Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Negro League baseball history fact for today

Norman “Turkey” Stearnes was born on this date in Nashville, Tennessee; 1901.  Although not built like a home run hitter, being 6 feet and only weighing 175 pounds, Stearnes was one of the most prolific power sluggers in Negro League baseball during his nineteen year career (1923 – 1942).  He was the league leading home run hitter a reportedly six times.  An excellent fielder with base stealing speed, Stearnes was the marquee player for the Detroit Stars (1923 – 1931, 1933, and 1937).  But, he also played for pennant winning teams; Chicago American Giants (1932 and 1933) and the Kansas City Monarchs (1938 – 1941).  Stearnes was the player that received the most votes from fans for the first Negro League East - West All Star Game in 1933 and got two hits in the game.  Played at Comiskey Park in Chicago, the game became a yearly showcase for Negro League baseball.  Stearnes was chosen to play in four of the first five of them; 1933, 1934, 1935, and 1937.  He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2000.   

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