1917 in the Negro Leagues
|1917 in baseball|
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The most visible black clubs of 1917 were the Chicago American Giants (30-7 against other top outfits despite a .201 team average; they had a 1.59 RA), the New York Lincoln Giants (11-3), Indianapolis ABCs (12-15) and Cuban Stars (10-16). Indianapolis's George Shively (.352) was the only player to top .285 among the western clubs. Tom Williams (12-0, 1.63) and Dick Redding (14-5, 1.57) were the top pitchers in the West. It was a rough year for future Hall of Famers - Chicago had SS Pop Lloyd (.193), player-manager Rube Foster (0-1) and OF Pete Hill (.218); Indianapolis got mediocre work from Ben Taylor (.234) and good play from Oscar Charleston (.283), Jose Mendez (.143); Cristobal Torriente played briefly for the Cuban Stars but was mostly with the All-Nations while Jose Mendez hit .143 as the All-Nations SS; Louis Santop hit .414 in the east with the Brooklyn Royal Giants. The other Hall-of-Famer at work was the top star on the east coast, Smokey Joe Williams. Williams went 9-1 with a 3.22 RA for New York, batted .474 (best in the East in both pitching and hitting) and even hit for the cycle in one game.
In exhibitions against white teams, Williams struggled for once, going 1-2 against white teams of mixed talent, each featuring Bullet Joe Bush as the opposing starter. The Indianapolis ABCs and Chicago American Giants also played against some major league pitchers, though usually with weak supporting casts in a minor year for exhibitions.
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