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Dick Seay

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Richard William Seay

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 8", Weight 156 lb.

Second baseman Dick Seay was the only member of the Million Dollar Infield who did not get elected into the Hall of Fame, playing alongside 3B Ray Dandridge, SS Willie Wells and 1B Mule Suttles. Known as a superb defensive player, bunter and hit-and-run specialist, Seay was generally a very light hitter, often under the Mendoza Line. Known for his positive character, he was popular with many.

Seay's family was the only black one in West New York, NJ and his race was accidentally marked as white on his birth certificate. Dropping out of high school after one year to play baseball, Seay played alongside Chino Smith in 1925, then broke into the big time with the 1926 Baltimore Black Sox. The 23-year-old played shortstop, but only hit .160. Hitting .208 for the Brooklyn Royal Giants the next year, Seay remained with Brooklyn through 1931, hitting .205 in '30; he was also moved to second base.

Dick joined Baltimore again in 1932 and batted .298. Slipping to .258 the next year, Seay did finish second in the Negro National League with nine steals. He hit .191 with the 1934 Philadelphia Stars then was at .224 the next year. He made his first East-West Game that year. Moving to the Pittsburgh Crawfords in 1936, Seay slumped to .188.

In 1937, Seay slipped further, to .119 in his first year with the Newark Eagles. The defensive wizard improved to .257 the next year as the Million Dollar Infield came together. In 1939, Dick hit .185 for Newark, then in 1940 put up a .284 season and was again picked for the East-West team.

At age 36, Seay switched to the New York Black Yankees and managed just a .116 mark, though he was on his third and last East-West squad. Seay hit .364 for New York in 1942, but did not play enough to qualify for a spot in the batting race.

Seay missed the 1943-1945 seasons as he served in the US military during World War II. In 1946, he returned to baseball at age 41 and hit .143, then saw limited duty in 1947 before retiring.

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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