Lindholm: Spot Poles, great player, great name, great time

From SABR member Karl Lindholm at the Addison County Independent on August 3, 2017:

Ever hear of Spottswood Poles?

An arresting name, to be sure — and a terrific baseball player in the first half of the game’s segregated era, although hardly a household name among fans of baseball history. 

Known as the “Black Ty Cobb,” Spot Poles played on black teams in the 19-teens and ’20s, the same years that Cobb played in the white major leagues.

Cobb and Poles had similar skills and style of play, batting for a high average, playing aggressive outfield defense, and using speed on the bases to create havoc. Poles was once timed running 100 yards in less than 10 seconds, world record time.

A 5’9”, 165-pound switch-hitter, he was the leadoff batter and centerfielder for some of the best Negro league teams of the era: During eight of his 14 seasons, he played for the New York Lincoln Giants (1911-14; 1919-23).

Read the full article here:

Originally published: August 3, 2017. Last Updated: August 3, 2017.