Stearnes, Turkey

Norman Thomas Stearnes
Born: May 8, 1901, Nashville, Tennessee
Died: September 4, 1979, Detroit, Michigan
Elected to the Hall of Fame by Veterans Committee: 2000

A quiet Southerner who spent his summers blasting long balls for the Detroit Stars and his winters laboring in the Motor City's auto plants to make ends meet, Turkey Stearnes was one of the most prolific home-run hitters in the Negro leagues. He led the Negro National League in homers six times and reportedly hit at least 140 roundtrippers in 585 career games. A swift, athletic center fielder, Stearnes also collected a slew of doubles and triples with his unusual left-handed stroke.

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Did You Know: 
that in 1934, Turkey Stearnes played in a four-team doubleheader at Yankee Stadium in front of 30,000 fans, claimed at the time as the largest crowd ever to watch a black baseball event?
I never counted my home runs. I hit so many, I never counted them, and I'll tell you why: If they didn't win a ball game, they didn't amount to anything.