Hilldale '25 Project: The 1925 Negro East-West All-Star Game

By PATRICK GORDON | Managing Editor
March 3, 2016, 5:00 A.M. EST.
@PGordonPBR

The East-West All-Star Game was the Negro response to Major League Baseball's mid-summer classic. Held primarily in Chicago every year, this was the national showcase for Negro legends like Josh Gibson, Satchel Paige, and Buck Leonard.

Copying the Major League format, black players were selected to participate in the East-West All-Star Game via balloting by fans through major African-American newspapers such as the Chicago Defender and the Pittsburgh Courier.

The contest originated in 1933 and lasted until 1962, but what would a Negro All-Star Game have looked like in 1925, the season Hilldale won the Negro World Series?

Through researching rosters and Strat-O-Matic's 108-card Negro stars set, I've assembled two teams of All-Stars representing the Eastern Colored League and the Negro National League and simulated a pair of exhbition games for a "what-if" scenario.

Below are the rosters of the two teams. Next to each player are his 1925 statistics as published on Baseball-Reference. For perspective, teams in the Eastern Colored League averaged about 50 games during the 1925 season; clubs in the Negro National League averaged about 80 games.

Negro National League
Starters
  • C: Frank Duncan (Kansas City - .229/.314/.294)
  • 1B: Mule Suttles (Birmingham - .313/.391/.488, 10 HR)
  • 2B: Newt Allen (Kansas City - .304/.367/.414. 13 SB)
  • SS: Doobie Moore (Kansas City - .306/.344/.478, 12 SB)
  • 3B: Newt Joseph (Kansas City -.313/.358/.414)
  • LF: Hurley McNair (Kansas City - .329/.387/.458, 12 3B)
  • CF: Cool Papa Bell (St. Louis - .309/.360/.434, 13 SB)
  • RF: Turkey Stearnes (Detroit - .364/.435/.655, 19 HR, 60 RBI)
Bench 
  • OF: Cristobal Torriente (Chicago - .264/.377/.438, 9 HR)
  • UT: Frog Redus (St. Louis - .335/.398/.542, 9 HR, 25 RBI)
  • 1B: Jelly Gardner (Chicago - .282/.350/.337)
  • 3B: Dave Malarcher (Chicago - .327/.419/.384)
Pitching 
  • RHP: Bullet Joe Rogan (Kansas City - 17-2, 0.95 WHIP, 2.31 RAvg)
  • LHP: Andy Cooper (Detroit - 11-2, 1.08 WHIP, 3.43 RAvg)
  • RHP: Bill Drake (Kansas City - 9-8, 1.14 WHIP, 3.38 RAvg)
  • RHP: William Bell (Kansas City - 10-4, 1.09 WHIP, 3.09 RAvg)
  • RHP: Jose Mendez (Kansas City - 3-2, 1.46 WHIP, 7.09 RAvg)

    Eastern Colored League
    Starters
    • C: Biz Mackey (Hilldale - .338/.413/.549, 6 HR, 20 RBI)
    • 1B: Tank Carr (Hilldale - .365/.420/.631, 12 HR, 29 RBI, 23 SB)
    • 2B: Frank Warfield (Hilldale - .286/.336/.410, 15 SB)
    • SS:  Dick Lundy (Atlantic City - .235/.320/.366)
    • 3B: Judy Johnson (Hilldale - .389/.432/.579,)
    • LF: Fats Jenkins (Harrisburg - .313/.388/.392, 17 SB)
    • CF: Oscar Charleston (Harrisburg - .451/.552/.826, 20 HR, 35 RBI, 17 SB)
    • RF: Rap Dixon (Harrisburg - .347/.411/.507, 8 HR, 20 RBI, 16 SB)
    Bench
    • 3B: Ghost Marcelle (Atlantic City - .297/.384/.430)
    • UT: Walter Cannady (Harrisburg - .398/.446/.625, 13 HR, 33 RBI)
    • OF: Chaney White (Atlantic City - .351/.400/.522)
    • 1B: John Beckwith (Baltimore - .407/.459/.738, 12 HR, 33 RBI)
    • OF: Alejandro Oms (Cuban Stars - .357/.447/.622)
    • UT: Jud Wilson (Baltimore - .354/.392/.534)
    Pitching
    • RHP: Rube Currie (Hilldale - 14-1, 1.09 WHIP, 4.41 RAvg)
    • LHP: Nip Winters (Hilldale - 15-8, 1.11 WHIP, 3.65 RAvg)
    • RHP: Phil Cockrell (Hilldale - 9-3, 1.17 WHIP, 3.89 RAvg)
    • RHP: Martin Dihigo (Cuban Stars - 2-4, 1.36 WHIP, 3.60 RAvg) 
    The Results 
    A five-run fifth inning, highlighted by a Turkey Stearnes grand slam, lifted the Negro National League Stars over the Eastern Colored League Stars in the first of two exhibitions, 9-4.

    The National League jumped ahead in the third inning with Cool Papa Bell hitting a sacrifice-fly scoring Hurley McNair to open a 1-0 lead.

    Nip Winters suffered the loss, surrendering six runs over five innings for the Eastern Colored League.

    McNair, Bell, Newt Allen, and Frank Duncan each collected two hits in the winning effort.

    Bullet Joe Rogan notched the win, tossing 7 2/3 innings and collecting five strikeouts while giving up four runs.

    As for the second game, a four run eighth inning propelled the National League to another victory, this time 6-2 over the Eastern Colored League Stars.

    McNair and Doobie Moore opened the frame with back-to-back doubles before a pair of errors - one by Frank Warfield and another by Oscar Charleston - allowed the National League to plate four runs en route to a victory.

    Tank Carr finished 3-for-4 in the losing effort.

    Rube Currie took the loss while William Bell secured the win, tossing two scoreless innings while picking up a strikeout.

    MVP: Hurley McNair - 4-for-9, 3 R, 2 RBI, 2 2B, .444 BA, 1.111 OPS.

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