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John Lloyd Thread

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  • John Lloyd Thread

    Introducing John Henry Lloyd---AKA Pop Lloyd

    Born: April 25, 1884, Jacksonville, Florida
    Died: March 19, 1965, Atlantic City, NJ

    wikipedia article

    Career:1905-1932

    Lloyd was born April 15, 1884, and made it to semi-pro by 1905, at age of 21. John Henry LLoyd was discovered in 1905 on the sandlots of Jacksonville by Rube Foster. He soon joined Foster's team, the Cuban X-Giants. He started as a catcher. In 1907, his manager switched him from 2B to SS. He traveled the Negro leagues pretty well. From his stint with the X-Giants until he became player-manager of the Brooklyn Royal Giants in 1918, he established himself as a winner wherever he went. Between 1906 and 1918, he played with great teams such as the Philadelphia Giants, Leland Giants, New York, Lincoln Giants, Chicago American Giants, and the New York Lincoln Stars.

    It wasn't unusual for him to go south every winter, ending up playing 12 months a yr. He played the position so well, that they called him the "Black Honus Wagner". Wagner, after watching Lloyd play, switched the compliment to, "It's a privilege to have been compared to him."

    Beginning in 1918 when he became the playing-manager of the Brooklyn Royal Giants, Lloyd jumped from one team to another until he settled with the Hilldale Daisies in 1922. The next year, Lloyd hit a sensational .418, leading Hilldale to its first pennant. He left the team to join the Bacharach Giants after he was fired due to some quarrels with the Daisies owner. John stayed with the Giants for 2 years before returning to New York in 1926 to manage/play with the Lincoln Giants. He stayed with this team until 1930 when he decided to go back to the Bacharach Giants. Lloyd played his final 2 years with the Giants.

    Throughout his career he was praised by many people include the major league players and coaches. Many baseball historians say that he was one of the best black players ever, but the mighty Babe Ruth, disregarding his race, said he was the greatest baseball player of all time! Lloyd died in 1965, 12 years before he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1977.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Excerpt from James A Riley's book.

    "Essential to any team's success during the deadball era was the presence of John Henry Lloyd, the greatest black baseball player during the first two decades of the century. The tall, rangy superstar was the greatest shortstop of his day, black or white, and with the exception of Honus Wagner in his prime, no major leaguer could compare with him. Wagner is reported to have said that he considered it a privilege to be compared to Lloyd.

    He was a complete ballplayer who could hit, run, field, throw, and hit with power, especially in the clutch. A superior hitter and a dangerous base runner, his knowledge and application of inside baseball as defined in the era allowed him to generate runs with a variety of skills.

    In the field he was a superlative fielder who studied batters and positioned himself wisely, got a good jump on the ball, and possessed exceptional range and sure hands with which he dug balls out of the dirt like a shovel.

    . . . John McGraw assessed the country's sociological climate while appraising his ability: "If we could bleach this Lloyd boy, we would show the National League a new phenomenon." Some of his BA.:

    1907 - .250
    1910 - .417
    1911 - .475
    1912 - .376
    1913 - .363
    1921 - .336
    1922 - .387
    1923 - .418
    1924 - .444 - 2nd base
    1925 - .330 - 2nd base
    1926 - .349 - 2nd base
    1927 - .375 - 2nd base
    1928 - .564 - 1st base
    1929 - .362
    1930 - .312

    12 Winter seasons in Cuba, between 1908-30 resulted in a BA. of .321.
    (The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues, by James A. Riley, 2002, pp. 486-489.)

    I have Wagner as my #2 man all-time, and Pop's my #10th. Bill James has Wagner as his #2 also, and Pop is his #22.

    From 1907-10, he played each winter in Cuba, and in Nov.- Dec., 1910, the Detroit Tigers visited Cuba for a set of 12 games. Initially, Cobb didn't want to go. But when the Cuban promoters offered an additional $1,000. bonus, plus travel expenses. He said, "I decided to break my own rule for a few games."

