Indy Native Oscar Charleston Toiled in Obscurity

From Phil Richards of the Indianapolis Star on February 28:

[Oscar] Charleston was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1976. His lifetime batting average was .353. Contemporaries called him “the black Ty Cobb” and the “the black Babe Ruth.” Ted Williams told stories about him.

You’ve probably never heard of him.

“It should shame all of us that he and players like him had to play in apartheid baseball,” said Larry Lester, a former researcher for the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., and a co-founder of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City.

“Oscar is probably the greatest all-around player from the Negro Leagues.”


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Originally published: February 28, 2011. Last Updated: February 28, 2011.