Negro League Baseball: There Are Many Stories Like The Lefty Gomez Story

I understand the writing game.

I understand baseball research also.

I understand the process of making new discoveries and sharing them with my peers.

I also understand when someone lacks the insight to see my discovery as pertinent.

I also understand the status quo belief systems when it comes new discoveries about history and historical events.

I understood all these things before I wrote, “Negro League Baseball: Lefty Gomez vs. The Berkeley Pelicans : How good were they? : The Berkeley Colored League

No writer or baseball researcher need fear what I’m bringing to the table, when it comes to someone other than themselves being the resident expert on Depression era in Berkeley and Oakland. Yes, this information is new to mostly everyone out there, and of course it places them in the position of feeling on the outside. Those same people need to remember, I was related to three men that played in the Berkeley Colored League and Berkeley International League. They’ve all passed on now.

My grandfather’s home was gathering place for the men of these leagues, and even as old men, they filled his house and told their stories.

I’ve met a lot of them, and I know their children and grandchildren. I grew up with them, so they’ve heard these stories also.

Hillary “Bullet” Meaddows was Just one of many great Berkeley Colored League players.

On another note:

Stats: 1933 Season stats for the competitors that played in the game that day against Lefty Gomez.

Batting averages for the 1933 Season: (Berkeley Colored League team): Berkeley Pelicans

1) Dudley Jones             .269
2) Jimmy LaBlanc          .383
3) John Mitchell             .383
4) Alvin Stubblefield      .388
5) Jack Smith                 .276
6) Raymond Crowley      .369
7) Tom Jackson              .000
8) Wayne Gaskin            .315
9) Herman Hosley          .366
10) Lionel Wilson           .285
11) Cyril Cherry              .278
12) Harold Hills               .***
13) Johnny Lott              .212
14) Orviss Knowles        .250

Batting averages for the 1933 National League All Stars (*denotes Berkeley High trained baseball player) + (1933 NL All-Star AB vs. Hits against Lefty Gomez)

1) Frank Frisch         .303 (St. Louis Cardinals)        (2 for 4)
2) Chuck Klein          .368 (Philadelphia Phillies)       (1 for 4)
3) Chick Hafey*        .303 (Cincinnati Reds)             (1 for 4)
4) Bill Terry              .322 (New York Giants)           (2 for 4)
5) Pie Traynor          .304 (Pittsburgh Pirates)         (1 for 1)
6) Lon Werneke        .303 (Chicago Cubs)               (1 for 1)
9) Pepper Martin       .316 (St. Louis Cardinals)       (0 for 4)
10) Wally Berger       .313 (Boston Braves)             (0 for 4)
11) Dick Bartell         .271 (Philadelphia Phillies)      (0 for 2)
12) Tony Cuccinello   .252 (Brooklyn Dodgers)        (0 for 1)
13) Jimmie Wilson     .255 (St. Louis Cardinals)       (0 for 1)
14) Lefty O’Doul         .284 (Brooklyn Dodgers to New York Giants collective Batting Average for 1933)     (0 for 1)
15) Gabby Harnett     .276 (Chicago Cubs)              (0 for 1)
16) Bill Hallahan        .150 (St. Louis cardinals)       (0 for 1)
17) Woody English     .261 (Chicago Cubs)              (0 for 1)

Question:

Where do I makes the adjustments in Batting Averages to make Negro League baseball researchers feel comfortable?

And for what reason would I do that?

See, for a single game played, like the Rodeo vs. Berkeley Pelicans (comparing it to the All Star Game of 1933, based only on pitching and collective batting averages), the only thing that needs to be considered is the pitching skills of Lefty Gomez, who had an ERA of 3.18 for 1933, and a WL percentage of .615 for 1933. We can take into account his 7 All Star Games appearances ( 5 as a pitcher), two AL Triple Crowns awards, two AL Pitching Titles awards,–or we can toss it all and say he sucked as a pitcher, and was one of the worse that the Major League Baseball ever produced and that the Berkeley Colored League (predecessor to the Berkeley International League) was just lucky to get hits off Lefty Gomez that day.

Then I would have to toss Chick Hafey’s early experiences of baseball out of the window also, chalking him up as someone whose baseball skills sprung eternal from the forehead of Zeus.

Would that suit people who’ve dismissed the Berkeley Colored League and Berkeley International League as “not at the level of the black big leagues back east or the winter season black teams on the west such as the Philadelphia Royal Giants (actually based in Los Angeles), made up of Negro league stars.”?

There will always be people, who lack the total overview of how things actually worked during the Depression era, especially when it comes to East Bay and San Francisco Bay Area Negro League baseball game play, because they are stepping into a world that is unfamiliar to them.

I get that.

I’m all for tossing the out stats, for now, in order to make it possible for baseball researchers have access to new discoveries made by baseball historians and researchers. But if we’re going to dismiss the stats, then we need to dismiss them on all sides, which in this case, includes the stats for NL and AL of Major League Baseball for the year of 1933.

That is, if we’re going to keep it real, for the sake of posterity and fairness. Authority has its place in discovery. Dismissal does not, especially without the proper research on the subject matter on is commenting on. When any baseball researcher dismisses something based on a “level” that they’ve had no real access to, and then they presents themselves as an all-seeing all knowing individual, things tend to come along and burst their bubble of authoritative arrogance. They end up shaking their heads, saying to themselves, “Say it isn’t so”.

The main reason I didn’t post Harold Hils batting average stats was because he was actually under contract as a Pullman All Star and was not really Berkeley Pelican during league play, but he did go to play against Lefty that day.

In 1933, Harold Hills led the league with an overall batting average, swatting .457 for the year in the Berkeley Colored League.

I’m sure adjustments can be made for some things, but for the level of play on that day, when you factor in the amount of hits made that day by the Berkley Pelicans against Lefty Gomez vs. the amount of hits made by the Major Leagues Baseball’s National League All Star team for 1933 against Lefty Gomez, the only thing that separated the players of the Berkeley Colored League and other professional baseball players of either race in those days were– color or distance.

Nothing more, nothing less.

Their skills were never in question or even an issue.

There are many more stories–and many more stats to come.

Stay tuned.

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One thought on “Negro League Baseball: There Are Many Stories Like The Lefty Gomez Story

  1. I would like to know where Orviss Knowles number 14 of the Berkeley Pelicans is in the picture on the shadow ball express and if you have any more pics of him

    Like

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