(Redirected from Tommy Dukes)
- Bats Left, Throws Right
- Height 5' 9", Weight 160 lb.
- Debut 1928
- Final Game 1945
- Born September 24, 1906 in Picayune, MS USA
- Died January 5, 1991 in Lumberton, MS USA
Catcher Tommy Dukes spent almost two decades as a professional baseball player. He debuted with the 1928 Chicago American Giants and first was playing semiregularly with the '31 Cuban House of David (hitting .296) and Birmingham Black Barons (.302). In 1932, Tommy hit .304 with the Memphis Red Sox and later joined the Nashville Elite Giants. In 1932-33, Tommy hit .357 and slugged .673 in the California Winter League, leading the league with 7 homers.
As Nashville's cleanup hitter, he hit .343 in '33, outhitting more well-known players like Wild Bill Wright and Sammy Bankhead. He was picked for the West in the 1933 East-West Game but did not appear in the contest. He had another big winter in California (.334, .578 SLG) and his 7 homers beat out Hall-of-Famers Turkey Stearnes and Willie Wells and were second in the league to Mule Suttles' 14.
In 1934, Dukes slipped to .241. In '35, the backstop moved to the Homestead Grays and hit .387 as the cleanup hitter behind Buck Leonard. Dukes hit .290 in '36 and became a backup in 1937 when Josh Gibson joined Homestead; Tommy hit .323 as a backup 1B/RF/C that year and saw less time the next.
By '39, Dukes was starting once more, hitting .385 as the cleanup man for the Toledo Crawfords. In 1940, Tommy moved to the Mexican League, hitting .295/~.379/.443 for the Mexico City Red Devils. Switching to the champion Tampico Lightermen in '41, he slipped to .242/~.318/.356 and followed with a .258/~.357/.330 year at age 35. He caught for the Monterrey Industrials in 1944 and hit .222/~.351/.247 as his skills continued to erode. Overall, he hit .263/~.352/.368 in the Liga. He briefly returned to Chicago in '45 to wrap up his career.
- NNL All-Star (1933)
- The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues by James Riley`
- The Complete Book of Baseball's Negro Leagues by John Holway
- Black Baseball's National Showcase by Larry Lester
- The Mexican League: Comprehensive Player Statistics by Pedro Treto Cisneros
- The California Winter League by William McNeil