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1942 in the Negro Leagues

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1942 in the Negro Leagues


[edit] Standings

BOLD indicates League Champion

Newspapers reported unofficial NNL standings throughout the season, and the accepted standings come from such reports. The NAL did not publish standings beyond the first few weeks of the season. Standings were extrapolated from scattered news reports. More accurate standings have been calculated from further research.

Originally accepted standings are to the left, and newly researched standings to the right

[edit] Negro National League

League Standings
latest research
Overall Standings
per latest research
Rank Team Manager W L PCT W L PCT W L PCT GB W L PCT
1 Washington Homestead Grays Vic Harris 21 11 .656 42 16 .724 40 18 .690 -- 61 28 .685
2 Baltimore Elite Giants Felton Snow 21 12 .636 34 24 .586 38 19 .667 1.5 45 25 .643
3 Newark Eagles Willie Wells 18 16 .529 26 25 .510 24 29 .453 13.5 33 33 .500
4 Philadelphia Stars Goose Curry 16 18 .471 26 29 .473 25 31 .446 14.0 30 34 .469
5 New York Cubans Jose Fernandez 8 14 .364 10 25 .286 10 24 .294 18.0 17 31 .354
6 New York Black Yankees Tex Burnett 7 20 .259 8 24 .250 8 24 .250 19.0 11 26 .297

[edit] Negro American League

Rank Team Manager G W L PCT GB G W L PCT
NAL standings All games
1 Kansas City Monarchs Dizzy Dismukes/
Frank Duncan
37 28 9 .757 -- 60 42 18 .700
2 Cincinnati-Cleveland Buckeyes Walter Burch/
Parnell Woods
39 27 12 .692 2.0 62 36 26 .581
3 Birmingham Black Barons Winfield Welch 38 22 16 .579 6.5 56 28 28 .500
4 Memphis Red Sox Larry Brown 31 12 19 .387 13.0 44 15 28 .349
5 Jacksonville Red Caps Herman Andrews 25 7 18 .280 15.0 30 7 23 .233
6 Chicago American Giants Candy Jim Taylor 30 4 26 .133 20.5 47 11 36 .306

[edit] Negro Major Baseball League

Contrary to its name, this was a Negro minor league. Few box scores were published, and standings were not listed, though the Cincinnati Ethiopian Clowns were reported to have had the league's best record. Teams were:

[edit] Notes

Hard pressed for cash, the Jacksonville Red Caps had sold or traded most of their best players by June, and paid their players on a semi-pro basis, though they continued to play games against the other NAL teams.

The Buckeyes played in both Cincinnati and Cleveland, though Cleveland hosted the plurality of their home games. They made Cleveland their only home beginning with the 1943 season. Cincinnati was already home host to the Clowns of the Negro Major League, and would remain so when the Clowns joined the NAL in 1943.

There were a number of "unofficial" games played in the NNL (scheduled but not counted in the standings, and a large number of interleague games that did not count in either league's standings. The Monarchs and Grays played three games against each other during the summer, with Satchel Paige starting in each for the Monarchs. All three games went extra innings, all were decided by one run, and all were won by the Grays, Paige taking the loss in two.

[edit] Leading Players

[edit] Negro American League

[edit] Batters

  • BA: Willard Brown, KCM, .370
  • SLG: Willard Brown, KCM, .575
  • OBP: Ted Strong, KCM, .400
  • OPS: Willard Brown, KCM, .973
  • H: Willard Brown, KCM, 47
  • 2B: Willard Brown, KCM, 7
  • 3B: Bonnie Serrell, KCM, 4
  • HR: 3 tied (Willard Brown, KCM, Joe Greene, KCM, Ted Strong, KCM), 5
  • R: Ted Strong, KCM, 30
  • SB: Jesse Williams, KCM, 7

[edit] Pitchers

[edit] Negro National League

[edit] Batters

[edit] Pitchers

[edit] East-West Game

Two East-West games were played. In the regular game at Comiskey Park on August 16, with an attendance of 45,179. The East squad won the game, 5-2.

