Also Read: Was Satchel the Best? When Ted and Satch Hooked Up How Many Games Did Satchel Win?
Hats off to Bill James' Negro League100-Best
By John B Holway
To follow up on the poll for greatest Negro League pitchers, some additional numbers are offered:
Ray Brown 3.32 420
Bill Byrd 3.36 502
Bullet Rogan 3.35 631
Satchel Paige 3.39 1489
William Bell 3.41 352
Bill Foster 3.48 560
Leon Day 3.83 272
Joe Williams 3.92 378
Andy Cooper 4.17 416
© 2011 John B Holway
* Total Run Average
These numbers all have to be double-checked. And they will never have the euclidian perfection that Bill James demands. Box scores didn't always carry complete stats; strikeouts, walks or hits were sometimes missing. And of course they almost never gave earned runs, hence I use Total Runs Per Game.
But except for strikeouts, Paige doesn't stand out above the others.
In addition, Brown, Byrd, and Day were above-average hitters, who often pinch-hit. Brown especially had power. Joe Williams once led the league in wins (9-2) plus batting while playing first base and pitching. Rogan batted .344 lifetime; in 1922 he led all pitchers with 20-11, batted .439, and averaged 48 home runs per 550 at bats. And he wouldn't reach the letters on Babe Ruths uniform if he stood on tip-toes.
A word about
Day. I like
I hope there will be another round
of Fame voting so Byrd,
Anyway, if Rogan or Brown had said, Never look back, someone may be gaining on you, perhaps he, not Satch, would be regarded as the greatest black pitcher of all time.