    In the last game, Mendez fanned Ty once, Ty got a single, and Petway threw him out at 2nd when he tried to steal. For 5 games, Ty went 7 x 19= .370. Crawford hit .360 in 12 games, and Lloyd hit .500, Johnson .412, and Petway .390, all against top ML pitching.

    So, as a point of comparison, Wagner played a set of 7 games against the 1909 Tigers, in the World Series, basicly the same bunch that Lloyd played a year later. And Wagner managed a .333 BA. against the same pitching Lloyd hit .500 against.

    Lloyd played against McGraws Giants in 1913, McGraw toyed with bringing him into the NL. That's how impressed Little Napoleon was with him. At 5'11, 180, he was acknowledged as one of the campfire legends of the game. By 1918, he started managing/playing, which he continued until he retired in 1931, at age 47. By then he had switched to 1B, but could still hit. He settled in Atlantic City, NJ, married in '44. He continued to fool around with semi-pro until he was 58, playing 1B. Esquire magazine did a story on him in '38, bringing him to the attention of the white fans. He became a janitor in the Atlantic City post office, and in the mid-30's, became school janitor at the Indiana Avenue school. The kids all loved him and called him Pop.

    Lloyd died on March 19, 1965 in Atlantic City at age 80, 12 years before he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1977.

    Men like Mack, McGraw and Hughie Jennings all called him among the best players in BB history. In various yrs., he often hit around .450.

    This brief summary was culled from Marty Appel's fantastic book, Baseball's Best, 1980, pp. 413-414.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Wagner/Lloyd
    Lloyd was born Aril 15, 1884, and made it to semi-pro by 1905, at age of 21.
    He started as a catcher. He traveled the Negro leagues pretty well. In 1907, his manager switched him from 2B to SS. It wasn't unusual for him to go south every winter, ending up playing 12 months a yr. He played the position so well, that they called him the "Black Honus Wagner". Wagner, after watching Lloyd play, switched the compliment to, "It's a privilege to have been compared to him."

    From 1907-10, he played each winter in Cuba, and in Nov.- Dec., 1910, the Detroit Tigers visited Cuba for a set of 12 games. Initially, Cobb didn't want to go. But when the Cuban promoters offered an additional $1,000. bonus, plus travel expenses. He said, "I decided to break my own rule for a few games."

    Crawford, Mullin and all the starting Tiger pitchers went along. Plus O'Leary, Willet, Moriarty, T. Jones, Casey, Stanage, McIntyre, Schaefer went along. Mullen also managed. The Cubans were joined by black US stars, Bruce Petway, Pete Hill, Grant Johnson and Pop Lloyd, sometimes called the black Honus Wagner. Cobb dilly-dallied in Key West before he arrived in Havana, on Nov. 26, by which time, the Tigers had gone 3-3-1 with the black ballplayers. With Cobb they finished, 7-4-1. In the last game, Mendez fanned Ty once, Ty got a single, and Petway threw him out at 2nd when he tried to steal. For 5 games, Ty went 7 x 19= .370. Crawford hit .360 in 12 games, and Lloyd hit .500, Johnson .412, and Petway .390, all against top ML pitching.

    So, as a point of comparison, Wagner played a set of 7 games against the 1909 Tigers, basicly the same bunch that Lloyd played a year later. And Wagner managed a .333 BA. against the same pitching Lloyd hit .500 against.

    Lloyd played against McGraws Giants in 1913, McGraw toyed with bringing him into the NL. That's how impressed Little Napoleon was with him. At 5'11, 180, he was acknowleged as one of the campfire legends of the game. By 1918, he started managing/playing, which he continued until he retired in 1931, at age 47. By then he had switched to 1B, but could still hit. He settled in Atlantic City, NJ, married in '44. He continued to fool around with semi-pro until he was 58, playing 1B. Esquire magazine did a story on him in '38, bringing him to the attention of the white fans. He became a janitor in the Atlantic City post office, and in the mid-30's, became school janitor at the Indiana Avenue school. The kids all loved him and called him Pop. He died on March 19, 1965 in Atlantic City at age 80.