A second East-West game was arranged at Cleveland's Municipal Stadium, with the proceeds going to the Army-Navy Relief Fund. Attendance was only 10,791, and the East won again, this time by a score of 9-2.

[edit] Postseason

For the first time in a decade the Negro World Series was played. The series was between the league champions of the Negro National League and Negro American League. The Kansas City Monarchs (NAL) defeated the Washington Homestead Grays (NNL), 4 games to none.

[edit] Notable Events

  • February 28: The NNL released its first-half schedule (through the July 4 weekend) at their regular meeting, and rejected Gus Greenlee's application to have his Pittsburgh Crawfords readmitted into the league. Greenlee himself did not show up, claiming illness, but also failed to send any other representative for the team. Besides his failure to appear or have a representative at the meeting (in order to discuss dates, home grounds, etc.), the league's main reason for rejection was that the player reserve list that had earlier been submitted by Greenlee consisted almost entirely of players currently under contract to other NNL clubs.
  • March 19: Jackie Robinson, four-sport star UCLA athlete, and Nate Moreland, veteran of both the Negro National League and Mexican League arrived unannounced and asked for tryouts with the Chicago White Sox at their training camp in Pasadena, but White Sox manager Jimmy Dykes turned them down, explaining that it was not up to him, but to the owners of the club. According to Dykes, "There is no clause in the National Baseball Federation's constitution, nor is there one in the bylaws of the major leagues which prevents Negro ball players from participation in Organized Baseball. Rather it is an unwritten law. The matter is out of the hands of us managers. We are powerless to act and it's strictly up to the club owners and Judge Landis to start the ball rolling. Go after them!" Dykes went on to say that he would hire Negro players if he were allowed, and that he believed that all 15 other major league managers would do as well if not prevented by owners. A few years before, seeing him play in California's semi-pro circuit, Dykes had declared Robinson to be "worth $50,000 of anybody's money."
  • May 24: Satchel Paige and the Kansas City Monarchs defeated Dizzy Dean's All-Stars, a team comprising mostly major and high-minor league players currently serving in the military, by a 3-1 count in Chicago's Wrigley Field. One week later, Paige pitched for the Homestead Grays and beat Dean's squad again, this time by an 8-1 count, in Griffith Stadium. The games drew 29,775 and approximately 22,00 respectively. More games were planned, but Commissioner Landis ordered an end to them shortly after the second game, citing the fact that they are not officially sanctioned as Army-Navy Relief Fund games. A planned contest scheduled in Indianapolis was summarily cancelled.
  • July 5: The Jacksonville Red Caps failed to show for a game in Memphis with the Red Sox. Having sold or traded its best players to other teams, the Red Caps continued to play NAL teams when they could afford the transporation, operating as a semi-pro team. They still finished with a better record than the Chicago American Giants.
  • July 17: Following a closed-door discussion with Brooklyn Dodgers manager Leo Durocher, in which Durocher reportedly denied responsibility for a quote in the New York Daily Worker blaming the owners of big league clubs for segregation, Commissioner Landis issued an official statement saying "Negroes are not barred Organized Baseball by the Commissioner and never have in my 21 years I have served as Commissioner. There is no rule in Organized baseball prohibiting their participation and never has been to my knowledge. If Durocher or any other manager, or all of them want to sign one or 25 Negro players, it's all right with me."
  • When asked for comment later that day, James Gallagher, GM of the Cubs, shifted blame, claiming that "our scouts have never recommended a Negro player." Gallagher than shifted the focus, saying "Personally, I think everybody in this country should be doing something of more value to the nation as a whole than stirring up racial hatred."
