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.