Monday, July 27, 2015

More Than a Great Catcher - "Biz" Mackey

Today is the birth date of Negro League baseball player James Raleigh “Biz” Mackey; born on July 27, 1897 in Eagle Pass, Texas.

The following is an excerpt from my book, Last Train to Cooperstown:  The 2006 Baseball Hall of Fame Inductees from the Negro League Baseball Era, which profiles the Hall of Fame catcher; 

"Eagle Pass, Texas is a small town south of Del Rio near the

Mexican border.   Here on July 27, 1897 James Raleigh “Biz” Mackey

opened his eyes the first time. This makes him another member of

the Texas fraternity of Negro League ballplayers from the Lone Star

state; that includes Andy Cooper, Willie Wells, Rube Foster, Louis

Santop, and others.  Before becoming a teenager he moved with his

family to Luling which is east of San Antonio on the road to

Houston. The Mackeys were sharecroppers.  Biz, along with his

brothers,  worked on the farm most of the day and then played

baseball until dark.  They used boards as bats and anything they

could find as a ball..  By 1916 the black amateur baseball team in

Luling, the Oilers, had three Mackey brothers on its roster; Ray,

Ernest, and Biz."

To read more about“Biz” Mackey who was one of the best catchers in baseball history, Last Train to Cooperstown is available via or, Barnes&, and all bookstores.

There were two other Hall of Fame players along with Mackey on the 1921 Indianapolis ABCs?  Name them.

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