Seamheads Negro Leagues Database
The Negro Leagues Database Blog

THE 1944 MEXICAN LEAGUE SEASON

First and foremost, special thanks to John Russell and Steve Peissig, who provided rare Mexican League guides that enabled us to have FIELDING stats for the 1944 Mexican League and, for the first time, split out playing records for players who played for more than one team.

For the 1944 Mexican League season, the league again featured only 6 teams. The Union Laguna team based in Torreon, which had finished only ½ game out of first place in 1943, was replaced by a new La Junta club in Nuevo Laredo. This was a different “franchise” from the 1940 La Junta de Nuevo Laredo. Out of the 138 league players, 34 were “Negro Leaguers” in at least one other season. The World War seems to have impacted the number of Negro League imports. Martin Dihigo, Willie Wells, Chet Brewer, Quincy Trouppe, Wild Bill Wright and Silvio Garcia were some of the biggest names who went south of the border.

But the biggest news may have been who Azules de Veracruz hired as their manager – Rogers Hornsby. The 48-year-old Hornsby only lasted a couple of weeks before he quit, but during that time he put himself at bat in two games, resulting in a double, a walk, and 3 RBI’s. This is the last known professional hit for the Hall of Famer.

The pennant race was close in 1944, with Azules de Veracruz, even without Hornsby, able to finish on top, 2 games ahead of Industriales de Monterrey, and 2 ½ ahead of Pericos de Puebla. Veracruz was led by Cuban Baseball Hall of Famer Ramon Bragana, who in addition to taking over managerial duties from Hornsby, went 30-8 on the mound, pitching an incredible 325 innings in a 90-game schedule. Cuban Baseball Hall of Famer Lazaro Salazar of Monterrey had a great two-way season, going 14-8 with a 2.87 ERA and hitting .379/.495/.498 as a 1st baseman. And like Bragana, he also managed the team. Cuban outfielder Alberto Hernandez of Pueblo lead the league with a .395 batting average. Cuban born catcher Salvador ‘Chico’ Hernandez, fresh off 2 years as a backup for the Chicago Cubs, caught all 91 games for Veracruz while hitting .305/.398/.501. Also of note, 20 year old Roberto ‘Bobby’ Avila, after struggling as a 19 year old rookie in 1943, had a breakout year, finishing 6th in batting average and leading the league in triples.

Database Notes: Additional games have also been added to the database for the 1947 Negro Leagues season. Coming up will be the 1945 Mexican League season, 1924 ECL fielding & complete pitching stats, 1939 NNL & NAL fielding & complete pitching stats, more games between Negro league teams and white majors & minors, and more Cuban League seasons.

Negro Leagues DB Update: 1924 NNL Fielding & Pitching + 1921 Tesreau Bears

A brief note on an update we made a few weeks ago. We have added:

1) Fielding statistics, full pitching statistics, and batters’ hit by pitch for the 1924 Negro National League, along with games involving one new independent team, Charlie Mills’s St. Louis Giants;

2) 1921 games between Black teams and a very good white semiprofessional team, Jeff Tesreau’s New York Bears. Playing their home games in Harlem’s Dyckman Oval, the Bears featured a number of former or future major leaguers (Tesreau himself, Larry Doyle, Manuel Cueto, Herb Kelly, Curtis Fullerton, Paddy Smith), minor leaguers (Bobby Crowell, Tommy Taguer, Paul Dietz) and well-known New York-area semipros (the brothers Willie & Frank Kelleher, George “Shorty” Page, Cy Curran). The Bears, probably the equivalent of a good minor league team, went 20-17-4 against Black teams in 1921.

Coming up: 1924 ECL fielding & complete pitching stats, 1939 NNL & NAL fielding & complete pitching stats, more games between Negro league teams and white majors & minors, more Mexican League & Cuban League seasons.

Jeff Tesreau’s New York Bears in 1921, from Thomas Smith’s book Paddy Smith: Dexter Park’s Eternal Firebrand (courtesy of Scott Simkus). Top row, L to R: Walter Simpson, Jeff Tesreau, Dan Tierney, Paddy Smith, Willie or Frank Kelleher, Bobby Crowell, Harry Wolters, Tommy Taguer. Bottom row, L to R: Willie or Frank Kelleher, George Page, mascot, Paul Dietz, Manuel Cueto, Curtis Fullerton.

 

 

THE 1942 MEXICAN LEAGUE SEASON

We’ve added data from the 1942 Mexican League, a season of 84-88 games that finished with three teams within two games of first place. Union Laguna de Torreon posted the best record (48-40) thanks to Martin Dihigo, who proved why he’s one of the greatest players in baseball history.

The 37-year-old Dihigo not only led the team in hitting with a 144 OPS+, but he pitched in a career-high 35 games, went 22-7 with a 2.53 ERA, and was the best pitcher in the league. Not surprisingly, another all-time great–Monte Irvin –was the league’s best hitter and enjoyed a season that would have made Ted Williams envious. In 63 games, the young shortstop slashed .397/.502/.772 with 20 homers, 79 RBIs, 74 runs, and 11 stolen bases. Add in his time with the Newark Eagles of the Negro National League and his numbers become even more impressive–.412/.508/.792 with 21 homers, 90 RBIs, and 81 runs in 67 games.

We also see Quincy Trouppe having a very strong season in his prime, perhaps solidifying himself as one of the top 5 Negro League catchers all-time.

In addition we added new box scores and new data for 1938, two box scores for 1928, three for 1933, and as always, additional biographical data uncovered by Seamheads Lead Researcher Gary Ashwill.

Later this year, we plan on adding fielding and various secondary statistics (pitchers’ HRs allowed, HBP for batters, etc.) to Negro League seasons where they are not complete, plus many Latin American seasons (Mexico 1943-1954, Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela), as well as the California Winter League, Negro leagues vs. minor league games, the ManDak League, the Negro leagues after 1948, perhaps the Provincial League, and a lot more.

Today's Birthdays
Player Pos Years Born WAR
Harry Buckner
SP
1896-1917
1872
15.1
Geechie Meredith
2B
1923-1930
1899
3.1
George McAllister
1B
1923-1934
1899
2.1
Laudie Walker
3B
1921-1924
1898
0.1
Al Pinkston
-
1948-1948
1917
-0.0
Provine Bradley
RP
1937-1938
1907
-0.4
Lázaro Medina
RP
1944-1945
1922
-0.5


Died on This Day
Player Pos Years Died WAR
Oscar Givens
SS
1939-1948
1967
0.4
Rube Wiggins
RP
1938-1938
1967
0.1

If you have any questions regarding Negro Leagues statistical or biographical data, please contact gary@seamheads.com..

All biographical data, copyright 2011-2018 Gary Ashwill.

Playing statistics for 1887-1922 and 1926-1938, as well as all Cuban League games (1902-1928) and Negro League vs. Major League games (1887-1944), copyright 2011-2018 Gary Ashwill.

Playing statistics for 1923 (except Negro League vs. Major League games), copyright 2011-2018 Patrick Rock.

Playing statistics for 1933 and 1943, copyright 2013-2018 Scott Simkus.

Playing statistics for 1924-1925, 1939-1942, and 1944-1946 Negro Leagues (not including Cuban League and Negro League vs. Major League games), copyright 2011-2018 Larry Lester, Wayne Stivers, Gary Ashwill.


Defensive Regression Analysis data used here was obtained with permission from Michael Humphreys, author of Wizardry

Win Shares are calculated using the formula in the book Win Shares by Bill James