Williams, Joe

Joe Williams
Born: April 6, 1885, Seguin, Texas
Died: February 25, 1951, New York, New York
Elected to the Hall of Fame by Veterans Committee: 1999

Tall, hard-throwing right-hander Smokey Joe Williams dominated early 20th-century black baseball. He is said to have pitched dozens of no-hitters, many of them against amateur teams, but some against the likes of the New York Giants. On Aug. 7, 1930, at age 44, he struck out 27 Kansas City Monarchs in a 1-0, 12-inning victory. In 1952, a poll taken by the Pittsburgh Courier named Williams the greatest pitcher in Negro league history.

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Did You Know: 
that Joe Williams defeated five Hall of Fame pitchers -- Grover Alexander, Chief Bender, Waite Hoyt, Walter Johnson and Rube Marquard -- in exhibition competition during his stellar career?
There were many Negro players every bit as good as Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella, Larry Doby, Luke Easter, and Sam Jethroe. They just never had a chance to prove their greatness.