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"[Luis Tiant] was good. He was pitching for Havana Cuban Stars....Goose Curry was the hitter. Tiant went up and come down and grunted and throwed that ball (to first) and Goose Curry swung and said, 'Jesus Christ! Man, how'd I miss it?' [Umpire] Fred McCreary told him, 'I ought to call you out. That man throwed to first base!' Tiant threw to first base and Goose swung!"
-Jumbo Kimbro quoted in
“I Will Never Forget” by Brent Kelley

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Negro Leaguer of the Month

Negro Leaguer of the Month

June, 2014
Homer “Goose” Curry
Position: Outield
Ht: 6’-1”, Wt. 180
Batted left and threw right
Born: May 19, 1905 in Mexia, Texas
Died: March 30, 1974 in Memphis, TN
Career: 1928-47
Teams: Memphis Red Sox, Kansas City Monarchs, Indianapolis ABCs, Monroe Monarchs, New York Black Yankees, Baltimore Elite Giants, Nashville Elite Giants, Washington Elite Giants, Philadelphia Stars

Homer “Goose” Curry was a hard-hitting outfielder, and later a fine manager with various teams over parts of four decades.  Curry was a left-handed hitter with good speed and power, often slugging over .500 and compiling a lifetime average around .310. He usually batted in the middle of the lineup due to his RBI production, and he anchored some of the best outfields in Negro League history.

In 1932, Curry played on the powerful Monroe (Louisiana) Monarchs, the top Negro League team from the South. Since the Negro Leagues had suspended operation at the time, there were no pennants to be won, but the Monarchs played the legendary Pittsburgh Crawfords in a series to crown the champion of black baseball--a Negro World Series of sorts--and lost to the powerful Craws who featured Josh Gibson, Satchel Paige, Double Duty Radcliffe, Oscar Charleston and Jimmie Crutchfield.

In ’37, Curry batted around .400 in league games with the Memphis Red Sox, and from ’38-’40 he batted over .300 for the New York Black Yankees.

During the winter of ’40-’41, Curry accompanied the Baltimore Elite Giants as they entered, and won, the California Winter League. Curry batted .379 (second on the team to Henry Spearman’s .500) in 13 games and slugged .552 as the Giants went 9-4, 4-1/2 games better than Joe Pirrone’s Major League All-Stars, who featured sluggers Wally Berger (Philadelphia Phillies) and Lou Novikoff (Chicago Cubs). The Elites’s outfield of Curry, Jumbo Kimbro and Charlie Biot and sub Wild Bill Wright combined for a .314 average; Bud Barbee and Nate Moreland led all pitchers with identical 3-1 records.

Curry spent his last six seasons (’42-’47) with the Philadelphia Stars, batting from .274 to .375 as he approached and passed 40 years of age.

In 1946, Curry’s Philadelphia Stars played the Newark Eagles and their Hall of Fame pitcher, Leon Day. Day, who had just returned from service in World War II.  Day threw a no-hitter and the game was not without controversy. On a play at the plate, Giants’ catcher Bill “Ready” Cash tagged out Larry Doby but the umpire called him safe. Cash punched the umpire, and Curry ran in from his right field position to also take a few swings at the ump; both players were kicked out of the game and suspended.

After Goose’s playing days were over, he continued as a successful manager of the Memphis Red Sox and Atlanta Black Crackers, and though he never played in an East-West game (he came in 9th outfielders in the ’39 vote), Curry was selected as one of manager Candy Jim’s East squad coaches in 1944.

While managing for Memphis in the early 1950s, Curry’s team faced the Chicago American Giants, managed by Double Duty Radcliffe. According to “I Will Never Forget” by Brent Kelley, Satchel Paige pitched for Chicago and Curry told the legend that he had a player named Prince Joe Henry who would give Paige trouble, and he was willing to bet money on it. Though Henry would later become a fine hitter, Paige struck him out four times, and each time he did he yelled over to the Memphis dugout, “GOOSE!”

Curry started a successful baseball school in Greenville, Mississippi while still managing, and he developed several players for the Negro Leagues, including Prince Joe Henry.