Red Haley

"Red Haley was left-handed, but he could hit left-handed pitching!"
--Bismarck teammate Double Duty Radcliffe

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Charles "Red" Haley
Born: ca. 1905
Died: Chicago, IL
Ht:5'-7", Wt: 150
Batted left and threw right
Position: third base, second base, shortstop, first base
Years: 1928-1940
Teams: Gilkerson's Union Giants, Chicago American Giants, Birmingham Black Barons, Cuban Stars, Bismarck Semipros, Dunseith Giants

One of the most unlikely power hitters in history, Red Haley used every one of his 150 pounds to blast home runs for two decades.

Haley's professional career started with the Chicago American Giants and from the very start he shocked people with his surprising power. With skinny legs, poor posture, and sloped shoulders, he didn't look very strong, but Red had very quick wrists and whipped his bat through the hitting zone with authority.

After scuffling for a few seasons in the Negro National League, Haley jumped to a traveling team, the Gilkerson's Union Giants, and flourished.

In 1931, Gilkerson boasted such Negro League veterans as Steel Arm Davis, Cristobel Torriente, Subby Byas and Alex Radcliffe. Haley fit right into the hard-hitting club by batting .367 with 196 hits, 13 triples and 20 homers. The Union Giants won 100 of 126 games, traveling over 8000 miles in 13 states.

A newspaper reported that Haley hit over 40 homers in another season with the Union Giants.

In 1932, Haley was convinced to play integrated semipro ball in North Dakota for the Bismarck semipros. In October of that year, Bismarck played against the Earle Mack (Connie's son) Major League All-Star team and lost, 3-2, but Haley batted clean-up and knocked in all of Bismarck's runs with a two-run homer off Clint Brown, a 15 game winner for the Cleveland Indians.

Over the next two years, Haley alternated between shortstop, second and third, batting .393 in '34 with 15 doubles, 4 triples, 6 homers, and 7 stolen bases in 71 games.

After the '34 season, the Major Leaguers again came to town, this time for a 3-games series, and Haley went 2 for 4 with a triple against Ted Lyons (11 game winner with Chicago White Sox) in game 1, 1 for 4 against Tommy Thomas (6 game winner with Washington Senators) in game 2, and 1 for 4 against Earl Whitehill (14 game winner with Washington Senators) and Rube Walberg (6 game winner with Boston Red Sox) in game 3. Oh, by the way, Bismarck won all three games!

In 1935, Bismarck won the first National Semipro Championship, and Haley played a big role, playing mostly first base and batting .295 with 9 homers in the regular season and .321 in the National Semipro tournament. In '36, Haley batted .319 with 5 homers in 30 games while Bismarck won 40 of 48 games. Bismarck failed to win the National Championship again, leading to the disbanding of the team.

Haley continued to play integrated baseball in the Midwest for several years before retiring to the Chicago area. It's believed that Red died in the 1990s.