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Quincy Trouppe



"[He] was terrific. My gosh!
How they kept [him] out of the Major Leagues,
I never could understand."

--Joe Desiderato, semipro baseball star

 


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Negro Leaguer of the Month
June, 2002

Quincy Trouppe

Position: Catcher
Career: 1930-1952
Teams:
St. Louis Stars, Detroit Wolves, Homestead Grays, Kansas City Monarchs, Chicago American Giants, Bismarck Churchills, Cleveland Buckeyes, Indianapolis ABCs, Cleveland Indians, Drummondville Cubs, Guadalajara Mexico Jaliscos, Havana Cuba Marianos, Caraquas Venezuela Magallanes

HT: 6'-2"; WT: 220 lbs
Batted both; threw right
Born:
Dec. 25, 1912 in Dublin, Georgia
Died: Aug. 10, 1993 in Creve Coeur, Missouri.

A strong-armed catcher who could hit for average and power from both sides of the plate, Quincy Trouppe was one of the most valuable players of the 1930s and 40s.

Trouppe grew up in the Compton Hill area of St. Louis and was a star at every sport he tried: basketball, baseball and especially boxing--he was a Golden Gloves champion.

At Vashon High School Trouppe was a star athlete and his baseball team, one of only two black high schools in town, played at the Stars' park for the city championship in 1930. Vashon won, and Trouppe impressed many of the St. Louis Stars who were at the park to play a game later in the day.

Cool Papa Bell, Ted Trent and Double Double Duty were impressed enough to convince the Stars to sign Trouppe, only 17.

Trouppe's playing was relegated to pitching, and after the season he was offered a roster spot as a pitcher. He declined saying he wanted to catch, which was impossible on the Stars who carried Radcliffe and a good backup already.

Trouppe then played two seasons with the Chicago American Giants and Kansas City Monarchs before Radcliffe convinced him to play with the integrated '33 Bismarck, North Dakota Churchills, where he would make more money and get a chance to catch everyday. It was also a great experience because Bismarck would feature pitchers Satchel Paige and Roosevelt Davis in '33, and later Radcliffe, Hilton Smith, Barney Morris and Chet Brewer.

From 1933-1936 Trouppe was a mainstay with Bismarck where he consistently batted over .300 with power from both sides of the plate, and became a top-notch defensive catcher. He also still could pitch if needed and was an outstanding center fielder when Double Duty came to the team in '35 and took over the catching duties. The Churchills won the National Semipro Championship in '35 with Trouppe hitting .309 during the season and .280 with four doubles and a triple in the tournament. Bismarck would defend its title in '36 and lose, but Trouppe batted .407 in the tournament.

Some of Trouppe's prime seasons were spent in Mexico where he starred with Monterrey and Mexico City. In 1944 Trouppe and his teammate, pitcher Theolic Smith, were orderd to return to the U.S. for defense jobs. Jorge Pasquel, the rich owner of most of the Mexican League teams, arranged for 80,000 Mexican workers to be exchanged for the baseball services of Truoppe and Smith. The U.S. Governement accepted.

In 1945 Trouppe returned to the U.S. as player-manager of the Cleveland Buckeyes featuring Chet Brewer, Avelino Canizares, Sam Jethroes and the pitching Jefferson brothers, Willie and George. Cleveland won the Negro American League pennant and played the Homestead Grays in the Negro World Series. Trouppe batted over .400 as the Buckeyes beat the favored Grays in four straight games.

Trouppe played in the Negro Leagues a few more years before playing and managing the Provincial League's Drummondville team in Quebec, Ontario where he won the championship.

In 1952 Trouppe got a call from Cleveland Indians president Hank Greenberg, a call that was 15 years overdue. "We'd like you to try out with the Indians." was the gist of the call.

Trouppe, well past his prime, played in a handful of games and batted 10 times with one hit. He was then optioned to the Indianapolis of the American Association where he finished out the season. Trouppe never got another shot at the Big Leagues.

Trouppe played in the East-West game five times--each time his team won! After retiring from baseball, Trouppe was a scout for the Cardinals for 10 years.

Trouppe, like Double Duty, was an excellent manager as well as first-rate catcher. "I taught him a lot," Radcliffe bragged years ago. "He gave me credit for making him what he is today. He turned out to be one of the best."