From BR Bullpen
William Nathaniel Rogers
- Bats Left, Throws Right
- Height 5' 11", Weight 160 lb.
Nat Rogers was a corner outfielder in the Negro Leagues in three different decades.
Rogers was one of nine brothers. Before he turned pro as a baseball player, he worked on the railroads, in a tannery and in a furnace factory. He started his Negro League career with the Brooklyn Royal Giants in 1923. He moved to the Philadelphia Giants in 1924 and played for the 1925 Harrisburg Giants. Rogers next appeared with the Memphis Red Sox. In 1927, he was hitting .270 for them when Memphis shipped him with Larry Brown to the Chicago American Giants. In the 1927 Negro World Series, Rogers was 6 for 15 to lead Chicago as they beat the Atlantic City Bacharach Giants.
Nat batted .358 in 1928, tying Bullet Joe Rogan for 4th in the Negro National League behind Pythian Russ, Huck Rile and Mule Suttles. In 1929, he was back with Memphis, hitting .284. He split 1930 between Memphis (.366) and the Birmingham Black Barons (.307). His 21 combined doubles were second in the circuit behind Willie Wells.
With the Kansas City Monarchs in 1931, the vagabond outfielder hit .277. He batted .322 for Cole's American Giants of 1932, 4th-best in the Negro Southern League. His 11 doubles tied Alec Radcliffe for second in the NSL, behind Turkey Stearnes. Rogers faded to .248 in 1933 and was a bench player for the Giants in 1934. He spent 1935 with the Brooklyn Eagles.
The South Carolina native returned to Memphis, where he spent 1936-1946. He hit .375 in 1937, .339 in 1938, was a bench player in 1939 an d hit .214 in 1940. he had one last big year, batting .350 in 1941 while backing up Neil Robinson, Subby Byas and Bubba Hyde in the outfield. In 1943, he started but hit only .227.
Rogers made the preliminary ballot in the 2006 Special Committee on the Negro Leagues Election.