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Dave Black

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David Black

  • Bats Left, Throws Left
  • Height 6' 2", Weight 175 lb.

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[edit] Biographical Information

Very little is known about pitcher David Black. The dates of birth and death long associated with his named turned out to be mistaken and for a very long time, no records about his family had been found. Although obviously a lefthander according to contemporary reports, he was for a long time listed as a righthander in the Baseball Encyclopedia. He played in the Federal League during both of its seasons as a major league, in 1914 and 1915, then was out of the majors until playing two games for the Boston Red Sox in 1923. His player file at the Hall of Fame library is described by SABR researcher Bill Nowlin as "the slimmest [I] have ever consulted".

Another SABR researcher, Peter Morris found a discrepancy in his listed date of death of October 27, 1936 in Pittsburgh, PA, as the person who died that day was born in 1902, clearly too late to have pitched professionally in 1914. Further research indicated that the date belonged to another professional pitcher named Dave Black, who had been a star in the minor leagues; by mistake, his death got attached to the major leaguer. A drawn-out search managed to finally identify the correct man. He was indeed born in Chicago, IL, although on a date slightly different than that listed in encyclopedias. An interesting factoid is that his sister, Maud, was married to John Pitts, team physician for the Chicago Cubs. He married Alice Abshier in 1917, and by 1930 was living in Racine, WI as a cigar store proprietor. He registered for the draft in World War II, at which point he was back living in the Chicago area. He died in Chicago in 1959.

[edit] Further Reading

  • "David Black", in Bill Carle, ed.: Biographical Research Committee Report, SABR, July/August 2014, pp. 9-12.

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