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Baseball’s Ultimate “What-If?”

 

Integrate the Major Leagues with Black Stars

 

By Glenn Guzzo

 

            No doubt, gamers will use the new Negro League players in teams against each other. No doubt, those players will compete with the Hall of Fame 2001 players on Strat-O gamers’ tabletops. But there’s another fun way to use these historically significant players.

 

            Try one of history’s great “What-If?” – What if Major League Baseball never was segregated? What if the stars of the Negro Leagues were embraced by the Majors? What teams would these guys have played for? Would they be starters or role players?

 

            We asked Scott Simkus, Strat-O-Matic’s consultant on the Negro Leagues project, to tell us which Major League franchises each NL player likely would have played for.

 

            Essentially, Simkus was challenged to determine whether each player had an affiliation that made it likelier he would have played, for instance, in Pittsburgh, New York, Chicago or Philadelphia. Perhaps he should play for the Major League team in the same city where his Negro League team was located. Perhaps he should play in the town where he grew up. Or perhaps he was a player closely associated with early recruiting efforts by Major League executives like the Giants’ John McGraw or the Phillies’ Bill Veeck. Perhaps, like Satchel Paige, he should be placed on Cleveland, since that team eventually signed him.

 

            So here’s the list, courtesy of Simkus, who did double duty (like Radcliffe). He chose a National League affiliation and an American League affiliation for each of the 103 players in the Negro League set. That’s fitting, since most Negro League players switched teams throughout their careers. For instance, Josh Gibson, who starred both for the Homestead Grays (in Washington, D.C.) and the Pittsburgh Crawfords, has affiliations for the Washington Senators and Pittsburgh Pirates.

 

            It’s also convenient for gamers who want to play only one Major League. For added realism, remember that, as Negro League experience goes, these were pre-World War II players. You can use the booklet that Strat-O-Matic ships with every Negro Leagues order to choose whether to place these players in Strat-O-Matic seasons from the 1910s, ‘20s, ‘30s or ‘40s.

 

            You’ll find that franchises in Pittsburgh, Washington, New York, St. Louis and Chicago are well fortified with Negro League stars. Franchises in Detroit and Cincinnati have only a few players. And Boston, where the Red Sox were the last team to integrate (not till Pumpsie Green in 1959), has none.

 
 

 

 

