The next Negro Leagues legend we spotlight is shortstop extraordinaire Willie Wells, who put together a 25-year professional career between the NPL and Mexican Leagues between 1924 and 1948:
A ten-time all-star, Wells was also a Cuban League Most Valuable Player
twice, in 1929/30 and 1939/40, and holds the Negro National League
record of 27 home runs in a season in 1926, this third year as a pro.
As was one of my previous players spot-lighted, Mule Suttles, Wells was a
part of the “Million Dollar Infield” along with Ray Dandridge and Dick
Seay playing for the Newark Eagles.
Though an excellent hitter, Wells was particularly known for his
defensive skills at short, and is credited as mentoring Jackie Robinson
with infield defense including turning a double-play.
As for his offense, Wells recorded stats for the Negro Leagues are
impressive, retiring with a .319 batting average along with a .510
slugging percentage and exactly 100 home runs in 756 games played.
A member of the Mexican and Cuban Halls of Fame, Wells was also inducted
into the American Hall of Fame in 1997 by the Veteran’s Committee,
capping off the career of one of the greatest shortstops in Negro