Ted Kimbro

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Arthur Kimbro (Jess, Ted)

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Biographical Information[edit]

Ted Kimbro was an infielder in the Negro Leagues.

He debuted in 1914 as the regular shortstop for the West Baden Sprudels; the teenager hit .176/.300/.176. He bounced around in 1915, with a 99 OPS+ between the Louisville White Sox (.256/.304/.302 in 12 G), St. Louis Giants (.220/.256/.317 in 11 G) and West Baden (.241/.313/.448 in 8 G). His .961 fielding percentage at 2B led second basemen in the midwestern Negro Leagues. [1]

The St. Louis native hit .276/.345/.400 for his hometown Giants in 1916, fielding .884 at 3B and .977 at 2B. He was 9th in slugging among top black midwestern teams (between Jesse Barber and Pete Hill) and was 4th on the team in Wins Above Replacement (after Jimmie Lyons, Bill Gatewood and Frank Warfield. [2] In 1917, he moved to the New York Lincoln Giants and improved to .352/.421/.456 (127 OPS+) while fielding .901 at third base. Among top eastern black teams, he was 8th in average (between Spottswood Poles and Blainey Hall), tied Jules Thomas for 2nd in runs (25, 4 behind Hall), was 3rd in hits (44, behind Thomas and Hall), tied for first in triples (3, even with Hall, Bill Pettus and Doc Wiley), tied Pettus for 5th in RBI (21), tied Wiley for 5th in walks (14), was 7th in OBP (between Hall and Wiley), was 7th in slugging (between Bill Kindle and Hall) and was 8th in OPS (between Hall and Charles Earle). Among his teammates, only Smokey Joe Williams and Thomas had a better Wins Above Replacement [3]

He hit .240/.321/.320 between a few teams in 1918, even after getting called up to the US Army as he was stationed in Fort Dix, letting him play games on the weekends. Less than a month later, he died at age 23 of the flu pandemic that swept through Fort Dix. [4]

The young infielder had posted a .283/.351/.387 for a 108 OPS+ in the pre-league equivalent of the Negro Leagues and likely would have projected to improve from there given his youth at the time of his passing. He was one of two Negro Leaguers to die of that year's flu epidemic; Pearl Webster was the other.