Little-known players from the Seamheads Negro Leagues Database

From SABR member Gary Ashwill at Agate Type on February 1, 2012:

This might be among the least-noticed of my work at the Seamheads Negro Leagues Database, but I’m personally very happy about being able to identify some minor Indianapolis players from the 1910s.

1) Jack Hannibal was a middleweight boxer who moonlighted as a professional baseball and football player in the 1910s and 1920s.  As I tried to track him down in official records, it soon became clear that “Jack Hannibal” was a boxing pseudonym.  Eventually it turned out that his real name was Porter Lee Floyd.  He was born in Campbellsville, Kentucky, in 1891, and moved to Indianapolis with his parents when he was five.  A high school track star, Floyd first entered the ring professionally in 1912, and he boxed, mostly locally, until 1928.  Supposedly out of 100 fights in his career he lost only five.  As a professional ballplayer he appeared intermittently in the outfield for local Indianapolis teams in the 1910s, appearing under four names: Porter, Lee, Floyd, and Hannibal.  Against the best black professional competition from 1913 to 1916, he batted 28 for 65 in 17 games, .431/.456/.600.  He continued to be active and popular on the local sports scene until his death in 1949 at the early age of 58.  According to the Indianapolis player and journalist Tiny Baldwin, Jack Hannibal was

“a quiet man, who always managed to talk at the right time, and only the right time.  Jack put each player on a high pedestal and made him feel he was on top of the world, and that way gave the players that little extra something which made each give his everything every time he strode onto the diamond.  His famous words were: ‘Every time I get out of Indianapolis, I like Indianapolis that much more’.” (Indianapolis Recorder, August 20, 1955, p. 11)

Read the full article here:

Related link: Read our Q&A with Gary Ashwill about the Negro Leagues Database (September 14, 2011)

Originally published: February 3, 2012. Last Updated: July 16, 2020.