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J.L. Wilkinson Region - Filling the Void - Negro League Tournament - Round 1

While we may not have March Madness or even baseball for now, we can still have fun with a tournament of great Negro League players in our 64 player tournament


First and update on the results so far:



Today we feature the first round of the J.L. Wilkinson Region


2 - Josh Gibson vs. 63 Joe Black

Josh Gibson career highlights:


Joe Black career highlights:

  • 2x Negro Leagues Champion

  • NL Rookie of the Year (1952)

  • Baltimore Elite Giants (1943–1950), Brooklyn Dodgers (1952-1955), Cincinnati Redlegs (1955-1956), & Washington Senators (1957).

  • (Shop today and be like Joe Black)

31 - Frank Grant vs. 34 - Larry Doby

Frank Grant career highlights:

  • Author Jerry Malloy described Grant as "the greatest Negro baseball player of the 19th century."

  • National Baseball Hall of Fame Inductee (2006)

  • Grant played for 10 teams over his 14 year career.

  • (Shop today and be like Frank Grant)


Larry Doby career highlights:

18 - Leon Day vs. 47 - Willie Mays

Leon day career highlights:

  • All-Star

  • Negro World Series champion (1946)

  • Posted a perfect 13–0 season, with a 3.02 ERA and .320 batting average in one season

  • Struck out 18 batters in one game

  • National Baseball Hall of Fame Inductee (1995)

  • Baltimore Black Sox (1934), Brooklyn Eagles (1935), Newark Eagles (1936–1939, 1941–1943, 1946), Baltimore Elite Giants (1949–1950), & Veracruz Red Eagles (1940, 1947-1948).

  • (Shop today and be like Leon Day)


Willie Mays career highlights:

15 - Cristobal Torriente vs. 50 - Bill Gatewood

Cristobal Torriente career highlights:

  • Lifetime batting average: .331

  • Batting titles in 1920 and 1923

  • National Baseball Hall of Fame Inductee (2006)

  • Torriente played for 13 teams over 20 seasons

  • (Shop today and be like Cristobal Torriente)


Bill Gatewood career highlights:

  • Pitched the first no-hitter in NNL history

  • Credited with giving convincing Cool Papa Bell to switch hit

  • Credited with teaching Satchel Paige his "hesitation pitch".

  • Gatewood played or managed for 21 teams over 23 seasons

  • (Shop today and be like Bill Gatewood)

10 - "Smokey" Joe Williams vs. 55 - Don Newcombe

"Smokey" Joe Williams career highlights:

  • Began his career posting records of 28-4, 15-9, 20-8, 20-2 and 32-8.

  • In 1914 he went 41-3.

  • National Baseball Hall of Fame Inductee (1999)

  • Williams played for 11 teams over 25 seasons

  • (Shop today and be like "Smokey" Joe Williams)


Don Newcombe career highlights:

23 - Jose Mendez vs. 42 - Oliver "The Ghost" Marcelle

Jose Mendez career highlights:

  • Had a .747 career winning percentage over his career

  • National Baseball Hall of Fame Inductee (2006)

  • Mendez played for 9 teams over 19 seasons

  • (Shop today and be like Jose Mendez)


Oliver "The Ghost" Marcelle career highlights:

  • In 1922 hit .379 and .352 in 1924

  • Rated the top 3B in the 1952 Pittsburgh Courier player-voted poll of the Negro Leagues' best players.

  • Marcelle played for 6 teams over 10 seasons

  • (Shop today and be like Jose Marcelle)

26 - Jud Wilson vs. 39 Bruce Petway


Jud Wilson career highlights:


Bruce Petway career highlights:

  • One of the best throwing arms in the league.

  • Received votes listing him on the 1952 Pittsburgh Courier player-voted poll of the Negro Leagues' best players ever.

  • Petway played for 6 teams over 19 seasons

  • (Shop today and be like Bruce Petway)

7 - Rube Foster vs. 58. Luke Easter


Rube Foster career highlights:

  • Known as the Father of Black Baseball

  • Had a lifetime .592 winning percentage

  • In 1905 pitched a 25–3 record.

  • Was the first representative of the Negro leagues elected as a pioneer or executive.

  • National Baseball Hall of Fame Inductee (1981)

  • Foster played or managed for 7 teams over 15 seasons

  • (Shop today and be like Rube Foster)


Luke Easter career highlights:

  • Hit .363 and tied for the league lead in HR's, while leading the league in R's and RBI's for Homestead.

  • 1x Negro Leagues championship.

  • Homestead Grays (1947-1948) & Cleveland Indians (1949-1954).

  • (Shop today and be like Luke Easter)


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