was something. He was 5'-5", 150 pounds, but could hit the ball
out of any park. He never used sunglasses--didn't need 'em, great arm,
everything. I'm telling you superstars now!"
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©Copyright 2000-2001, Kyle McNary, McNary Publishing
Leaguer of the Month
Teams: Monroe Monarchs, Philadelphia
Stars, Cincinnati Tigers, Memphis
Red Sox, Chicago American Giants, Birmingham Black Barons, Cleveland
Buckeyes, Pittsburgh Crawfords, Winnipeg Elmwood Giants
HT: 5'-5"; WT: 150 lbs
Batted left; threw left
Born: October 28, 1911 in New Orleans.
Ducky Davenport waddled like slugger Ron Cey but played more like the
Negro League version of Ichiro Suzuki. Standing 5'-5" in shoes
and weighing 150 pounds dripping wet, Davenport could hit for average
and power, had a rifle arm, and could run like a scared rabbit.
started his pro career with the Monroe Monarchs of the Negro Southern
League along with pitchers Barney Morris and Hilton Smith, then graduated
to the black big time with the Philadelphia Stars in 1935.
1937 Davenport was one of the best outfielders in baseball and was selected
to his first of five East-West All-Stars games. In five classics Ducky
went 3 for 15 with 3 runs scored.
Ducky hit as high as .350 a few times and led the Cuban Winter League
in batting in 1946-47 with a .332 mark. In one game that season Davenport
belted 6 hits for the all-time Cuban single game record. Davenport's
batting helped lead the Almendares team to the Cuban pennant. The integrated
team was managed by Adolph Luque and featured an array of black and
white stars including Buck O'Neil, Henry Jessup, Avelino Canizares,
Jonus Gaines, Pedro Ramos and Max Lanier.
Duty Radcliffe, one of the top managers in the Negro Leagues, "carried"
Davenport along with him for 12 years wherever he managed because of
Ducky's great skills and winning attitude. Radcliffe managed Davenport
on the Memphis Red Sox, Birmingham Black Barons, Chicago American Giants
and Winnipeg Elmwood Giants.
was my ace in the hole," Radcliffe explained.
thought so much of Davenport that he put him in the outfield on his
all-time all-star roster with Turkey Stearnes, Willard Brown, Cool Papa
Bell, Chaney White and Red Parnell.