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Atlantic City Bacharach Giants

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Starting in Jacksonville, FL as the Duval Giants, the team moved to Atlantic City, NJ in 1916 and became the Atlantic City Bacharach Giants. Dick Lundy played for the team in 1918 and in 1919 they became a competitive team (6-5 against other top black teams) as they had stars at short (Pop Lloyd), first base (Ben Taylor, in the outfield (Spot Poles) and on the mound (Dick Redding). Redding was player-manager of the 1920 club - Lloyd left but Lundy returned at short; Poles and Taylor were also gone but the team remained one of the better black teams in the east and added Oliver Marcelle at third base. In 1920-21, they played briefly in the Cuban Winter League with a mix of Negro League and Cuban players and went just 4-11 under Rube Foster before they withdrew from the league on January 13. Their 34-28 record against top black teams was the best in the east in '21. Redding went 15-11 and Lundy hit .361 as the roster remained relatively stable. The club slipped in 1922 as Lloyd again replaced Lundy at short and #2 pitcher Nip Winters was just 6-10.

In 1923 the Giants were charter members of the Eastern Colored League and finished fourth at 19-23. OF Charlie Mason (.329) led the ECL with 12 homers but Marcelle, Lundy, Lloyd and Redding were all gone. The club was 34-30 in 1924 as Lloyd returned as player-manager and hit .333; he played second base as Lundy also came back to town and hit .339 to form a superb middle infidler. Mason hit .333. The team went 38-44 in 1925 with Lloyd (.333) and Lundy (.297) still manning the middle. Rats Henderson was the staff workhorse, going 18-16.

Lundy replaced Lloyd at the helm of the team in 1926 as Lloyd went to New York. Lundy hit .320 and tied for the league lead with 17 doubles. Marcelle returned to play third, Henderson went 15-8, Red Grier was 25-12 with a 3.16 RA and OF Red Farrell hit .348 (second in the ECL) with 10 homers (tied for third in the league). Grier (17-7) and Henderson (13-7) both excelled after June to lead the team to a 56-35 record and the title. They lost the 1926 Negro World Series 5 games to 4 with 2 ties to the Chicago American Giants after dropping the last three games (the finale by one run) and despite a Grier no-hitter in game 3.

The Bacharach Giants again dominated the ECL in 1927 with a 64-39 record. With declining attendance, they went into debt despite a fine year. Grier (1-2) fell flat and Henderson (15-6, 3.60 RA) was sidelined after August 7 with a sore arm. Jesse Hubbard (13-8) and Farrell (20-11, .301) took over - the converted outfielder Farrell led the league in wins. Lundy hit .303, Marcelle .326 and 2B Milton Lewis .354. They again lost the Series in a close match with the Giants, 5 games to 3 with one tie. Farrell became the second pitcher named Red from Atlantic City to pitch a Series no-hitter in two years.

The Giants remained a dominant team in the ECL and went 32-23 before the league folded in 1928. Lundy (.414), Farrell (.290, tied for 4th with 9 homers, 11-15) and Henderson (10-4) remained key players and were joined by 1B Tank Carr (.315, 14 HR between Atlantic City and Philadelphia) and OF Fats Jenkins (.342) and Chaney White (.342).

The Bacharachs joined the new eastern Negro League, the American Negro League, in 1929 but went just 16-30. With Lundy in Baltimore, Taylor returned to manage and play first (he hit .306). Henkins (.317), White (.357) and Clint Thomas (.342) gave the team three good contact hitters in the outfield, while Henderson went 6-0 as their one good pitcher.

When the ANL folded as well, the Giants rapidly declined. In 1934 they again joined a formal league with the Negro National League/East-West League but went just 6-18 with Hubbard now managing. Farrell was just 2-5 while OF Ed Stone hit .427. The team had been bought by Philadelphia, PA businessman Harry Passon and had played several season as an independent team from 1931 to 1934. The Bacharach Giants did not return to the league the following season, but continued for several years as a semi-pro independent team, most notable for providing future Hall of Famer Roy Campanella his first opportunity to play professionally.

Sources: "The Complete Book of Baseball's Negro Leagues" by John Holway, Cuban Baseball: A Statistical History by Jorge Figueredo and "The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues" by James Riley

[edit] Further Reading

  • James E. Overmyer: Black Ball and the Boardwalk: The Bacharach Giants of Atlantic City, 1916–1929, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2014. ISBN 978-0-7864-7237-6


Eastern Colored League (1923 - 1928)
Atlantic City Bacharach Giants · Baltimore Black Sox · Brooklyn Royal Giants · Cuban Stars (East) · Harrisburg Giants · Hilldale Club · New York Lincoln Giants · Newark Stars · Philadelphia Hilldale Giants · Washington Potomacs · Wilmington Potomacs
American Negro League (1929 - 1931)
Atlantic City Bacharach Giants · Baltimore Black Sox · Cuban Stars (East) · New York Lincoln Giants · Philadelphia Hilldale Giants · Pittsburgh Homestead Grays
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