“Wing” Maddox: The One-Armed Batting Champ

For many decades blackball historians were baffled by Maddox’s nickname of “One Wing” until the new breed of researchers uncovered contemporary newspaper articles that verified the pitcher-outfielder’s lack of a left arm. This revelation came as a surprise to many, more so when it was found that the one-armed ballplayer was the 1920 Negro Southern League batting champ! […]

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Bunny Brief: The Long Story

I figured of all the players in my Minor League Home Run Champions Series, Bunny Brief would be the easiest to research. Since the guy is co-owner of the record for most minor league home run crowns in a career (8), I had assumed that someone would have written a book, or a chapter in a book, or for God’s sake at least an extensive article on the guy – but sadly, no one has – until now. […]

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Jack Kloza: Home Runs, Mosquitos, Hats and the Rockford Peaches

Like so many of the players I write about, I found Jack Kloza while searching for something else. And, like so many of the outsiders I write about, what at first just seemed like a marginal career highlighted by a brief cup of coffee in the majors, turned out to be a very interesting tale on so many levels. I was drawn to this fella because the grainy 1936 newspaper article I found showed a guy who looked remarkably like a young Charles Bronson. […]

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Buzz Arlett: Another Babe Ruth of the Minor Leagues

Today there would never be a “Babe Ruth of the Minor Leagues.” Once a player starts making headlines in AA or AAA he’s called up before the ink dries on the sports page. However, back in the 1920’s and 30’s, it was a different game and many guys like Buzz Arlett were doomed to spend their career just shy of the big time, remembered only as another “The Babe Ruth of the Minor Leagues.” […]

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Big Boy Kraft: Fifty-Five and Out

Clarence “Big Boy” Kraft was the power behind the 1919-1924 Fort Worth Panthers, one of the finest minor league teams of the pre-war era. His 55 homers in 1924 was the highest recorded in the minors up to that time and only second to Babe Ruth’s major league record of 59 he set in 1921. As could be expected, after that 1924 season, everyone wanted a piece of Big Boy… […]

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