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Joe Guyon

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Joseph Napoleon Guyon born O-Gee-Chidah

BR minors page

[edit] Biographical Information

Joe Guyon hit .329 in 12 years in the minor leagues as an outfielder, managed for 3 years in the minors, coached college baseball for four and had a Hall of Fame career as a NFL running back.

Guyon, a Chippewa Indian, went to the same high school as fellow Native American Jim Thorpe, also a two-sport star. He and Thorpe would later play on four different NFL teams together. In 1918, he was an All-American in football at Georgia Tech.

Guyon broke in during 1920 with three teams, going 35 for 150 with 7 extra-base hits at the relatively old age of 27; the same year, he began his impressive pro football career. In 1921, he batted .313 with 13 triples and 45 stolen bases for the Atlanta Crackers. Guyon increased his home run output from 1 to 11 and hit .299 with a .433 slugging percentage, 89 runs and 19 stolen bases for Atlanta in 1922. With the Southern Association not out of the Deadball Era completely, he tied for third in homers, one behind the leaders. The next year, he improved to .316 though he slugged .426. He stole 32 and scored 104 times. His 10 homers placed him fifth in the SA.

In 1924, Guyon moved to the Little Rock Travelers and hit .346 with 35 doubles, 11 triples and a .477 slugging percentage. He scored 106 runs and stole 28 bases. He was around fifth in the Southern Average in average that year. The next season, he made it to AA, the highest level of the era, with the Louisville Colonels. He batted .363 with 38 doubles, 17 triples, 152 runs, 106 RBI and 18 steals in 1925; his slugging percentage was .521 and he collected 228 hits in 157 games. He finished in the top five in average and presumably in other categories as well. Guyon helped Joe McCarthy's club win the American Association pennant, giving McCarthy his ticket to the major leagues and Hall of Fame. Guyon remained with Louisville, though, never making it to The Show.

Guyon batted .343 and slugged .455 to help Louisville repeat in 1926. He scored 132 runs, had 36 doubles, 13 triples, 209 hits, 86 RBI and 21 stolen bases. In 1927, Guyon hit .358/?/.451 with 9 triples and 93 runs. He finished in the top 5 in the American Association in average. Guyon only played 25 games in 1928, hitting .241 for Louisville. A serious injury in 1928 ended his football career and ended his baseball career for the most part.

Guyon had coached the baseball team at Union University in 1924 and 1926. He then took a job as the head coach at Clemson University from 1928 to 1931. He managed the Anderson Electrics in the Palmetto League in 1931, the Asheville Tourists in 1932, and the Fieldale Towlers in 1936. He made appearances in the field all 3 years, hitting .315 with 36 runs in 38 games for Anderson and the Spartanburg Spartans in 1931, .364 with 46 runs in 66 games for Asheville and .265 with 31 runs in 33 games for Fieldale. Oddly, when he was replaced as Fieldale manager in 1936, the guy who took over was another former NFL player - Red Smith.

Overall, Guyon hit .329 with a .447 slugging percentage in 1,229 minor league games. He scored 900 runs, had 1,542 hits, 227 doubles, 91 triples, 49 homers, 515 RBI and stole 203 bases.

He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1966.

Sources include Pat Doyle's Professional Baseball Player Database, Pro Football Hall of Fame bio, The Minor League Register ed. by W. Lloyd Johnson

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