A new one-time election set for next year offers 39 Negro Leaguers the chance for induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. The 39 candidates were nominated for induction as a result of an intensive study of Negro League baseball commissioned by the Hall of Fame and conducted by a research team of 50 historians and researchers headed by former baseball commissioner Fay Vincent.
Under the rules for the upcoming election a panel of 12 historians and baseball researchers will consider each of the candidates and cast a ballot, up or down, for the induction of each into the Hall of Fame. Those candidates who receive at least 75 percent affirmative votes (at least 9 votes from the panel of 12) will be inducted.
The ballot will contain the names of 30 former players and Negro League executives who participated in the "organized" Negro Leagues after the establishment of the Negro National League in 1920. Nine other players whose contributions were made in the pre-1920 era will also be included on a separate ballot.
The forthcoming balloting is expected to be a one time event. Those candidates who are not elected next year may well never have another chance at induction.
The following is a complete list of the candidates and links to biographical information available online:
Newt Allen - The slick fielding 2nd baseman and perennial team captain for the Kansas City Monarchs compiled a near .300 lifetime batting average. Taking the helm of the Monarchs as a player/manager in 1937 Allen led the Monarchs to a six-year domination of the Negro American League, winning five league titles.
John Beckwith - During his 20+ year Negro League career Beckwith played with more than a dozen top teams as well as a number of independent clubs. Everywhere he played fans were treated to a barrage of power from Beckwith's bat. Prior to the emrgence of the legendary Josh Gibson, Beckwith was, perhaps, black baseball's premier power hitter. In 1924 he hit for a .450+ average while slamming 40+ homeruns for the Baltimore Black Sox.
William Bell - A wide range of breaking pitches and a lively fastball kept Bell among black baseball's top hurlers throughout the 1920s. Bell won a key contest for Kanasas City in the first Negro League World Series (1924). In addition to his consistent high winning percentage for the Monarchs (and later the Grays, Crawfords and Pittsburgh Crawfords) Bell also plied his trade in the Cuban League.
Chet Brewer - Among baseball's most widely traveled moundsmen, Brewer showcased his talents around the globe during his 20+ years in black baseball.
Ray Brown - Perennial star pitcher of the Homestead Grays throughout the '30s and '40s.
Willard Brown - The first black player to hit a homerun in the American League (with the St. Louis Browns), Brown starred with the Kansas City Monarchs throughout the late 1930s and 1940s.
Bill Byrd - A six-time East-West All-Star, Byrd's mound talent was featured by the Elite Giants throughout the 1930s and 1940s.
Andy Cooper - Mound ace of the Detroit Stars (1920-27) and Kansas City Monarchs (1928-41).
Rap Dixon - A charter member of the Gus Greenlee's star-studded Pittsburgh Crawfords in 1932, Dixon remained one of the Negro League's most reliable sluggers for two decades.
John Donaldson - Black baseball's original power pitcher, Donaldson was Negro baseball's dominant pitcher throughout the 1910s and early 1920s.
Sammy Hughes - Slick fielding, power hitting second sacker of Tom Wilson's Nashville/Washington/Baltimore Elite Giants.
Fats Jenkins - Diminutive, but hard-hitting, outfielder for the NY Lincoln Giants, Harrisburg Giants, Bacharach Giants, Baltimore Black Sox, New York Black Yankees and Brooklyn Eagles. Jenkins also played professional basketball with the barnstorming Harlem Rens.
Dick Lundy - Believed by many to be the Negro League's finest shortstop, Lundy began his lengthy career in 1915 with the Atlantic City Bacharach Giants. In 1929 Lundy combined with Oliver Marcelle, Frank Warfield and Jud Wilson to form the Baltimore Black Sox' "million dollar infield."
Biz Mackey - Perhaps, more than any other Negro League star, Biz Mackey enjoyed the respect and admiration of his peers, not only for his exemplary skills behind the plate, but also for his constantly uptempo attitude, jovial manner and extraordinary skills as a teacher of the game.
Effa Manley - Outspoken and controversial co-owner of the Newark Eagles during the 1940s.
Oliver Marcell - Nicknamed "Ghost", Marcell was black baseball's top third baseman during the 1920s.
