Joe Black was born on Friday, February 8, 1924, in Plainfield, New Jersey. Black was 28 years old when he broke into the big leagues on May 1, 1952, with the Brooklyn Dodgers. His biographical data, year-by-year hitting stats, fielding stats, pitching stats (where applicable), career totals, uniform numbers, salary data and miscellaneous items-of-interest are presented by Baseball Almanac on this comprehensive Joe Black baseball stats page.
"The Dodgers won the '52 pennant with enormous help from their untouted twenty-nine-year-old rookie right-hander, Joe Black. Like ( Jackie ) Robinson , Black was a college man; he had graduated from Morgan State, a school for blacks located in Baltimore. Joe stood six feet two and weighed 220. He fired high fast balls at ninety-five miles an hour and wicked sliders down and away. He had read quite a bit, taking a minor in psychology, and he had no compunction about knocking down hitters. 'We're professionals,' he said. 'If I send a guy into the dirt, it isn't personal.' Most of the time. One day when he was pitching in Cincinnati some of the Reds , still an all-white team, began singing in their dugout 'Old Black Joe." Black knocked down two Cincinnati hitters and, as he remarked pleasantly afterward, 'The music stopped.'" - Author Roger Kahn in Into My Own: The Remarkable People and Events that Shaped a Life (St. Martin's Griffin, 06/12/2007, Page 281)
Joe Black Autograph on a 1991 Topps Archives Baseball Card (#81 | Checklist )
Joe Black Pitching Stats
Joe Black Hitting Stats
Joe Black Fielding Stats
Joe Black Miscellaneous Stats
|Baserunning Statistics||Other Positions||Common Hitting Ratios||Common Pitching Ratios|
Joe Black Miscellaneous Items of Interest
|Team [Click for Roster]||Uniform Numbers||Salary||All-Star||World Series|
|1952 Brooklyn Dodgers||49||$9,000.00||-||Stats|
|1953 Brooklyn Dodgers||49||$13,000.00||-||Stats|
|1954 Brooklyn Dodgers||49||Undetermined||-||-|
|1955 Brooklyn Dodgers||49||Undetermined||-||-|
|1955 Cincinnati Redlegs||49||Undetermined||-||-|
|1956 Cincinnati Redlegs||49||Undetermined||-||-|
|1957 Washington Senators||26||Undetermined||-||-|
|Joe Black Stats by Baseball Almanac|
Did you know that Joe Black was the first black pitcher in Major League history to win a World Series game? On October 1, 1952 , the 15 wins / 15 saves 28-year-old (who was about to also win the Rookie of the Year Award ) took the mound in the 1952 World Series opener in Ebbets Field . The Brooklyn Dodgers took a 4-2 victory behind the complete-game pitching of Joe Black, a rookie who'd started only twice during the regular season. Duke Snider hit a two-run homer for the Dodgers, and double-play partners Pee Wee Reese and Jackie Robinson chipped in with solo shots.
Joe Black had an interesting climb into the major leagues, first starring at baseball at Plainfield High School in New Jersey. Black received a baseball scholarship to Morgan State University, but entered into the military service from 1943 through 1945. During his enlisted time, he also played baseball in the Negro Leagues and continued doing so after he was discharged and up through 1950. Joe continued in school, received his degree in 1950, and was scouted then signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers that same year. Two short years in the minors and he was called up to the show where he made his debut on May 1, 1952 , appearing in relief and striking out the first two batters he faced ( Hank Sauer & Randy Jackson ). NONE of this might have been possible had it not been for a kind neighbor who saw Black playing with rocks in 1934, a story that appears in the wonderfully written book Meet the Real Joe Black: An Inspiring Life Baseball, Teaching, Business, Giving (Steven Selzer, iUniverse, 05/15/2010, Page 3):
My late father, Nathan Selzer, owned an auto body shop in our town, Plainfield, New Jersey. As is always the case, the show was located in the poorest neighborhood adjacent to the railroad tracks. The shop had a yard full of wrecked cars next to it. Right next to the yard was a very modest house where a family lived, the Black family, composed of two parents and six children. The children would often play outside and always greeted my father with a friendly smile and wave, which he would return.
On summer day, as my father was leaving work to go home, he spotted young Joe Black, age ten, throwing rocks against the front stoop of his house on East Fourth Street. This was a common activity for Joe, who greeted my father in the usual way. My father smiled back, but instead of waving, he raised his left arm and with a flipping motion tossed an object into the air toward Joe. The young boy followed the flight of what he could make out only as a white sphere. When it came down toward him, he instinctively caught it and started at it for a moment. He realized that this was the first real baseball he had ever touched. Joe looked up to thank my father. Too late. Nathan Selzer was down the road.
Hank Sauer / Joe Black Most Valuable Player Cartoon - The Sporting NewsThe 1952 Most Valuable Player Award went to Hank Sauer (226 points), but not without some debate. Robin Roberts finished second (211 points) and Joe Black was third (208 points). The cartoon below appeared in The Sporting News (December 3, 1952, 'How Could Robin or Black Miss? Eastern Scribes Inquire', Page 14). Comments published in the paper about Black included: "It's a ridiculous selection. Sauer cannot be mentioned in the same breath as Roberts or Black or Musial or Slaughter ", Joe Cashman (Boston Record). "Without a question it should have been Black. He won the pennant for Brooklyn and with a little luck would have won the World Series. How can you get around these facts", Jim McCulley (New York Daily News). "I cannot understand how anyone can rate Sauer over Roberts and Black", John Drebinger (New York Times). "Black deserved the award although there is no denying that Sauer was the most feared batter in the league until the last month", Barney Kremenko (New York Journal-American). Share your opinion on Baseball Fever .