Ranking of Negro League Players

With JinAZ writing lists of the top players according to position according to WAR, I decided to to make a general ranking of the top Negro League players.  I would love to use some form of stats, but the stats for the Negro League are currently incomplete. I was able to find out the following from Larry Lester, the person in charge of compiling and releasing Negro League stats:

"The stats from the project are being edited and hopefully finalize by next summer. Until then, we are not releasing incomplete stats."

I wanted to get an average ranking of the players and to use a variety of sources I could find, so I ranked any player that was listed in the following 6 sources twice:

I would love to incorporate more rankings and if you know of any rankings, please let me know.  Then I counted the number of times a player is listed and ranked them according to the total number of lists they made. If there was a tie, I used the rankings of the sources to differentiate the players further. This was far from a perfect scientific method, but should give a general idea of how each player ranked. Also, this is more of a list of players that played significant time in the Negro Leagues as seen by the lower ranks of Hank Aaron and Willie Mays.

List after Jump

Note: There is only one case where I moved two players up and it was in the outfield. Oscar Charleston and Cristobal Torreinte where both ranked higher than Cool Papa Bell in every survey and the pair didn't get a value of 6 because they didn't participate in 5 All Star Games.

Many of the players played several position and I marked players that easily could have been ranked at another position. Also, a designation of the players in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Catchers Number of List Name Appears On Variety of Positions Baseball Hall of Fame
1 Josh Gibson 6
2 Roy Camppanella 5
3 Biz Mackey 4
4 Louis Santop 3
5 Bruce Petway 3

6 Double Duty Radcliffe 3

7 Frank Duncan 2 x
8 Larry Brown 2

9 Quincy Trouppe 2

1st Basemen

1 Buck Leonard 6
2 Ben Taylor 3
3 Luke Easter 2

4 George Giles 2

5 Bob Boyd 2

6 George Carr 2

2nd Basemen

1 Jackie Robinson 4
2 Newt Allen 4 x
3 Bingo DeMoss 3

4 George Scales 2

5 Sammy T. Hughes 2

6 Bill Monroe 2


1 Willie Wells 6
2 Pop Lloyd 4
3 Sam Banheart (Bankhead) 4 x
4 John Beckwith 4 x
5 Dick Lundy 3

6 Ernie Banks 2
7 Doby Moore 2

8 Pee Wee Butts 2

9 Pelayo Chancon 2

3rd basemen

1 Oliver Marcelle 4

2 Judy Johnson 4
3 Ray Dandridge 3
4 Jud Wilson 3 x x
5 Dave Malarcher 2

6 Alex Radcliffe 2


1 Oscar Charleston 5
2 Cristobal Torriente 5
3 Cool Papa Bell 6
4 Martin Dihigo 5 x x
5 Mule Suttles 5
6 Turkey Stearnes 3
7 Monte Irvin 3
8 Pete Hill 3
9 Bill Wright 3

10 Chino Smith 3

11 Willie Mays 2
12 Henry Aaron 2
13 Willard Brown 2
14 Neil Robinson 2

15 Jimmy Lyons 2

16 Clint Thomas 2 x
17 Spotswood Poles 2

18 Vic Harris 2

19 Fats Jenkins 2

20 Jimmie Cruthfield 2

21 Rap Dixon 2

22 Jelly Gardner 2

23 Larry Doby 2

24 Ted Strong 2


1 Satchel Paige 5
2 "Smokey" Joe Williams 4
3 "Bullet" Joe Rogan 3 x x
4 John Donaldson 3

5 Willie Foster 3
6 Leon Day 3
7 Dick Redding 2

8 Nick Winters 2

9 Dizzy Dismukes 2

10 Don Newcombe 2

11 Bill Byrd 2

12 Slim Jones 2

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