Ben Taylor

Benjamin Harrison Taylor
Inducted to the Hall of Fame in: 2006
Primary team: Indianapolis ABCs
Primary position: 1st Baseman

Belonging to one of the most famous families in black baseball history, Ben Taylor had a career that spanned almost four decades, serving as most a premier first baseman and as noted manager. Playing along with his brothers C.I, Steel Arm John, and Candy Jim, Ben Taylor starred for a number of teams in the pre-Negro leagues era of 1908 to 1920, and then moved around the various leagues and teams during the Golden Era from 1921 to 1941.

While most of his playing career involved squads for which there are few reliable statistics, Taylor was a lifetime .300 hitter who maintained a scientific approach to the game. He was noted for his ability to hit to all fields, his execution of the hit-and-run, and became known as “Old Reliable” for both his clutch-hitting and his outstanding defensive play at first base.

His was soft-spoken and well-respected, but his reputation as a teacher was noted by Hall of Famer Buck Leonard who said, “I got most of my learning from Ben Taylor. He helped me when I first broke in with his team. He had been the best first baseman in Negro baseball up until that time, and he was the one who really taught me to play first base.”

According to the Chicago Defender in 1935, Taylor was described as “a man who has inspired, trained and led baseball teams for many years,” and as having “one of the keenest minds in all of baseball and knows the game from all angles.”

After his death in 1953, the Chicago Defender said simply, “Ben was recognized as one of the great first baseman in Negro baseball. His name is bracketed with that of other top first sackers of that period. He was an excellent fielder and a cracking good hitter from the left side.”

As biographer Todd Bolton has noted, Ben Taylor’s life can be summed up from ten words on his gravestone, “A Graceful Player, A Superb Teacher, and A True Gentleman.”

"Ben was recognized as one of the great first baseman in Negro baseball. His name is bracketed with that of other top first sackers of that period. "
Chicago Defender

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Career stats

Year Inducted: 2006
Primary Team: Indianapolis ABCs
Position Played: 1st Baseman
Bats: Left
Throws: Left
Birth place: Anderson, South Carolina
Birth year: 1888
Died: 1953, Baltimore, Maryland
Played for:
Indianapolis ABCs (1914-1918)
New York Bacharach Giants (1919)
Indianapolis ABCs (1919-1922)
Washington Potomacs (1923-1924)
Philadelphia Tigers (1928)
Baltimore Black Sox (1928)
New York Bacharach Giants (1929)
Indianapolis ABCs (1922)
At BatsAB
Home RunsHR
Stolen BasesSB
Batting AverageBA
On Base %OBP
Slugging %SLG