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Only the Ball Was WhiteA History of Legendary Black Players and All-Black Professional Teams$
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Robert Peterson

Print publication date: 1992

Print ISBN-13: 9780195076370

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195076370.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use.date: 06 July 2022

The Black Wagner

The Black Wagner

(p.74) 6 The Black Wagner
Only the Ball Was White

Robert Peterson

Oxford University Press

The chapter discusses the story of John Henry Lloyd or more commonly, Black Wagner, in the United States, and El Cuchara or the Shovel, in Cuba, due to his protruding jaw and shovel-like hands. He played for major league baseball and even had a managing career afterwards. His professional balling was put in the limelight and even after he retired and went to work as a school janitor, he was known for his mild manners and good nature and he was regarded as a legend by school children. He was regarded as the greatest baseball player in the annals of Negro baseball. One St. Louis reporter was even quoted saying that the best player in organized baseball was Babe Ruth but taking into consideration all baseball—organized or unorganized—, his answer would be John Henry Lloyd.

Keywords:   John Henry Lloyd, Black Wagner, Shovel, El Cuchara, school janitor, Negro baseball, greatest baseball player

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