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Buster Haywood

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Albert Elliott Haywood (Buster, Wahoo)

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 8", Weight 161 lb.

Buster Haywood was a three-time All-Star catcher in the Negro Leagues and also managed three times in the East-West Game.

Haywood debuted with the Birmingham Black Barons in 1940, then played for the Miami Ethiopian Clowns. He was MVP of the 1941 Denver Post Tournament. In 1942, he backed up Louis Louden with the New York Cubans. Haywood hit .288 for the 1943 Cincinnati Clowns, splitting the catching duties with Pepper Bassett. He hit .270 as the starter for the Cincinnati-Indianapolis Clowns in 1944 then was a backup in 1945.

Buster hit .200 for the 1946 Indianapolis Clowns while sharing the catcher's job with Sam Hairston. Haywood still made the West roster for the first 1946 East-West Game. He fared poorly, going 0 for 1 with two passed balls after replacing Quincy Trouppe. The West lost, 6-3. He was not the only catcher in that game born in Portsmouth, VA in the 1910s; so was the East's Leon Ruffin. Haywood started for the Clowns in 1947. That fall, he was 1 for 9 in exhibitions against the Bob Feller All-Stars and Ewell Blackwell All-Stars.

The Virginia native backed up Hairston in 1948 and began a stint as manager of the Clowns, a job he would hold until 1954. He would be Hank Aaron's first manager in professional baseball. In the 1951 East-West Game, he was player-manager for the East. Subbing for Johnny Hayes in the 9th inning, he did not bat in a 3-1 win. He managed the East in a losing effort in the 1952 East-West Game. He was the skipper in another loss in the 1953 East-West Game, in which he pinch-hit for Dave Amaro in the 9th and was retired. Haywood ended his career with the 1954 Memphis Red Sox.

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