Leaguer of the Month
Jesse Warren Douglas
Born: March 27, 1920 in Longview, TX
Ht: 5'-8", Wt: 160
Batted right and threw left
Position: second base, shortstop, third base, outfield
Playing Years: 1937-58
Teams: New York Black Yankees, Satchel Paige's All-Stars, Kansas City Monarchs, Birmingham Black Barons, Memphis Red Sox, Chicago American Giants, New Orleans Eagles, Winnipeg Elmwood Giants, Colorado Springs Sky Sox, Mexico City Reds, Yucatan, Monterrey, Mexicali, Yakima
A fine all-around player, Jesse Douglas was a sparkplug on teams for more than 20 years.
Douglas, listed generously at 5'-8' and 160 pounds (he was probably closer to 5'-6" and 150 pounds), could run, hit for average, play all four infield positions and the outfield, and hit home runs that belied his lack of size.
After playing a few weeks with the New York Black Yankees in 1937, the 17-year-old Douglas was signed by Satchel Paige's All-Stars to finish the season. The All-Stars were really the Kansas City Monarchs' "B Team" on which Paige was playing because of a serious arm injury; a year later his arm would miraculously recover, and he would again hold the mantle as the best pitcher in the Negro Leagues.
After stints with the Kansas City Monarchs, Birmingham Black Barons and Memphis Red Sox, Douglas joined the Chicago American Giants, the team he is most associated with.
Douglas, usually batting toward the top of the order, set the table for sluggers Art Pennington, Lester Lockett, Quincy Trouppe, Clyde Nelson and Double Duty Radcliffe.
In 1946 and '47, Douglas played in Mexico, batting .270 with 32 RBIs in '46 and .228 with 43 RBIs in '47 wiht the Mexico City Reds.
In 1950, the Douglas, the of the Chicago American Giants, was batting .333 when he was named the starting second baseman of the West in the East-West Game, going three for four in his home park, Comiskey.
In the third inning, Douglas drove in the West's first two runs with a bases-loaded single off future Major League Joe Black. He later singled off Raul Galata of the Indianapolis Clowns, and Jonas Gaines of the Philadelphia Stars. The Kanas City Monarchs' Connie Johnson, future Major Leaguer, was the winning pitcher. Other future Big Leaguers included the New York Cubans' Pat Scantlebury, and the Baltimore Elite Giants' Junior Gilliam who homered (the only player to homer in both the East-West Game and Major League All-Star Game).
In '51, Douglas played in Organized Baseball with the Colorado Springs Sky Sox of the Western League, batting .262.
In 1952, Douglas was named player-manager of the Winnipeg Elmwood Giants after Double Duty Radcliffe was suspended for fighting in a game against Minot.
Douglas, a 32-year-old veteran, played inspired baseball after named skipper, hitting homers to beat the Carman Cardinals and Brandon Grays, and a double to beat the Minot Mallards, all within 10 days of taking over as manager.
Douglas guided the Giants into the playoffs where they lost to Carman four games to three, just falling short of making it to the finals.
In 1953, Douglas started the season with the Winnipeg Royals, then joined the Brandon Grays in time for the playoffs. In the first game of the semi-finals against Carman, Douglas had three hits in an 11-3 win.
In the finals, Douglas led Brandon to a win in game two against Minot with a double and two singles; Barney Brown picked up the win.
Minot would win the championship, though, due in part to Brandon forfeiting game five. In the 12th inning of that game, a Brandon refused to take the field after what they thought was a bad call by an umpire.
In 1954, Douglas played with Carman, joining a strong lineup that featured Negro League veterans Lester Lockett and Chick Longest. Carman took Minot to seven games in their playoff series, but lost as the Mallards won for the third year in a row. Douglas jumped the club mid-season and finished with Yucatan in the Mexican League, batting .315.
Douglas has his last good season with Mexicali of the Arizona-Mexican League in '56, batting .322, then finished his pro career in '58, batting .207 for Yakima of the Northwest League.
Some information compiled from http://attheplate.com