1925 Negro World Series
Negro World Series
The 1925 Colored World Series was a rematch of the 1924 Negro World Series but this time, the upstart Eastern Colored League champions walked away with the win. Financially, it was a failure - only $21,000 was brought in and the share for the losers was just $57.64 per player, less than they felt they could earn barnstorming against white major leaguers.
Kansas City Monarchs
Early in their glorious history, Kansas City had won just their third consecutive Negro National League title. They won the first-half crown in the NNL but the St. Louis Stars won the second half. Kansas City took the playoffs, 6-3 over St. Louis. Managed by José Méndez, Kansas City's strength was a stellar pitching staff. Bill Drake (10-4, 1.98), Nelson Dean (11-3, 2.32), William Bell (10-3, 2.65) and Bullet Rogan (22-2, 2.95) had the top four ERAs in the league and Rogan led in wins and strikeouts. Chet Brewer (4-1) was a fine rookie hurler while Méndez still went 1-0 in his old age. Rogan led the offense too, with a .374 average (fifth-best) and 10 triples (tied for fourth), manning the outfield when not pitching. Unfortunately, Rogan would miss the Series due to an injury sustained when his toddler son unintentionally stabbed him in the knee with a needle.
The rest of the Monarchs offense included OF Hurley McNair (.365, 13 triples to tie for the league lead), SS Dobie Moore (.308/~.343/.482, 13 triples to tie McNair), 3B Newt Joseph (.335), 2B Newt Allen (.304/~.367/.414) and OF Wade Johnston (.304, fourth with 20 doubles).
Guided by Frank Warfield, Hilldale also found its strength in its rotation. Nip Winters (21-13, 3.88) led the ECL in wins and strikeouts (96) and was 4th in ERA. Phil Cockrell (12-2, 3.65) was third in ERA and former Monarch Rube Currie (13-2, 4.00) was fifth.
The position players were led by two Hall-of-Fame catchers, young Biz Mackey (.341/~.422/.565) and over-the-hill Luis Santop (.152/~.182/.243). 3B Judy Johnson hit .332, Warfield batted .312 while manning second regularly and all three outfielders topped .310, led by Otto Briggs' .332; Briggs also stole 17, second-best inthe ECL. 1B Tank Carr hit .358, led the league in triples (13) and steals (27) and was fifth with 8 home runs.
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In an exciting opener to the Series, both Currie and Drake went the distance in a 12-inning marathon. After each team managed just one run in the first ten innings, Hilldale got rolling in the 11th. Briggs almost scored to put them ahead but was stopped by a fine defensive play at the plate by Monarchs catcher Frank Duncan. Mackey then singled home Jake Stephens to give the visitors the edge. Currie's old club got to him in the bottom of the inning when Moore tripled in McNair, but Dobie got stranded. In the 12th, "Plunk" Drake plunked George Johnson. Warfield singled, then Judy Johnson tripled home both runners. Currie would allow no more to lock up the victory.
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Kansas City got revenge for their home fans, though the ywere on the brink much of the game. In the bottom of the 7th, they finally tied it at 2. In the 8th, Allen singled to start a rally that gave the game to the Monarchs - it would be their lone win of the Series.
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KC got little offense in this one as Scrip Lee and Red Ryan combined on a 4-hitter. The Monarchs did have the lead, though, when they scored in the 8th against Lee. Needing just one more shutout inning from Bell, they ran into trouble when Hilldale tied it. In the 10th, Judy Johnson greeted reliever Méndez with a single to center, his third hit of the contest. Pete Washington doubled to give Hilldale the lead and the game.
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While Kansas City never led, they remained in this one until the 9th, when they finally faded. ECL win leader Nip Winters finally made an appearance and pitched a solid complete game for the win.
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Hilldale won yet another close one. Carr hit the Series' first home run, taking Cliff Bell deep. They added insurance when Mackey doubled and came home on a misplay by Moore later in the inning. Currie again kept his ex-teammates in check, going the distance for the victory.
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Only 1,500 fans came out to see Hilldale's second game. Mackey put on a show, with 3 hits including a home run off of William Bell. Cockrell again faded late, but he had more support than in game two and he avenged his earlier loss. Hilldale had also gotten their revenge on the club that had topped them in the first Negro World Series.
Kansas City was outscored 26-14 as their offense barely averaged two runs per game. Without Rogan and with poor play from their minor lights, only one hitter topped .300, Moore at .364. The staff also missed Rogan's leadership as no hurler did a great job of containing the ECL champs.
Hilldale was led by Briggs' .414 mark at the plate, while Mackey (.360) and Carr (.320) also swung fine sticks. A balanced attack saw all their regulars top .250. The staff was led by the stellar work of Currie (2-0, 1.29) but none of their pitchers had what could be described as a bad Series, given their containment of the Monarchs' offensive might.