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George Britt

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George Britt (Chippy) Also known as George Brittain and George Britton

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 8", Weight 185 lb.

George Britt was a pitcher and catcher in the Negro Leagues for two and a half decades. He broke in with the 1920 Dayton Marcos and went 7-9 for a club that otherwise went 6-14 as the club ace. In '21, Britt (nicknamed Chippy because that is what he called everyone else) was 7-10 with one save but a whopping 7.44 RA for the Columbus Buckeyes. He hit .253/.334/.345 at the plate.

In 1922, Britt went to the Baltimore Black Sox and went 1-1 for them in '23. The '24 season had him producing a 11-13 record and hitting .315. In an exhibition game that season, he got the win against the Philadelphia Athletics. He batted .345 in 1925, while going 10-4. His 63 strikeouts were second in the Eastern Colored League trailing only Nip Winters.

Britt moved to the Homestead Grays during the 1926 campaign, after an 0-1 start for Baltimore. Statistics are very limited during his peak period as the Grays were not a member of a league and rarely played other top black clubs. He pitched part of an exhibition game against a white MLB team that fall. After loading the bases with walks in the 10th inning, he hit the umpire and was thrown out of the contest. Sam Streeter relieved and let all three runners score; Britt took the defeat.

The outburst was not out-of-line with the rest of Chippy's career. He was known as one of black baseball's "four big bad men" along with Jud Wilson, Oscar Charleston and Vic Harris and someone once said "he could whip the whole ballclub." In Mexico City, he once was declared "Public Enemy Number One" when he challenged some armed revolutionaries in the crowd.

In 1927, Britt was 1-0 against other black teams and also pitched in an exhibition series against a team including Harry Heilmann, Jimmie Dykes, Wally Schang, Heinie Manush, George Burns, Bing Miller, Joe Boley and Bill Regan, outdueling Rube Walberg 5-1 on October 8.

Homestead was in the Eastern Colored League in 1928 and Britt went 0-1 for them. George was 2-1 for the '29 Grays then was traded with Martin Dihigo to the Philadelphia Hilldales for Jake Stephens and Rev Cannady. He went only 1-3 with Philadelphia.

Returning to the Grays, George was 3-0 in 1930 and 2-1 in a post-season competition. He was 6-2 for the 1931 Grays and 1-0 in a postseason series against the Kansas City Monarchs. That year, he helped break up a potentially fatal conflict between Ted Page and Tubby Scales. Chippy was 6-3 for Homestead in '32 and also was 0-2 in a spell with the Detroit Wolves. The 1933 season was George's 8th in Homestead and he was 2-0. Picked for the East roster in the first East-West Game, he allowed three runs (one earned) and four hits in two innings. He also went 1-1 for the Newark Dodgers. He remained with Newark and went 4-2 a year later, also going 1-0 for Homestead.

In 1935, the veteran right-hander was with Columbus, then he disappears from the record books despite being listed on the rosters of several clubs through 1944.

After retiring, he worked as a doorman for a cabaret run by Ernie Wright.

Sources: Black Baseball's National Showcase by Larry Lester, The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues by James Riley, The Complete Book of Baseball's Negro Leagues by John Holway, Gary Ashwill's research into the 1921 Negro National League season

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