• Kirk Jenkins

Previewing the New York Black Yankees vs. the Pittsburgh Crawfords


So in the wake of the Cubans’ latest upset, it’s onward and upward to the second and last semifinal – previewing the New York Black Yankees, who defeated the Newark Eagles to advance, versus the regular season champions, the legendary Pittsburgh Crawfords.

The New York Black Yankees were led by manager Bob Clarke. They played their home games at the Municipal Stadium in Freeport, New York.


The Black Yankees’ regular catcher was Clarence Palm, who hit .351 for the year. First baseman was George Giles, who hit .274. The Black Yankees’ second baseman was Walter Cannady, who hit .310 for the year. Shortstop Jake Stephens hit .212. The Black Yankees’ third baseman, veteran George Scales, hit .358. The left fielder Fats Jenkins (no comments about the last name), hit .323 for the year. Center fielder Marvin Barker only hit .207. Right fielder Jim Williams led the team in hitting at .382.


The Black Yankees basically had a four-man rotation in 1936. Roosevelt Davis was 2-4 with an ERA of 4.19. Bill Holland was 6-5 with an era of 3.18. Henry McHenry was 5-2 on the year with an ERA of 3.33. Finally, Barney Brown was 2-4, with an ERA of 3.35. The Black Yankees’ three remaining pitchers were Connie Rector, Paul Carter and Terrible Terry McDuffie.

And then there’s the Pittsburgh Crawfords. The club was managed by Hall of Famer (get used to hearing those three words in the next several lines) Oscar Charleston, playing their games at Greenlee Field in Pittsburgh.


The catcher was Hall of Famer Josh Gibson, still near the beginning of his career, only 24 years old. He hit 18 home runs just during the games for which data has been discovered, hitting .389. First baseman Johnny Washington hit .344. Second baseman Dickie Seay hit .229. The Crawfords’ regular third baseman was Hall of Famer Judy Johnson, who hit .229. Shortstop Chester Williams hit .288. The Crawfords’ left fielder Sam Bankhead hit .333 for the year. The Crawfords’ center fielder was Hall of Famer Cool Papa Bell, who hit .291. Right fielder Jimmie Crutchfield hit .307. Among the Crawfords’ most frequent substitutes were catcher Bill Perkins, who hit .274, and manager (and first baseman) Oscar Charleston, who hit .344 on the year.


The Crawfords’ pitching staff was led by Hall of Famer Satchel Paige, who went 8-2 on the year with an ERA of 3.64, averaging just a bit more than one strikeout a year for the season. Leroy Matlock was 10-3 with an ERA of 3.55. The other two pitchers had weaker seasons – Theolic Smith was 3-5 with a 6.81 ERA, and Bill Harvey went 3-4 and 5.80.


So on Friday, we’ll be in Pittsburgh for Game 1!


Image courtesy of Pixabay by 272447 (no changes).

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