Leaguer of the Month
Born: October 28, 1920 in Springville, Alabama
Ht:5'-10", Wt: 165
Batted left and threw right.
Teams: Birmingham Black Barons, Oakland Oaks (minor-league),
Portland Beavers (minor-league), Sacramento Salons (minor-league),
, Seattle Rainers (minor-league), Kennewick (minor-league), New
York Giants (major-league)
baseball fans think that Ted Williams was the last .400 in the
Big Leagues, but he's really only the last .400 hitter in the
Major Leagues, because in the Negro American League in 1948 Artie
Wilson batted .402 and led his team to the Negro League World
they both batted .400, Williams and Wilson didn't have a lot in
common hitting-wise besides that fact that they were both left-handed.
While Wall's was a power-hitting pull hitter with below-average
speed, Wilson slapped linedrives to the opposite field and used
his great speed. Both batters were nearly impossible to strike
Wilson grew up in Alabama, the hotbed of Negro League talent,
and played in an industrial semipro league until he was signed
by the Birmingham Black Barons at age 23.
Wilson made the All-Star team in his rookie year and went 2 for
4 as his West squad won. Wilson would repeat as an all-star in
'46, '47 and '48, batting .423 in 7 games. In one of the 1947
games (there were two played that year), Wilson went 4 for 4,
walked once and stole 2 bases!
Negro Leaguers are asked who the top Major League prospects were
when Jackie Robinson was signed in 1946, Artie Wilson's name comes
up frequently, along with his double-play partner Piper Davis.
had a soft glove and excellent arm and became the top shortstop
in the Negro Leagues as Willie Wells and Sam Bankhead lost a step
1949, Wilson entered Organized Baseball with the Oakland Oaks,
batting .348 to lead the league and also leading the loop in stolen
bases with 47. Wilson often roomed with Billy Martin on the road.
After another successful season in '50, Wilson was brought up
to the New York Giants. After only 22 Major League at bats, mostly
as a pinch hitter, Wilson could muster only 4 singles and he was
sent down to the Minors.
Throughout the 1950s, Wilson would star for several teams in the
Pacific Coast League, winning three additional batting titles,
but he would never play in the Big Leagues again.
Wilson had a lifetime batting average of around .350 in the Negro
Leagues and about .314 in the Minors.
has worked for a car dealership in Portland, Oregon for the last
2003, Wilson was inducted into the Pacific Coast League Hall of
Fame, joining such stars as Joe Dimaggio, Ike Boone, Smead Jolley
and Lefty O'Doul.
read more about the Oakland Oaks and the Pacific Coast League,