Leaguer of the Month
Born: May 2, 1909 in Junction City, KS
Died: March 3, 1992 in Topeka, KS
Ht:6'2", Wt: 180
Batted left and threw right
Position: first base
Teams: Kansas City Royal Giants, Gilkerson's Union Giants,
Kansas City Monarchs, St. Louis Stars, Philadelphia Stars, Detroit
Wolves, Homestead Grays, Baltimore Black Sox, Brooklyn Eagles,
New York Black Yankees, Pittsburgh Crawfords, Satchel Paige All-Stars
Cool Papa Bell, possibly the fastest man in baseball, and, besides
Showboat Thomas, maybe the best-fielding first baseman in the
Negro Leagues, George Giles was a superstar of the 1930s.
playing sandlot ball in Kansas City starting at age 12, by
16 Giles was good enough to play with the traveling Gilkerson's
Union Giants, playing all over the Midwest and Manitoba, Canada.
Giles choked up on the bat and was a line-drive/slap hitter and
expert bunter, using his great speed from the left-handed batter's
box; he was nearly impossible
to strike out.
batting over .300 with the Union Giants, Giles was signed by
the Kansas City Monarchs in '27. Still just a teenager, Giles
batted around .300 for two seasons before jumping back
to Gilkerson's crew in 1929.
a letter Giles wrote to the Kansas City Call newspaper during
the season, Giles stated that he missed his old teammates,
and the thrill of playing in big cities, but he also commented
that the Union Giants usually played two games a day in front
of great crowds in Canada.
The '29 Union Giants had a murderer's row with Eddie Dwight (who
jumped from the Kansas City Monarchs), Cristobel Torriente
and Double Duty Radcliffe (Detroit Stars) and Red Haley (Birmingham
1930, Giles re-entered the Negro National League with the St.
Louis Stars, joining Double Duty Radcliffe, Willie Wells and
Cool Papa Bell. The Stars won the league pennant.
Radcliffe listed Giles and Buck Leonard as the best all-around
first basemen he played with or against.
another pennant-winning year in '31, Giles split the '32 season
with the Homestead Grays and Detroit Wolves (both owned by
another stint with the Kansas City Monarchs, Giles signed with
the fledgling Brooklyn Eagles in '35, joining Radcliffe again,
along with Rap Dixon, Leon Day and manager Ben Taylor. In mid-season,
Taylor was fired and 28-year-old Giles was named player-manager.
Giles was named to the East-West All-Star game, starting and
second in the lineup; he stole a base and scored a run in
the extra inning classic.
1936, Giles signed with the New York Black Yankees and stayed with
them for three seasons. Giles spent his last year, 1939, with
one final stint with the Monarchs.
During his somewhat brief career, Giles was asked several times
to play with Satchel Paige's All-Stars, and also played in Puerto
retired at age 30 with a lifetime average above .300, and spent
the next 30 years working several jobs, including managing
a hotel in Manhattan, Kansas.
In 1981, Giles' grandson, Brian Giles, made the Major Leagues with
the New York Mets. He also played with the Brewers and White Sox.
site, and the webmaster, is powered by Xango!!!