Dobie Moore - In six seasons at the shortstop position Moore compiled a .350+ batting average with the Kansas City Monarchs.
Alejandro Oms - Star of the Cuban Stars and New York Cubans during the 1920s/30s, Oms was legendary for his performances in the Cuban League with the Almendares, Havana and Santa Clara clubs.
Buck O'Neil - The mainstay first baseman of the Kansas City Monarchs throughout the 1940s, O'Neil managed the Monarchs to five Negro League championships during the late 1940s and early 1950s after the integration of professional baseball. Among the future stars that played on O'Neil's championship teams were Ernie Banks and Elston Howard. In 1962 O'Neil became the first black coach in major league baseball when he signed with the Chicago Cubs.
Red Parnell - A solid outfielder, Parnell's lengthy career included stints with the Birmingham Black Barons, Monroe Monarchs, Nashville Elite Giants, Philadelphia Stars, New York Black Yankees, Pittsburgh Crawfords, New York Cuban Stars and Houston Eagles. During his 16-year career in the Negro Leagues Parnell compiled a near .300 batting average.
Alex Pompez - U.S.-born Cuban owner of the Cuban Stars and New York Cubans figured prominently in the close ties between the Negro Leagues and Cuban winter ball.
Cumberland Posey - Owner of what was, perhaps, the Negro Leagues' all-time premier team, Posey's name is synonymous with the legendary Homestead Grays.
George Scales - A member of the the Homestead Grays' "Murderers Row" in 1931, Scales hit in the fifth position behind Buck Leonard and Josh Gibson.
Mule Suttles - Suttles' career in Negro baseball began in 1918, two years before Rube Foster's Negro National League's inaugural season, and continued until after Jackie Robinson had his rookie season with the Brooklyn Dodgers under his belt
Candy Jim Taylor - A member of black baseball's legendary Taylor family (along with Ben Taylor, C. I. Taylor and Steel Arm Taylor), Candy Jim played on his first championship team, the St. Paul Gophers, in 1909. His career came to a close 40 years later when he passed away while serving as manager of the Baltimore Elite Giants.
C. I. Taylor - One of the legendary Taylor brothers of black baseball, C. I. Taylor is regarded by many historians and the best manager in Negro League history.
Cristobel Torriente - A consistent .350+ hitter in the Cuban League, Torriente starred in the Negro Leagues with the Cuban Stars and Chicago American Giants.
J. L. Wilkinson - Master entrepreneur and baseball promoter, Wilson guided the Kansas City Monarchs to preeminence in black baseball over three decades.
Jud Wilson - One of the Negro Leagues' premier sluggers and a member of the Baltimore Black Sox' "Million Dollar Infield."
Frank Grant - One of the few black players to play in the International League prior to the imposition of baseball's color ban, Grant was a legendary performer in the 1886 to 1903 period.
Pete Hill - One of professional black baseball's pioneers, Hill starred for the Philadelphia Giants, Leland Giants, and Chicago American Giants at the turn of the 20th Century.
Home Run Johnson - A premier slugger of the deadball era with the Cuban X Giants, Philadelphia Giants, and Brooklyn Royal Giants.
Jose Mendez - Star of both the Cuban Winter League and a variety of Negro League teams, Mendez was a Cuban pioneer in American black baseball.
Spotswood Poles - Black baseball's fastest man during the pre-Negro League era.
Dick Redding - Earning the nickname "Cannonball" for his incomparable fastball, Redding combined with Hall Of Famer Smokey Joe Williams to give the 1915 New York Lincoln Giants black baseball's toughest mound duo.
Louis Santop - The hard-hitting Santop was one of black baseball's first superstars, consistently compiling .400+ batting averages and hitting for power during the deadball era.
Ben Taylor - Holding down the first base position for the Indianapolis ABCS from 1915-1922, Ben Taylor was among black baseball's most celebrated "average" hitter. Ben was the youngest of the four celebrated Taylor bothers of Negro League baseball.
Sol White - A black baseball pioneer, White played for several white professional clubs prior to the segregation of professional baseball. After segregation White formed the celebrated Philadelphia Giants team that captured championships in 1905/06/07.