From SABR member Gary Ashwill at Seamheads.com on October 10, 2012:
This week we’ve added the 1924 Negro leagues, both the Negro National League and Eastern Colored League. This year marked the end of the war between the leagues and saw the champions meet in the first Colored World Series, one of the classic postseason series of all time.
The ECL expanded to eight teams, adding the Washington Potomacs (an independent club in 1923) and the Harrisburg Giants, which had existed as an independent team for nearly 20 years. Before peace was declared, Harrisburg was able to snare several NNL stars, including Detroit first baseman Edgar Wesley, Indianapolis ace Darltie Cooper, and the biggest prize of all, center fielder Oscar Charleston, who captured the triple crown (.405, 15 home runs, 63 RBI). Still, even with these players plus rookie Rap Dixon, the Giants couldn’t quite manage a .500 finish.
Hilldale, under rookie manager Frank Warfield, won its second straight ECL pennant, led by Nip Winters, who set a blackball record with 23 overall wins (counting the World Series) despite a declining strikeout rate. The team was packed with hitters (Louis Santop, Biz Mackey, Judy Johnson, George Carr), but had become defensively unbalanced; Jake Stephens, the best defensive infielder on the team, could not hit well enough (.151 for his Negro league career through 1924) to hold down a spot, meaning that Biz Mackey, one of the most renowned defensive catchers in the history of the Negro leagues, had to fill in at shortstop, while catching only five games the whole season. This would come back to haunt them in October.
Veteran Pete Hill took over the reins of 1923′s last-place Baltimore Black Sox and brought in slugging shortstop John Beckwith to team up with first baseman Jud Wilson. The Black Sox rocketed to second, pushing Hilldale the whole way. The New York Lincoln Giants also turned their team around, moving up from fifth the previous year to third, even though they had cut loose their longtime manager and biggest star, Cyclone Joe Williams.
Back in the Negro National League, José Méndez‘s Kansas City Monarchs consolidated their dynasty behind the hard hitting of shortstop Dobie Moore, left fielder Heavy Johnson, and third baseman Newt Joseph, and an astonishing season by pitcher/outfielder Bullet Rogan, who went 16-5 while batting .411/.454/.636. Cristóbal Torriente (league-leading 77 RBI) and the Chicago American Giants gave the Monarchs some stiff competition, though they ultimately fell short by a handful of games.
Read the full article here: http://seamheads.com/2012/10/10/negro-leagues-db-update-1924-ecl-nnl/
View the Seamheads Negro Leagues Database here: http://www.seamheads.com/NegroLgs/index.php
Originally published: October 10, 2012. Last Updated: July 16, 2020.