Leaguer of the Month
Felix "Chin" Evans
Born: Oct. 3, 1911 in Atlanta
Died: Aug. 21, 1993 in Pampano Beach, FL
Ht:6'-2", Wt: 175
Batted and threw right
Playing Years: 1921-1937
Teams: Atlanta Athletics, Jacksonville Red Caps, Newark Eagles, Ethiopian Clowns, Birmingham Black Barons, Memphis Red Sox, Atlanta Black Crackers, Baltimore Elite Giants,
Chin Evans was one of the Negro American League's top pitchers of the late 1930s and 40s.
Evans grew up in Atlanta, played baseball and football at Atlanta's Moorehouse College, and in 1935 achieved his boyhood dream of playing with his hometown Atlanta Black Crackers.
In 1938, the Black Crackers had one of their best seasons ever, with Evans leading a pitching staff that included rookie Bullet Dixon, and Telosh Howard; the Crackers also featured flashy first baseman Red Moore and sluggers Babe Davis and Joe Greene.
The Black Crax won the Negro American League's second-half pennant, and faced the first-half pennant winner, the Memphis Red Sox for the league championship.
In the first game of the playoffs, Evans faced Memphis star Double Duty Radcliffe. Duty beat Evans, 6-1, Memphis won the second game, then both teams argued about the location of the remaining games and the series was called off, with each team, of course, claiming the championship.
In 1939, Evans joined the Ethiopian Clowns, played under the name "Kalihari," and helped the team finish fifth in the Denver Post Tournament. The Clowns also carried Showboat Thomas, Dave Barnhill and Roosevelt Davis, all of whom played under "African" names.
Evans figured, "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em," and in 1940 he joined the Memphis Red Sox and stayed with them for nine years.
In 1946, Evans had only one loss by the All-Star break, and was named the starting pitcher in the East-West Game. Evans allowed one hit in three innings against a fearsome East lineup that included future Hall of Famers Larry Doby, Monte Irvin, Josh Gibson and Buck Leonard. Evans struck out two (Doby and Howard Easterling), and walked two. A month later, Evans pitched in the lesser known North-South Game, and was the winning pitcher.
Evans, a tall and lean right-hander, had a fine fastball, but was know more for his awesome curveball, comparble to that of Bert Blyleven's. In an average season, Evans won between 15-25 games against all competition. Evans could also swing the bat, batting in the high .280s in his best seasons, and playing outfield or pinch-hitting when called upon.
(some information from The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues)