Dec 28 2010

Homestead Grays of 1938

Homestead Grays

Homestead Grays of 1938

When the Negro National League was restructured as an eastern league in 1937, the Homestead Grays began a remarkable skein of nine consecutive pennants. That was the same year that Josh Gibson joined the team, and he and slugging firstbaseman Buck Leonard formed a power tandem called the black Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig and were dubbed the “Thunder Twins” and the “Dynamite Twins” by the press. During their nine year dynasty, the 1938 team was regarded as their strongest squad. The Grays won both halves of the split season, registering a .813 percentage for the first half. Raymond Brown had a sterling season on the mound for the Grays and he had ample support from lefthander Edsall Walker. Playing manager Vic Harris and big Jim Williams combined with the much heralded Gibson and Leonard to form a murderer’s row. Speed was furnished by lead-off batter Jerry Benjamin and middle infielders Lick Carlisle and Jelly Jackson. Much of the team’s success was also attributed to their hustle and cockiness, and they were referred to as “The Gashouse Gang” because their approach to the game was likened to that of the St. Louis Cardinals. No World Series was held that year but during the regular season, the Grays defeated the two leading teams in the Negro American League.

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