    Men like Mack, McGraw and Hughie Jennings all called him among the best players in BB history. In various yrs., he often hit around .450.

    Ultimately, I have to give it to Wagner, since without verifiable stats against qualified opposition, I can't assume Lloyd was better, or even as good. This brief summary was culled from Marty Appel's fantastic book, Baseball's Best, 1980, pp. 413-414.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    John Henry Lloyd
    The Negro Leagues produced a wealth of fine all-around shortstops, strong hitters and fielders both, but none rivaled John Henry Lloyd. "Pop" was the best Negro League player before the Negro National League in 1920. A star defensively who could play any infield position, Lloyd was also a marvelous base runner, a talented and patient hitter, and among the best at applying the "inside baseball" strategies favored in Negro League play. Expert at manufacturing a run, Lloyd competed for more than 10 teams during his storied career, playing for the owner willing to pay him the most. A man of strong moral fiber and particularly wonderful temperament, Pop Lloyd was one of the greatest three position players to play in the Negro Leagues.

    Estimated Win Shares from Baseball Think Factory for Negro Leaguers already in the BBF HOF
    Pop Lloyd: His estimated average in the majors is .292, with 3411 career hits. He gets 490 career WS, 150 for his best 5 consecutive, and a best three of 37, 33 and 33.
    -----------------------------------------------------------
    ---John Henry "Pop" Lloyd---Baseball Think Factory---BB Library bio---Bill Burgess' write-up
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 11-08-2010, 06:02 PM.

  • #2
    wikipedia article

    John Henry "Pop" Lloyd (April 25, 1884 - March 19, 1964) was an American baseball player and manager in the Negro Leagues. He is generally considered the greatest shortstop in Negro League history, and both Babe Ruth and Ted Harlow, a noted sportswriter, reportedly believed Lloyd to be the greatest baseball player ever.

    He was a heavy hitter, usually batting cleanup during his prime, but also knew how to play "inside baseball," and was an expert place hitter and bunter. He was also a renowned shortstop, ranked by most experts as second only to Dick Lundy among black shortstops before integration, and was referred to as the "Black Wagner," a reference to Pittsburgh Pirates Hall-of-Famer Honus Wagner. (On Lloyd, Wagner said "It's an honor to be compared to him.")[2] Known for his gentlemanly conduct, Lloyd was probably the most sought-after African-American player of his generation. "Wherever the money was, that's where I was," he once said. His career record bears him out, showing him moving from team to team constantly.

    Born in Palatka, Florida, Lloyd began his professional baseball career in 1905, playing catcher for the Acmes of Macon, Georgia. He played second base with the Cuban X Giants of Philadelphia in 1906. The following season, Sol White signed him for the X Giants' arch rivals, the Philadelphia Giants, and moved him to shortstop, where he would remain through the bulk of his career. In 1910, Lloyd accepted Rube Foster's invitation to join the Chicago Leland Giants, where he anchored a team that Foster described as the greatest of all time. He rejoined White on the newly-organized Lincoln Giants in 1911, batting .475 against all competition. Lloyd took over as player manager for 1912 and 1913, and in the latter year the Lincolns defeated the Chicago American Giants in a playoff series to become the undisputed champions of black baseball.


    In 1914, Lloyd travelled west again to play for the American Giants. He split the 1915 season between the New York-based Lincoln Stars and the American Giants, then spent all of 1916 and 1917 with Foster's team. In 1918, Lloyd served as player manager of the Brooklyn Royal Giants, leaving the club early to work for the Army Quartermaster Depot in Chicago. 1919 saw him join the Bacharach Giants of Atlantic City, then 1920 found him back with the Royal Giants.