STRAT-O-MATIC NEGRO LEAGUE ALL-STARS
 
PLAYER
NATIONAL
AMERICAN
Allen, Newt
St. Louis Cardinals
St. Louis Browns
Bankhead, Sam
Pittsburgh Pirates
Washington Senators
Baro, Bernardo
New York Giants
New York Yankees
Beckwith, John
New York Giants
New York Yankees
Bell, Cool Papa
St. Louis Cardinals
Washington Senators
Bell, William
St. Louis Cardinals
New York Yankees
Benjamin, Jerry
Pittsburgh Pirates
Washington Senators
Blackwell, Charles
Cincinnati Reds
St. Louis Browns
Brewer, Chet
St. Louis Cardinals
Cleveland Indians
Brown, Dave
New York Giants
Chicago White Sox
Brown, Larry
Cincinnati Reds
Philadelphia Athletics
Brown, Ray
Pittsburgh Pirates
Washington Senators
Brown, Willard
St. Louis Cardinals
St. Louis Browns
Byrd, Bill
Cincinnati Reds
Washington Senators
Cannady, Rev
Brooklyn Dodgers
New York Yankees
Carr, Tank
Philadelphia Phillies
New York Yankees
Charleston, Oscar
Pittsburgh Pirates
Philadelphia Athletics
Cockrell, Phil
Philadelphia Phillies
Philadelphia Athletics
Cooper, Andy
St. Louis Cardinals
Detroit Tigers
Creacy, Dewey
St. Louis Cardinals
Philadelphia Athletics
Crutchfield, Jimmie
Pittsburgh Pirates
Chicago White Sox
Currie, Rube
St. Louis Cardinals
Philadelphia Athletics
Dandridge, Ray
New York Giants
New York Yankees
Davis, Roosevelt
St. Louis Cardinals
New York Yankees
Day, Leon
Brooklyn Dodgers
New York Yankees
Demoss, Bingo
Cincinnati Reds
Chicago White Sox
Dihigo, Martin
New York Giants
New York Yankees
Dismukes, Dizzy
Cincinnati Reds
Cleveland Indians
Dixon, Rap
Pittsburgh Pirates
Washington Senators
Donaldson, John
St. Louis Cardinals
Chicago White Sox
Drake, Bill
St. Louis Cardinals
St. Louis Browns
Duncan, Frank
St. Louis Cardinals
New York Yankees
Foster, Big Bill
Chicago Cubs
Chicago White Sox
Foster, Rube
Chicago Cubs
Chicago White Sox
Gardner, Jelly
Chicago Cubs
Chicago White Sox
Gibson, Josh
Pittsburgh Pirates
Washington Senators
Harris, Vic
Pittsburgh Pirates
Washington Senators
Hensley, Eggie
St. Louis Cardinals
Cleveland Indians
Hill, Pete
Chicago Cubs
Detroit Tigers
Holland, Bill
Brooklyn Dodgers
New York Yankees
Hughes, Sammy T.
Cincinnati Reds
Washington Senators
Jenkins, Fats
Brooklyn Dodgers
New York Yankees
Johnson, Heavy
St. Louis Cardinals
Cleveland Indians
Johnson, Home Run
Brooklyn Dodgers
New York Yankees
Johnson, Judy
Philadelphia Phillies
Philadelphia Athletics
Jones, Slim
Philadelphia Phillies
Philadelphia Athletics
Joseph, Newt
St. Louis Cardinals
St. Louis Browns
Leonard, Buck
Pittsburgh Pirates
Washington Senators
Lloyd, Pop
New York Giants
Philadelphia Athletics
Lundy, Dick
New York Giants
New York Yankees
Lyons, Jimmie
St. Louis Cardinals
Chicago White Sox
Mackey, Biz
Philadelphia Phillies
New York Yankees
Malarcher, Dave
Chicago Cubs
Chicago White Sox
Manning, Max
Brooklyn Dodgers
New York Yankees
Marcell, Oliver
Brooklyn Dodgers
New York Yankees
Mathis, Verdell
Cincinnati Reds
St. Louis Browns
Matlock, Leroy
Pittsburgh Pirates
St. Louis Browns
McDonald, Webster
Philadelphia Phillies
Chicago White Sox
McNair, Hurley
Chicago Cubs
St. Louis Browns
Mendez, Jose
St. Louis Cardinals
St. Louis Browns
Monroe, Bill
Brooklyn Dodgers
Philadelphia Athletics
Moore, Dobie
St. Louis Cardinals
St. Louis Browns
Oms, Alejandro
New York Giants
New York Yankees
O'Neil, Buck
Chicago Cubs
St. Louis Browns
Paige, Satchel
St. Louis Cardinals
Cleveland Indians
Palm, Spoony
St. Louis Cardinals
Detroit Tigers
Parnell, Red
Cincinnati Reds
Philadelphia Athletics
Pennington, Superman
Chicago Cubs
Chicago White Sox
Perkins, Bill
Pittsburgh Pirates
Philadelphia Athletics
Petway, Bruce
Chicago Cubs
Chicago White Sox
Poles, Spot
New York Giants
New York Yankees
Powell, Piggie
Chicago Cubs
Detroit Tigers
Radcliffe, Alec
Chicago Cubs
Chicago White Sox
Radcliffe, Double Duty
Cincinnati Reds
Chicago White Sox
Redding, Dick
New York Giants
New York Yankees
Redus, Frog
St. Louis Cardinals
Chicago White Sox
Robinson, Neil
Cincinnati Reds
St. Louis Browns
Rogan, Bullet Joe
St. Louis Cardinals
St. Louis Browns
Salmon, Harry
Pittsburgh Pirates
St. Louis Browns
Santop, Louis
New York Giants
New York Yankees
Scales, Tubby
New York Giants
New York Yankees
Seay, Dick
Brooklyn Dodgers
New York Yankees
Serrell, Bonnie
St. Louis Cardinals
New York Yankees
Smith, Chino
Brooklyn Dodgers
New York Yankees
Smith, Hilton
St. Louis Cardinals
St. Louis Browns
Stearnes, Turkey
Chicago Cubs
Detroit Tigers
Streeter, Sam
Pittsburgh Pirates
St. Louis Browns
Suttles, Mule
St. Louis Cardinals
New York Yankees
Taylor, Ben
Cincinnati Reds
Washington Senators
Taylor, Candy Jim
St. Louis Cardinals
Cleveland Indians
Torriente, Cristobal
Chicago Cubs
Chicago White Sox
Trent, Ted
St. Louis Cardinals
Chicago White Sox
Trouppe, Quincy
St. Louis Cardinals
Cleveland Indians
Warfield, Frank
Philadelphia Phillies
Detroit Tigers
Wells, Willie
St. Louis Cardinals
New York Yankees
White, Chaney
Philadelphia Phillies
New York Yankees
Wickware, Frank
Brooklyn Dodgers
Chicago White Sox
Williams, Smokey Joe
Pittsburgh Pirates
New York Yankees
Williams, Tom
Brooklyn Dodgers
Chicago White Sox
Wilson, Jud
Pittsburgh Pirates
Philadelphia Athletics
Winters, Nip
Philadelphia Phillies
New York Yankees
Wright, Wild Bill
Cincinnati Reds
Washington Senators
Young, T.J.
St. Louis Cardinals
St. Louis Browns