Rufus Lewis

From BR Bullpen

Rufus Lewis

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 1", Weight 180 lbs.

Rufus Lewis was a pitcher in the Negro Leagues, debuting in 1936. He pitched briefly in the minor leagues from 1950 to 1952.

Lewis made his debuting with the Pittsburgh Crawfords in 1936. He appeared in 5 games, starting all of them and completing 3; with a 3-1 record. He had a 0.68 ERA in 35 innings pitched, striking out 22 and walking 9. In the following year, he pitched in 9 games (starting 8) completing 4 games giving him a 5 - 2 record. In 61 innings, he had 39 strikeouts, 14 walks and a 0.73 ERA.

By 1943, Lewis was living in Florida and served in the Army from 1943 to 1945. After the war he joined the Newark Eagles and remained with the club until 1948. In his first year with the club, he went 6 - 1, with a 0.74 ERA, 44 strikeouts, and 21 walks. After the season he played for a Satchel Paige barnstorming club. In 1947, his record was 11 - 6, with 30 walks, 99 strikeouts and 0.85 ERA. Lewis went 10 - 8 for the Eagles in 1948, striking out 92 and walking 69. His ERA was 1.41 and a 0.365 batting average against.

During the winters of 1947 and 1948, Lewis played for the Havana Reds in the Cuban Winter League. He went 11 - 6, 0.79 ERA, 62 BB, and 75 SO in his first year and 8 - 5, 1.17 ERA, 74 BB, and 64 SO. Lewis was the losing pitcher for the East in the first 1948 East-West Game. He joined the Houston Eagles in 1949 where he went 7 - 9 striking out 104 while only walking 34 giving him a 1.15 ERA, despite a .360 opponents' batting average. He pitched in 3 games and 3 innings for the club in 1950 before moving on to the Mexican League's Mexico City Red Devils.

Lewis went 5 - 8 in 19 games for the Mexican club. In 124.1 innings he had a 1.27 ERA, stiking out 69 and walking 71. He split time between the Mexico City franchise and the Veracruz Blues in 1951. He went 10 - 9 in 28 games and 147 innings. He walked 76, struckout 105 and had a 1.14 ERA.

Lewis pitched briefly for the Mexico City team again in 1952 where he appeared in 5 games, posting a 0 - 1 W-L record in 21 innings, with a 1.85 ERA, 13 strikeouts and 12 walks. He spent most of the season with the Chihuahua Dorados in the Arizona-Texas League. In 27 games he went 8 - 15 in 183 IP, 1.63 ERA, 71 walks and 136 strikeouts. He retired after the season, and eventually retired to Detroit, MI. He died at in 1999 at the age of 80.