1938 Pittsburgh Crawfords

From BR Bullpen

1938 Pittsburgh Crawfords / Franchise: Pittsburgh Crawfords / BR Team Page[edit]

Record: 28-26-1, Finished 4th in Negro National League (1938 NNL)

Managed by Oscar Charleston

Ballpark: Greenlee Field

History, Comments, Contributions[edit]

The 1938 Pittsburgh Crawfords represented the last edition of the once-mighty Pittsburgh Crawfords; the team would move and become the Toledo Crawfords the next season. They were no longer a dominant force, but were still a solid competitor, finishing over .500. Their only remaining future Hall of Famer was 41-year-old manager Oscar Charleston, who almost never played anymore.

The team had a 98 ERA+, led by Schoolboy Johnny Taylor (7-2, 3.96, 126 ERA+) and Barney Morris (4-4, 3.22, 155 ERA+). Other regulars on the hill were Bill Harvey (4-3, 5.14, 97 ERA+), Leroy Matlock (0-4, 5.74, 87 ERA+) and Theolic Smith (1-5, 7.06, 71 ERA+).

The offense was not as strong with a 86 OPS+ but 2B Harry Williams hit .393/.448/.621 (35 R in 37 G, 179 OPS+) and was second in the NNL in average and trailed only Josh Gibson and Buck Leonard in slugging. He got support from SS Ches Williams (.308/.357/.425, 105 OPS+), 1B Johnny Washington (.271/.340/.424, 100 OPS+) and 3B Bus Clarkson (.239/.341/.465, 110 OPS+) while backup 1B George Giles hit .302/.362/.434 for a 109 OPS+. Other starters were 3B Dan Wilson (.254/.367/.390, 99 OPS+), C Leon Ruffin (.183/.266/.197, 24 OPS+) and the light-hitting outfield of Napoleon Hairston (.223/.313/.346, 73 OPS+), Sam Bankhead (.227/.298/.313, 61 OPS+) and Gene Benson (.215/.250/.308, 46 OPS+). Joining Giles and Clarkson in frequent usage off the bench was C Pepper Bassett (.232/.271/.393, 73 OPS+). The Williams middle infield duo not only hit well, but both had fielding percentages well above the league average.

Source: Seamheads Database (accessed 12/22/2020)

Awards and Honors[edit]