Leroy Morney

From BR Bullpen

Leroy Morney

Leroy Morney began his professional baseball career with the Monroe Monarchs in the minor black Texas-Louisiana League in 1931 as the shortstop for the champion club. The next year, Monroe was in the Negro Southern League in its sole season as a major circuit. Leroy hit .313 that year.

In 1933, Morney played for the Homestead Grays, Columbus Blue Birds and Cleveland Giants, hitting .437 overall to easily lead the Negro National League. Primarily a shortstop, he started at second base in the first East-West Game and made three errors out of position.

The young star joined the Pittsburgh Crawfords in 1934, but struggled at the plate, hitting only .239 (still better than two of the other infielders). Moving to the Columbus Elite Giants in '35, he again led the NNL in average, at .419. Leroy's on-and-off run continued with a meek .137 for the 1936 Washington Elite Giants, then .280 a year later, when he tied for second in the NNL with 8 doubles.

Moving to the New York Black Yankees in 1938 (his 8th team in 8 years), Morney hit .075. Playing for the 1939 Toledo Crawfords, Leroy had his third big year, hitting .467 and again being chosen for the East-West Game. With his 10th club, the 1940 Chicago American Giants, Morney batted .276 and was the West's starting shortstop in the East-West Game.

In 1941, Leroy played for the Monterrey Industrials and hit .236/.305/.327 in a high-offense Mexican League season. His 12th team was the Birmingham Black Barons, where he batted .293 and tied for the Negro American League lead with three stolen bases. Morney was with his 13th different club in 1943, hitting .125 for the Cincinnati Ethiopian Giants, then returning to Birmingham to bat .240 while playing third base. Leroy finished his career in 1944 as a sub for Birmingham, hitting .237.

A wildly inconsistent player who did not stay with any team for a considerable length of time, Leroy Morney put up some excellent offensive seasons, especially for a guy who spent the bulk of his career at shortstop.

Principal Sources: The Complete Book of Baseball's Negro Leagues by John Holway, The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues by James Riley, The Mexican League: Comprehensive Player Statistics by Pedro Treto Cisneros