculate as to Josh Gibson’s success as a major-league hitter, the consensus of baseball historians, not to mention those who played with Josh or who saw him play, is that he had all the tools to be a major-league star had he been given the opportunity to showcase his skills. Gibson and Johnny Mize, who both hit for power and average, provide big bats in the middle of the lineup. Moises Alou, with his combination of good contact and decent power and speed, offers Mize some protection. Cecil Travis—especially the pre-war Travis—is a difficult out in the seventh spot. Ray Knight may not measure up to the others in this lineup, but neither is he an automatic out. He was a good, if not great, player.

The reserve roster combines decent hitting, good power, and considerable speed. Frank Thomas—“The Big Hurt”—is the only superstar; he offers a unique combination of power and high on-base percentage off the bench. Tony Phillips and Chone Figgins, in addition to being good offensive players with speed, provide considerable defensive flexibility as well, as both of them are capable of playing multiple positions, including the outfield. Either could fill in at third base for Ray Knight (as could both Jackie Robinson and Cecil Travis). Marquis Grissom and Wally Moses provide capable offense and speed as outfield alternatives. Brian McCann is one of the best hitters in the current generation of catchers. Bucky Dent is a good fielder with below-average offensive spark.

The starting rotation has a formidable track record. As a unit, Kevin Brown, Tim Hudson, Spud Chandler, and Kenny Rogers have a lifetime winning percentage of .620 (687–421). Rogers is the only southpaw in the rotation, however. The impact of Cannonball Dick Redding is, once again, left to the imagination. Redding’s reputation as one of the best pitchers in black baseball prior to the formation of formal league structures suggests that he could have certainly held his own against major-league hitters of his time.

The bullpen contains a combination of modern-day “closer” types and old-school relievers. With Jones and Broxton available to close, Hugh Casey falls into the role of “setup man.” They are joined by two pitchers from a generation long past: Jim Bagby Sr. and Nap Rucker spent most of their careers as starting pitchers, but they also worked in relief when necessary, and for our purposes they fall into the role of long relievers (with an occasional spot start).

The All-Time Georgia-born All-Star team is formidable. Including the manager, it contains five members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame (Cobb, Robinson, Gibson, Mize, and Terry) and twelve members of the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame (Cobb, Robinson, Gibson, Mize, Travis, Knight, Moses, Brown, Chandler, Casey, Rucker, and Bagby). While many selections, such as Robinson, Travis, Cobb, and Gibson are not surprising, other positions offer plenty of room for debate. First base was a particularly close contest: the relative merits of Mize, Thomas, and Terry can be argued for hours. Such debate is what makes baseball—and SABR—so appealing.

TERRY W. SLOOPE has served as the Magnolia Chapter’s regional chair for more than ten years. He has been working on a biographical project about Cartersville’s Rudy York for longer than that.


References and Suggested Reading

Clark, Dick, and Larry Lester, eds. The Negro Leagues Book. Cleveland, Oh.: Society for American Baseball Research, 2004.

Creamer, Robert W. Baseball in ’41: A Celebration of the “Best Baseball Season Ever”—In the Year America Went to War. New York: Penguin, 1991.

Enders, Eric. “George Napoleon Rucker.” In Deadball Stars of the National League, ed. Tom Simon, 283–286. Dulles, Va.: Brasseys, 2006.

Ginsburg, Daniel. “Tyrus Raymond Cobb.” In Deadball Stars of the American League, ed. David Jones, 546–550. Dulles, Va.: Potomac Books, 2006.

Hogan, Lawrence D., ed. Shades of Glory: The Negro Leagues and the Story of African-American Baseball. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society, 2007.

Holway, John. Voices from the Great Black Baseball Leagues. Rev. ed. Cambridge, Mass.: Da Capo Press, 1992. See the chapters on Georgia natives William “Sug” Cornelius, James “Joe” Greene, and Tom “Pee Wee” Butts. These and many of the other chapters also contain a significant amount of information about Josh Gibson.

James, Bill. The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract. New York: The Free Press, 2001.

James, Bill, and Rob Neyer. The Neyer/James Guide to Pitchers: An Historical Compendium of Pitching, Pitchers, and Pitches. New York: Fireside Books, 2004.

Kavanaugh, Jack. “Dixie Walker—The Peepul’s Cherce.” Baseball Research Journal 22 (1993): 80.

Kirkpatrick, Rob. Cecil Travis of the Washington Senators: The War-Torn Career of an All-Star Shortstop. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2005.

Knight, Tom. “Uncle Robbie and Hugh Casey.” Baseball Research Journal 22 (1993): 105.

Kohout, Martin. “George Tweedy Stallings.” In Deadball Stars of the National League, ed. Tom Simon, 323–324. Dulles, Va.: Brasseys, 2004.

Pietrusza, David, Mathew Silverman, and Michael Gershman, eds. Baseball: The Biographical Encyclopedia. Total Sports Illustrated, 2000.

Rampersand, Arnold. Jackie Robinson: A Biography. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1997.

Ribowsky, Mark. A Complete History of the Negro Leagues, 1884–1955. Secaucus, N.J.: Citadel Press, 1995.

——. The Power and the Darkness: The Life of Josh Gibson in the Shadows of the Game. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1996.

Riley, James A. The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues. New York: Carroll and Graf, 1994.

Tygiel, Jules. Baseball’s Great Experiment: Jackie Robinson and His Legacy. Expanded ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997.

SABR’s Bioproject website ( has biographical profiles of a number of Georgia natives, including:

  • Jim Bagby Sr. by Stephen Constantelos
  • Ty Cobb by Dan Ginsburg
  • Wally Moses by Doug Skipper
  • Jackie Robinson by Rick Swaine
  • Nap Rucker by Eric Enders
  • Bill Terry by Fred Stein
  • Cecil Travis by Rob Kirkpatrick