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Cowan "Bubba" Hyde

"[Bubba Hyde] could look back and run faster than a lotta guys that was playin'. When they played on the West Coast, Bubba Hyde followed Cool Papa and he could outrun him."
--Joe Scott in "The Negro Leagues Revisited," by Brent P. Kelley


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Negro Leaguer of the Month

February, 2008

Bubba Hyde, aka "Bubber"


Born: April 10, 1908 in Pontotac, MS
Died: November 20, 2003 in St. Louis, MO
Ht:5'-8", Wt: 150
Batted and threw right
Position: outfield
Playing Years: 1924-1955
Teams: Memphis Red Sox, Birmingham Black Barons, Indianapolis A's, Cincinnati Tigers, Palmer House All-Stars, Chicago American Giants, Minor Leagues

Bubba Hyde was a speedy outfielder for more than 30 years, known for his tough-as-nails hustling style of play, and his ability as a hitter.

Hyde was born in Pontotac, Mississippi, just 25 miles west of Tupelo, home town of Elvis Presley.

Hyde attended Rust college in Hilly Springs, Mississippi before signing with the Memphis Red Sox in 1924. Hyde wasn't quite ready for the lonely life of a professional player, so he quit and enrolled at Morris Brown College in Atlanta, where he played baseball and football.

In the late 1920s, Hyde returned to pro baseball, and stayed with it until the mid-50s.

Hyde was a great leadoff batter, and fine base stealer, and one of his managers, Double Duty Radcliffe, trusted Hyde enough to let him steal whenever he wanted. Radcliffe, by the way, recruited Hyde to play with the Memphis Red Sox, Cincy Tigers, Chicago American Giants, and Winnipeg Elmwood Giants because he loved having him on his teams.

Hyde was a first ball hitter, and didn't take many walks, but usually batted in the low .300s with about 70 stolen bases per season. Hyde had little power, averaging less than a homer per season, but had his fair share of doubles and triples.

Hyde once challenged, and beat, Olympic legend Jesse Owens in a race around the bases.

Hyde played in two East-West All-Star games, both representing Memphis, appearing as a pinch runner in 1943, and driving in a run with a single in the '46 game off lefty Barney Brown.

After the Negro Leagues faltered in the early 1950s, Hyde was recruited by Radcliffe to play with Winnipeg in the Manitoba-Dakota League.

In 1950s, Hyde batted .315 with Winnipeg, .348 in '51, .250 in '52, and '292 with 16 doubles, 10 triples, and 9 stolen bases for Brandon.*

Hyde, a caring man who worked with the "Meals on Wheels" organization into his 90s, was inducted into the St. Louis Baseball Hall of Fame in 1995.

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(some information from The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues)

(*Some information from www.attheplate.com)


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