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Scrip Lee

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Hosley Scranton Scriptus Lee (Scrip, Script)

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 0", Weight 185 lb.

Scrip Lee pitched and umpired in the Negro Leagues.

Lee was a schoolmate of Duke Ellington, who went on to be one of the most famous Jazz musicians of the 20th Century. Scrip played football and baseball as a youth. In 1916, he joined the National Guard and served on the Mexican border during the Pancho Villa uprising. During World War I, Lee served in the 372nd Infantry in France, earning a Purple Heart. He was discharged from the military in 1919.

Nip Winters advised Lee to try out for a team run by Chappie Johnson and the right-hander got a contract worth $175 per month for Johnson's Norfolk Stars. In 1922, Lee moved up to the Baltimore Black Sox. He switched to the Hilldale Club in 1923 and went 6-5. Lee was 2-4 with a 3.72 ERA in 1924 and hit .353/~.421/.353 as a 1B/OF. The submarine hurler pitched over 10 relief innings in game 3 of the 1924 Negro World Series. In game six, lost a 6-5 decision in relief to the Kansas City Monarchs. Lee got the call to start game 10, the finale. He tossed 7 shutout innings but so did Jose Mendez. Lee then inexplicably switched to an overhand delivery and quickly surrendered five runs in a loss.

Lee went 7-3 for Hilldale in 1925. In the 1925 Negro World Series, Lee held Kansas City to one run through 8. Hilldale rallied to win the game after Lee left. The Washington native went 8-5 in 1926. In an exhibition that fall, he held a team of white major leaguers to one run on 7 hits; the white club included Heinie Manush, George Burns, Wally Schang, Bing Miller, Cy Perkins, Jimmie Dykes and Don Padgett.

In the winter of 1926-1927, Lee was 1-2 for the Havana Reds of the Cuban Winter League. Lee faded to 3-10 for Philadelphia during 1927. Due to a financial dispute, he left the Philadelphia club and signed with the Baltimore Black Sox, going 5-4 in 1929.

The veteran hurler was 3-2 for Baltimore in 1930. In 1931, he had a 5-6, 3.16 record for Baltimore, finishing 4th in the east in RA (two of the pitchers ahead of him were Hall of Famers).

Lee was 1-1 for Baltimore in 1933 then was 0-2 for the Cleveland Red Sox in 1934. Retiring as a player, Lee was an umpire for the Negro National League through 1943. He worked the 1942 Negro World Series.

After baseball, Lee was a taxi driver in Washington, then spent 31 years working for the Veterans Administration.

Lee's repertoire included a curveball, screwball, knuckleball, fastball and changeup.

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