  • Pittsburgh Pirates owner Bill Benswanger also went on record that same day, saying, "I agree with Judge Landis' statement. There is not and never has been, to my knowledge, anything to ban Negroes from baseball. I know nothing of any agreement in the major leagues to ban Negroes. I have gone on record before on this matter and I hope I still have a free mind and a free conscience." Benswager was soon called on his statement by newspapers, and found himself promising tryouts for worthy Negro players.
  • July 24: Leon Day of the Newark Eagles struck out 18 Baltimore batters, breaking Satchel Paige's previous NNL record of 17. Day pitched a 1-hitter and walked only one, winning 8-1. The Elites' only run scored on two errors in the 9th.
  • July 27: Brooklyn Dodgers president Larry MacPhail disputes Landis' statement, saying "any statement that there is no agreement, formal or informal, barring Negroes from playing in Organized Baseball is 100% pure hypocrisy."
MacPhail himself was opposed to integration, offering the disingenuous logic of concern for Negro leagues owners, claiming "there aren't too many players in the Negro National and American Leagues, so if they should lose their best players to the majors, their own clubs would be hurt at the gate."
  • August 6: Having promised tryouts earlier to Roy Campanella, Sammy T. Hughes, and Dave Barnhill and set this day as the date, Pirates owner Benswanger postponed indefinitely, citing unnamed pressures. General opinion in the press, both black and white, was that other owners had brought pressure on him to not hold the tryouts. Tryouts for the three will never be offered again.
  • On the same day, The Sporting News published an editorial titled "No Good From Raising the Race Issue", arguing that "mixed" teams were not in the best interest of baseball or of baseball fans. Further, it stated that "there are agitators, ever ready to seize an issue that will redound to their profit or self aggrandizement, who have sought to force Negro players on the big leagues." The editorial further argued that segregation was a beneficial concept, and that both races were happy with the situation as it currently stands.
  • September 7: At about 3 AM, two Buckeye players, Ulysses "Buster" Brown and Raymond "Smokey" Owens, were killed instantly in a two-car crash just west of Geneva, Ohio on westbound US Highway 20. Two other players, Gene Bremer and Herman Watts, were seriously injured. Bremer suffered a concussion and Watts dislocated his pelvis. Team business manager Wilbur Hayes and pitcher Alonzo Boone were slightly injured as well, suffering cuts and bruises.
The players were in one of four automobiles on a post-season barnstorming tour, the team's bus being sidelined for repairs. The team was on its way from Buffalo, New York, where they had played a Sunday double-header with the New York Black Yankees, to Akron, OH, where a single game was scheduled against the same team. The other three cars were further enroute to Akron, further ahead of the fourth, which had been delayed by a flat tire.
Having just finished changing the flat tire at the side of Highway 20, the Buckeyes was hit at a high speed by a truck when they attempted to re-enter the highway. The force of the crash threw Hayes and Boone out of the car, and pushed both vehicles across the highway and into a tree, where Brown and Owens were crushed to death. The car overturned and pinned Watts' leg beneath it.
Despite the deaths of two starting players and severe injuries to two others, the Buckeyes still completed their scheduled barnstorming tour. When they appeared in Cincinnati's Crosley Field on the 9th, they were greeted with a standing ovation from fans.
  • December 3: At a regular meeting of the NL and AL with Commissioner Landis in Chicago, a committee of the Chicago CIO attempted to present a petition to the Commissioner and leagues to actively consider racial integration. Citing procedural rules, Landis refused to see them or consider their petition.

[edit] Sources

Negro League Seasons

Early Era
1800s · 1900s
1910 · 1911 · 1912 · 1913 · 1914 · 1915 · 1916 · 1917 · 1918 · 1919
Middle Era
1920 · 1921 · 1922 · 1923 · 1924 · 1925 · 1926 · 1927 · 1928 · 1929
1930 · 1931 · 1932 · 1933 · 1934 · 1935 · 1936 · 1937 · 1938 · 1939
1940 · 1941 · 1942 · 1943 · 1944 · 1945
Late Era
1946 · 1947 · 1948 · 1949 · 1950
1950s · 1960s

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