1934 Chicago American Giants

From BR Bullpen

1934 Chicago American Giants / Franchise: Chicago American Giants / BR Team Page[edit]

Record: 28-20-3, Finished 2nd in Negro National League (1934 NNL)

Managed by Dave Malarcher

Ballpark: Cole's Park

History, Comments, Contributions[edit]

The 1934 Chicago American Giants only had the third-best record in the Negro National League but made the finals, as they won one of the league's two halves while the Pittsburgh Crawfords (with a better record overall) did not. Matched up against the Philadelphia Stars in the finals, they nearly pulled off the upset win. In the opener, Willie Foster pitched Chicago to a 4-3 win over 1934's top pitcher, Slim Jones, Mule Suttles driving in Larry Brown with the winning run in the 9th. A week later, Ted Trent pitched a four-hitter to beat Jones and the Stars. Foster dropped Game 3 to Webster McDonald.

In Game 4, Chicago pulled out a 2-1 win and now led 3 games to 1, having nearly taken the title. They came close in the next game, but Foster lost a 1-0 duel to Rocky Ellis. Trent dropped Game 6 and it was now tied. On October 11th, the teams fought to a 4-4 tie in ten innings. The next day, Jones finally beat Chicago, winning 2-0, while Sug Cornelius did a good job on the hill in a losing cause.

The regular-season statistics do not really capture Chicago's performance as box scores have not been located for all their games. The box scores that were found disproportionately cover Chicago losses; they were 18-21-3 in games for which boxes were found and 19-5 for games with no box scores located. (Those records are for all games, not NNL contests; stats for NNL games 17-20 and 11-0-3). As a result, individual stats are likely not representative of a player's full performance.

Available stats show the star offensive performer easily being CF Turkey Stearnes, as the veteran slugger hit .344/.402/.597 for a 192 OPS+ and 42 runs in 39 games. Despite the incomplete stats, he is shown as the NNL leader with 7 triples. Other key batters were 1B Suttles (.306/.363/.456, 140 OPS+), RF John Hines (.310/.355/.397, 121 OPS+) and 3B Alex Radcliff (.304/.337/.391, 114 OPS+). Rounding out the starters were C Brown (.257/.330/.307, 88 OPS+), 2B Jack Marshall (.261/.313/.319, 86 OPS+), SS Willie Wells (.208/.292/.313, 78 OPS+) and LF Joe Lillard (.200/.238/.242, 41 OPS+). 2B Lloyd Scott was the most-used back-up and hit .197/.258/.262 for a 51 OPS+.

Stats available show a team ERA+ of only 84. Trent (6-5, 2.68, 136 ERA+) and Foster (3-2, 2.88, 126 ERA+) show up as the top two hurlers, followed by Melvin Powell (3-3, 4.47, 81 ERA+), Cornelius (4-6, 4.97, 73 ERA+) and Percy Bailey (1-3, 7.78, 47 ERA+).

All stats listed are per the Seamheads database 2/17/2021; other sources vary. Playoff information from The Complete Book of Baseball's Negro Leagues by John Holway, pg. 310-313. Agate Type article on missing box scores

Awards and Honors[edit]