Murray Watkins

From BR Bullpen

Maurice Clifton Watkins (Skeeter)

  • Bats Left, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 4", Weight 135-145 lb.

Murray Watkins was a two-time Negro League All-Star infielder of the 1940s. Watkins used his short stature to draw many walks, making him a good leadoff threat when combined with his speed.

Watkins worked in a steel mill before breaking into the Negro Leagues. He was a backup for the Philadelphia Stars in 1941 and Indianapolis Clowns and Newark Eagles in 1942. He remained a sub before Newark in 1943, then hit .271 as a 2B-3B in 1944. The little infielder hit .278 as Newark's starter at the hot corner in 1945 and led the Negro National League in steals. In exhibition play that year, he was 3 for 11 against Ralph Branca, Hal Gregg and Virgil Trucks.

In the 1945 East-West Game, Watkins replaced Marvin Barker at the hot corner for the East in a 9-6 loss. He was the only East player to reach base three times, going 2 for 2 with a walk. He split 1946 between Newark and Philadelphia. In the first 1946 East-West Game, he pinch-ran for Josh Gibson in a 6-3 win by the East. In the second East-West Game of '46, he pinch-hit for Silvio Garcia and scored the only East run in a 4-1 loss. Johnny Williams plunked him, then he advanced on a single by Pat Scantlebury and scored on a fly by Larry Doby.

Skeeter hit .294 as Philly's starting third baseman in 1947 and remained with the club through 1950. He then spent three years in the Manitoba-Dakota League. After his baseball career ended, Watkins worked in the Baltimore, MD school system.

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