1934 Pittsburgh Crawfords

From BR Bullpen

1934 Pittsburgh Crawfords / Franchise: Pittsburgh Crawfords / BR Team Page[edit]

Record: 47-27-3, Finished 1st in Negro National League (1934 NNL)

Managed by Oscar Charleston

Ballpark: Greenlee Field

History, Comments, Contributions[edit]

The 1934 Pittsburgh Crawfords were the league's defending champions. They once again had oodles of All-Stars (nine of them) and got amazing years from two inner-circle Hall of Famers (plus had three other Hall of Famers), posting the best record in the league. Despite that, they got left out of the postseason as they failed to win either the first half or second half and had to look in from outside while the Philadelphia Stars and Chicago American Giants met in the finals.

Satchel Paige had one of his greatest seasons (13-3, 1.54, 262 ERA+) and led the league with a 0.87 WHIP but was not the league's dominant hurler due to Philadelphia's one-year wonder Slim Jones. The quality fell off drastically from Paige but the rest of the staff was pretty good to okay - William Bell was at 11-4, 3.19 (127 ERA+), Bert Hunter 4-5, 3.42 (118 ERA+), Leroy Matlock 4-4, 3.90 (104 ERA+), Roosevelt Davis 1-0, 3.91 (103 ERA+), Harry Kincannon 6-4, 4.16 (97 ERA+) and only Sam Streeter had a bad year (4-5, 5.78, 70 ERA+).

Like Paige carried the staff, catcher Josh Gibson was well ahead of the other batters at .317/.395/.617 for a 184 OPS+. He led the NNL in doubles (19), homers (15), runs (56), RBI (59), slugging and OPS, not quite as good as the prior year but still clearly dominant. Another top-tier Hall-of-Famer, 1B-Mgr Oscar Charleston was still a star at age 37 (.322/.410/.497, 157 OPS+). LF Vic Harris (.335/.389/.428, 132 OPS+), 2B Chester Williams (.321/.364/.453, 131 OPS+) and CF Cool Papa Bell (.327/.404/.397, 128 OPS+) all hit like the All-Stars they were, Bell also leading the NNL with 14 steals, 89 hits and 34 walks. The 5th Hall-of-Famer, Judy Johnson, hit only .266/.309/.355 (88 OPS+) but fielded .958 at the hot corner, .027 above the league average. RF Jimmie Crutchfield (.281/.337/.333, 91 OPS+) and SS Leroy Morney (.237/.322/.288, 74 OPS+) rounded out the starters, while the most-used bench players were utility man Curtis Harris (.248/.283/.317, 70 OPS+, playing everywhere but CF and P) and RF Ted Page (.150/.260/.196, 31 OPS+).

All stats listed are per the [1] Seamheads database 2/8/21; other sources vary

Awards and Honors[edit]