The Hall of Famers

Oscar McKinley Charleston
Born:  October 14, 1896, Indianapolis, IN
Died:  October 5, 1954, Philadelphia, PA
Bats:  L  Throws:  L
Played for:  Indianapolis ABCs (1915-1918, 1920, 1922-1923), New York Lincoln Stars (1915-1916), Bowser's ABCs (1916), Chicago American Giants (1919), St. Louis Giants (1921), Harrisburg Giants (1924-1927), Hilldale Daisies (1928-1929), Homestead Grays (1930-1931), Pittsburgh Crawfords (1932-1938), Toledo Crawfords (1939), Indianapolis Crawfords (1940), Philadelphia Stars (1941, 1942-1944, 1946-1950), Brooklyn Brown Dodgers (1945), Indianapolis Clowns (1954)
Elected to Hall of Fame by Negro Leagues Committee:  1976


A multi-talented star, Oscar Charleston was renowned by those who saw him play as the finest all-around player in Negro leagues history. A barrel-chested, left-handed hitter, the fiery Charleston hit for both average and power while revolutionizing defensive play in center field. His blazing speed, aggressiveness on the base paths and focused intensity led many to compare him to Ty Cobb. In 60 league games in 1921, he batted .434 while leading the Negro National League in doubles, triples, home runs and stolen bases.


“Some people asked me, 'Why are you playing so close to the right field foul line?' What they didn't know was that Charleston covered all three fields and my responsibility was to make sure of balls down the line and those in foul territory.”
—  Dave Malarcher

Photo Gallery

Video Clips

  • Oscar Charleston video bio: Watch