updates Negro Leagues Database with 1925 season

We are pleased to pass on this update from SABR member Gary Ashwill at on February 3, 2016:

The newest addition to the Seamheads Negro Leagues Database gives us the full 1925 season, including both the ECL and the NNL. The research that produced these numbers is the work of Larry Lester, Wayne Stivers, and our late friend Dick Clark of the Negro League Researchers and Authors Group, the project that compiled statistics for the Hall of Fame nearly a decade ago. Since then they have been correcting and adding to the original research; the 1924 and 1925 seasons we have included in the DB are the public’s first look at this second stage.

The Monarchs were largely unchanged from 1924. They added a rookie pitcher from Oklahoma named Nelson Dean (11-3, 2.74), and, in a deal probably driven by defensive and maybe wage concerns, traded Heavy Johnson, their best hitter over the previous three years, to the Baltimore Black Sox for center fielder Wade Johnston. While Heavy’s stats with the Black Sox (.333/.389/.548 ) would not quite match what he’d done for the Monarchs, he still outhit Johnston (.287/.357/.423) by quite a bit. In general the Monarchs’ hitting fell way off in 1925, as their batting average dropped 26 points, but their pitching and defense improved greatly.

The St. Louis Stars, the surprise winners of the second half who stretched the league championship series to a full seven games, were starting to piece together the great team that would dominate the league in its last few years (1928 to 1931). Cool Papa Bell was establishing himself as black baseball’s top speedster (30 known stolen bases in 87 games). First baseman Willie Bobo (.359/.452/.616, 14 home runs, 84 RBI) and 19-year-old outfielder Frog Redus (.372/.453/.624) led the offense. Roosevelt Davis (16-6, 4.45) and Slap Hensley (12-3, 4.35) headed up a pitching staff given the unenviable task of tamping down opposition offenses in Stars Park, with its 250-foot left field line.

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Originally published: February 5, 2016. Last Updated: July 16, 2020.