Remembering: Country Jake Stephens

PBR - Throughout Black History Month the Review will take a look back at some of the best Negro ballplayers that spent the majority of their time in Philadelphia.

Small and feisty, Jake Stephens was a middle-infielder with Hilldale from 1921-1929 and was known primarily for his defensive wizardry and cannon of an arm. He also was smart on the basepaths and was an excellent bunter, but he was notoriously poor at hitting curveballs and struggled on offense.

He played a role in Hilldale winning two Eastern Colored League pennants (1923, 1924) and later in his career (1931) became a member of the Homestead Grays, regarded by experts as the best Negro League team of all-time.

Stephens ran a taproom for two years after baseball. He then was with the Pennsylvania Bureau of Motor Vehicles from 1939-1955 and also worked as a part-time deputy sheriff.

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