Cowan Hyde

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Cowan Fontella Hyde

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Biographical Information[edit]

Cowan "Bubba" Hyde was an outfielder for 31 years, 26 in the Negro Leagues (1924-1951), one in the Mexican League (1940), two in in the minors (1949, 1951) and five in the independent Mandak League (1950-1954). He started at Rust College in Mississippi and then joined the Memphis Red Sox. Homesick, he returned home and attended Morris Brown College. He played football in College despite his sleight stature. But he was soon back in Memphis to continue a 14 year career with the Red Sox. He played for more than a dozen teams. Hyde was named to the Negro League East-West All-Star team in 1943 and 1946. He also played winter ball, batting against the top MLB pitching stars, including Bob Feller, Bob Lemon and Johnny Sain.

In 1950, Hyde tried to break into MLB with the Boston Braves. But he left training camp to be with his wife, Edith, who was giving birth. He was cut by the Braves and spent the next five years playing in Canada to round out his career. Hyde was among the first players inducted in 1997 into the Negro Leagues Hall of Fame in Milwaukee.

Hyde was exceptionally fast. A good hitter and a speedy runner, he usually batted leadoff, but he had a low walk ratio and sometimes also batted in the second and third slots. He used to race, and beat, horses running around the baseball diamond. Hyde played in exhibition games with other Negro Leagues players into his 80s and delivered Meals on Wheels until he turned 90. He died after a brief illness at age 95. In addition to his daughter Almerth Owens-Long, survivors included two sisters, Elizabeth Cowan and Annie Dee Walker; and three grandchildren.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • 2-time NAL All-Star (1943 & 1946)
  • NAL Batting Average Leader (1941)
  • NAL Stolen Bases Leader (1942)

Related Sites[edit]