George Giles

From BR Bullpen

George Franklin Giles

  • Bats Left, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 1", Weight 180 lb.

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Biographical Information[edit]

George Giles tried out for the Kansas City Monarchs when he was 15 but was too young to contribute. He signed a year later with the minor-league Kansas City Royal Giants and then moved to Gilkerson's Union Giants. In 1927 Giles joined the Monarchs and at the age of 18 became their starting first baseman. He hit .287 and then improved to .292 the next year, when he led the team's regulars for a 2nd-place club. He also tied for second in the Negro National League with 7 triples.

Giles became the first Monarch player to sit out a year in 1929 when he got into a disagreement over his contract. In 1930 he signed with the St. Louis Stars and hit .333 though he slipped to .265 a year later. In 1932, still just 23 years old, George hit .308 for the Homestead Grays and Monarchs. Back with Kansas City full-time in 1933 and 1934, statistics are limited as Kansas City was a barnstorming team at that point. Giles played in the Denver Post Tournament in the 1934 seasin.

In 1935 George signed with the Brooklyn Eagles and took over the managerial role when Ben Taylor was deemed too conservative. Giles batted .345 and tied for second in the league with 7 steals. When the team became the Newark Eagles they had Mule Suttles at first, so Giles left to join the New York Black Yankees. He hit .275 for New York at age 27 and .291 in 1937. Giles played for the Black Yankees, Monarchs, Pittsburgh Crawfords and Philadelphia Stars in a busy 1938 season, hitting .267.

Giles retired from baseball in 1939 and worked in the civil service in Fort Riley, Kansas before opening a ramshackle motel and tavern in Manhattan, KS. The father of four, he is the grandfather of Brian Giles.

Giles was known as a great gloveman at first, with very good range. As an offensive player, he was known as a fair contact hitter and speedy baserunner with limited power.

Sources: "The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues" by James Riley, "The Complete Book of Baseball's Negro Leagues" by John Holway

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