Archie Virgil Ware
- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 5' 9", Weight 160 lb.
Archie Ware was a first baseman for 12 years in the Negro Leagues and two in the minors. He was noted for his glovework and contact hitting and was a three-time All-Star.
Ware was a backup for the 1940 Chicago American Giants and 1941 Kansas City Monarchs. He became a starter in 1942, hitting .250 for the Cincinnati Buckeyes. He batted .288 for the Cleveland Buckeyes in 1943 and his three triples tied him for second in the Negro American League, one behind Sam Jethroe. In 1944, the little left-handed batter hit .267. He still was picked as the starting first baseman for the West in the 1944 East-West Game, hitting 7th. He went 1 for 4, doubling home Barney Serrell off Carranza Howard then scoring on a homer by Double Duty Radcliffe in a 7-4 win.
Archie hit .296 in 1945 when Cleveland won the NAL pennant then took the 1945 Negro World Series from the Homestead Grays. Ware again hit 7th and played first for the West in the 1945 East-West Game. He went 2 for 4 with a run and 3 RBI in a 9-6 win, while getting caught stealing. In the second, he singled home Neil Robinson and Alec Radcliffe while facing Tom Glover. An inning later, against Bill Ricks, he singled in Radcliffe again.
Ware batted .381 in 1946 and would have led the NAL had he qualified. He appeared in his last two East-West Games, playing first and hitting second for the West both times. In the first 1946 East-West Game, he went 0 for 4 in a 6-3 loss. In the second contest, he was 0 for 2 with two sacrifice hits in a 4-1 victory. The Floridian infielder hit .349 in 1947 (just missing the top five in average while leading with 99 hits) as Cleveland won another title, though they lost the 1947 Negro World Series to the New York Cubans.
The veteran hit .349 again in 1948 and again just missed the top five. His 23 doubles were second to Al Smith. Ware remained with the Buckeyes as they moved to Louisville in '49 then was with the Indianapolis Clowns in 1950. In the 1951 Caribbean Series, he led Spur Cola (the Panamanian entry) in average (.348), RBI (4) and hits (8). He split 1951 between Indianapolis and the Farnham Pirates (.257, .326 SLG). The old-timer ended up in 1952 with the Lewiston Broncs, going 12 for 42 with a double and six walks.
James Riley writes that Ware was a gentleman who never complained.