The next Negro Baseball League legend we spotlight in my long-running series is “Cyclone” Joe Williams, one of the greatest pitchers to take a mound in the first third of the 20th Century:
Pitching an incredible 27-years, he starred in the Negro Leagues as well
as the Mexican and Caribbean Leagues between 1907 and 1932.
According to some sources, some of his pro seasons included records of
28-4, 20-2 and 32-8 playing for teams such as the Chicago Leland Giants
and Homestead Grays.
While the great Satchel Paige gets much of the attention of baseball
fans and historians, there is a frequent debate as to whether Williams
is in fact the greatest pitcher to toe the rubber in Negro League
history, even being recognized as such in a 1952 poll held by the
Even noted Baseball historian Bill James named Williams the 52nd
greatest player (and 12th greatest pitcher) in baseball history when he
released his “100 Greatest Players in Baseball History” some 20-years
In 1999, Cooperstown gave Williams his rightful place in their hallowed
halls, electing him for enshrinement by the Veteran’s Committee.