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Aug 05

Sammy T Hughes “Towering Second Sacker”

He was the top second baseman of his time. A write up in the Baltimore Afro-American makes the statement that many called him the best black second baseman of all time. A solid hitter, he was a master at putting the ball in play. While records are fragmentary, in his twelve seasons in the minors he batted .294. Hughes was tall, listed at 6-03. It is hard to find an article about him that does not reference his height.

He was born in Louisville in 1910. He played for Louisville White Sox in 1930 and 1931. The Washington Afro-American claims he was with the 1932 Washington Pilots Club, with Ben Taylor. Ben Taylor was also associated with the Pilots. If so then the Charlie Hughes on the list by BaseballReference.com is Sammy Hughes.

Hughes went on to play for the Baltimore Elite Giants in 1933 and was a fixture. Although in 1936 he played with the Washington Elite Giants, then went back to Baltimore, and stayed with them until 1942 then entered the military. During the war he served in the South Pacific and was discharged in 1946. He played for Baltimore that year, his last in the Negro Leagues. He is credited with a .294 batting average.

In August 1943 word spread that Hughes; Dave Barnhill along with Roy Campanella would get a look from the Pittsburgh Pirates. It never happened. Feeding the rumors about the possibility of the color line being broken, major league scouts were in the stands at the East-West Negro League All Star game that year. His wife Mildred was voted one of the most popular baseball wives in 1942.