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Pre-Negro Leagues Candidate Profile:
John Beckwith

12th of 39 Profiles

Born: January 7, 1900, in Louisville, KY. 
Died: January 4, 1956, in New York, N.Y. 
Batted: Right      Threw: Right       Height: 6'3"       Weight: 220 lbs.

  • Slugger with a lifetime batting average of .349 over 16 seasons in the Negro leagues or top black independent teams, with his best seasons coming in the 1920s.
  • Though he played more games at third base (149) than any other position, spent almost an equal amount of time at shortstop (137 games), also playing first base (82 games), catcher (41) and second base (27), also pitching three times.
  • He hit over .300 every season from 1921 through 1930 except for 1928, when he hit .296. Hit over .400 in 1925, with a .762 slugging percentage.
  • Primary teams were the Chicago American Giants, 1920-23; Baltimore Black Sox, 1924-26; 1931 Harrisburg Giants, 1926-27; Homestead Grays, 1928-29, and New York Lincoln Giants, 1929-30.
  • Renowned as a fierce competitor, whose hot temper and inability to always get along with management led to several changes of teams.
  • Had a lifetime .382 on-base percentage and .587 slugging percentage in games against Negro leagues competition.
  • Ranks fourth in slugging percentage, sixth in batting average, seventh in home runs and 12th in RBI in the collected game-by-game statistics.
  • Individual game achievements include four hits in a game 12 times, two or more home runs in a game six times and four or more RBI in a game 15 times against top level opponents. Had hitting streaks of 18 games and 16 games, twice.
  • Second-team selection in the renowned 1952 Pittsburgh Courier player-voted poll of the Negro leagues best players.

Authored by Jim Overmyer | Negro Leagues and Pre-Negro Leagues Election page

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