Willie Powell

From BR Bullpen

Willie Ernest Powell (Piggy, Pigmeat, Pee Wee, Wee Willie)

  • Bats Left, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 8", Weight 158 lb.

Willie Powell was a Negro League pitcher for a decade.

Powell debuted with the Chicago American Giants in 1926, going 1-1. He lost game six of the 1926 Negro World Series to Red Grier, but recovered in game ten. With the Giants on the verge of elimination against the Atlantic City Bacharach Giants and their ace Rats Henderson, Powell tossed a shutout while Henderson faltered. The American Giants went on to win the Series.

Powell improved to 9-4 in 1927. On August 14, he threw a no-hitter against the Memphis Red Sox. In the 1927 Negro World Series, he won game two against Atlantic City but got no-decisions in games six, eight and nine. He had a 1-0, 1.69 record for the Series. Powell was 3-7 in the 1927-1928 Cuban Winter League, leading that circuit with 18 games pitched.

Wee Willie was 10-9 in 1928 but led the Negro National League with a 2.98 RA. He was 5th with 82 strikeouts. He was 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA in the postseason, three-hitting the St. Louis Stars and fanning eight. That off-season, he was accidentally shot in the face by his father-in-law. He saw limited action in 1929, going 3-1.

Moving to the Detroit Stars, Powell turned in a 8-9 record in 1930. He fell to 5-11 in 1931. On June 12, he pitched a 18-inning complete game 3-3 tie against his old Chicago club. He led the league in losses. In 1932, the 28-year-old joined the American Giants, now known as Cole's American Giants. He went 14-6, tying Putt Powell for second in the Negro Southern League in victories, behind Bill Foster.

In 1933, the veteran had a 10-5 record, tying for fifth in the league. He fell to 0-2 with the Cleveland Red Sox in 1934, his last campaign.

Powell threw a fastball, curveball, screwball and changeup in addition to cutting the ball at times.

Powell later worked in a leather tannery. Health problems hindered him severely late in life, as he needed both legs amputated and a stroke left his left arm unusable. He spent his last years lying in a hospital bed.

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