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Alonzo Boone

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Alonzo D. Boone (Buster, Bullet Bob)

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 10", Weight 195 lb.

Pitcher Alonzo Boone was a member of the Cleveland Buckeyes team that won Negro American League pennant in 1947. He became the club's manager in 1948. Boone spent over 20 years in the Negro Leagues. James Riley writes that his father was "said to have been a left-handed pitcher with the Kansas City Monarchs" but no matching Boone had been found as of the printing of The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues.

Boone ran away from school to become a baseball player. He hit the big time in 1929 with the Memphis Red Sox. In 1931, he moved to the Cleveland Cubs, going 0-1 for them. Alonzo joined the Birmingham Black Barons in 1932. Boone then vanished from the top ranks of black baseball for six years.

In 1940, Boone pitched for the Cleveland Bears, going 0-1. Boone had a 1-2 mark for the Cincinnati Buckeyes in 1942. That September, he was the passenger in a car crash that claimed the lives of teammates Smoky Owens and Buster Brown and injured Wilbur Hayes, Gene Bremmer and Herman Watts. The veteran was 2-3 for the Buckeyes, now the Cleveland Buckeyes, in 1943.

Boone returned to Birmingham to got 2-0 in 1944 and 1-2 in 1945. In 1946, he was 1-0 for the Cleveland Buckeyes. He improved to 5-1 in 1947. The old-timer did not pitch in the 1947 Negro World Series, which Cleveland lost. He became Cleveland's manager in 1948 and held that role for three years before the club folded.

After retiring from baseball, Alonzo was a custodian for the Cleveland Museum of Art. In 1970, he joined Cleveland's city streets department. There, his job was to issue permits. He held that position for 11 years. He died a year after his retirement.

Sources: The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues by James Riley, The Complete Book of Baseball's Negro Leagues by John Holway

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