Charleston, Oscar

Oscar McKinley Charleston
Born: October 14, 1896, Indianapolis, Indiana
Died: October 5, 1954, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Elected to the Hall of Fame by Negro Leagues Committee: 1976

A multi-talented star, Oscar Charleston was renowned by those who saw him play as the finest all-around player in Negro league history. A barrel-chested, left-handed hitter, the fiery Charleston hit for both average and power while revolutionizing defensive play in center field. His blazing speed, aggressiveness on the basepaths and focused intensity led many to compare him to Ty Cobb. In 60 league games in 1921, he batted .434 while leading the Negro National League in doubles, triples, home runs and stolen bases.

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Did You Know: 
that as a member of the St. Louis Giants of the Negro National League, Oscar Charleston became the first black player to hit a home run at Sportsman's Park, the longtime home of the St. Louis Cardinals and Browns?
Some people asked me, 'Why are you playing so close to the right-field foul line?' What they didn't know was that Charleston covered all three fields, and my responsibility was to make sure of balls down the line and those in foul territory.
Dave Malarcher