    In 1921, he was hired to organize a new team in Foster's young Negro National League. Lloyd's Columbus Buckeyes were not a notable success, however, on the field or in the box office, finishing seventh in a field of eight, and folded upon season's end. The following year found Lloyd back in the east helming the Bacharach Giants, who had moved to New York City.

    When the Eastern Colored League was formed in 1923, Ed Bolden hired Lloyd to manage the Hilldale Club. Lloyd brought home the first ECL pennant by a wide margin, guiding Hilldale to a 32-17 record. He did not, however, get along with Bolden, and 1924 saw Lloyd return to the Bacharachs, now based again in Atlantic City. With the brilliant young shortstop Dick Lundy on the roster, the 40-year-old Lloyd moved himself to second base. He hit .444 to win the 1924 ECL batting title, at one point reeling off 11 straight base hits. The Bacharachs, however, enjoyed only indifferent success under Lloyd during his two years there, finishing fourth both seasons (with records of 30-29 and 26-27).

    The Lincoln Giants, who had finished in last place in 1925, hired Lloyd to manage them for 1926. They improved to fifth (19-22), then played 1927 and most of 1928 as an independent club. It was during the latter season that Lloyd moved himself to first base, while enjoying a fine season at the plate, batting .402 against top black clubs. In 1929, the Lincolns compiled the second-best overall record (40-26) in the American Negro League. Lloyd finished up his career managing the Bacharach Giants in 1931-32, and upon his retirement settled permanently in Atlantic City.

    Lloyd played extensively in Cuba, beginning with a 1907 visit to Havana by the Philadelphia Giants. Altogether he spent twelve seasons in the Cuban League from 1908/09 to 1930, batting .329 for his career, and playing on three championship teams (Habana in 1912 and Almendares in 1924/25 and 1925/26). In Cuba he was called La Cuchara, "The Spoon," either due to his practice of scooping up ground balls, or because of his prominent chin.

    According to the historian John Holway, Lloyd batted .337 (970 hits in 2881 at bats) in the Negro Leagues.

    Lloyd was inducted posthumously into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1977.
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 11-02-2010, 03:29 PM.

    Comment


    • #3
      Baseball Library

      Pop Lloyd, premier Negro League shortstop and baseball nomad, was promoted by many as the greatest player of all time. He played on at least a dozen different teams in his 26-year career. When asked why so many teams, Lloyd replied, "Where the money was, that's where I played." A tall, angular man with a Dick Tracy profile, Lloyd was a nondrinking, soft-spoken gentleman who seldom cursed. He was a complete professional, on and off the field.
      Lloyd was a lefthanded line-drive hitter who used a closed stance. He held the bat in the cradle of his left elbow, and would uncoil to unleash a controlled attack on the baseball. A gifted runner with long, smooth strides, he deceived opponents into underrating his speed. He was often compared to Honus Wagner. Connie Mack of the Philadelphia A's, who spent 50 years in the game, said, "Put Lloyd and Wagner in the same bag and whichever one you pulled out, you wouldn't go wrong."

      Lloyd began as a catcher in 1905 with the Macon Acmes, who could not provide him with a mask. After one season, he moved to the Cuban X-Giants as an infielder. He helped the Philadelphia Giants to a league championship the following year and stayed two more. He spent 1910 with the Leland Giants, who posted a 123-6 record, before moving on to the New York Lincoln Giants, for whom he hit .475 in 1911 and .376 in 1912.

      Rube Foster enticed Lloyd to join his Chicago American Giants, and from 1914 through 1917 Lloyd batted cleanup for the four-time Western League champions. His teammates there included such greats as Oscar Charleston, Bingo DeMoss, Louis Santop, Smokey Joe Williams, and Cannonball Dick Redding. Chicago won world championships in '14 and '17.

      Lloyd played 12 seasons in Cuba, where he earned the nickname El Cuchara - The Shovel. He was known for scooping up handfuls of dirt while adeptly fielding his position. In Cuba, he compiled a .329 batting average and twice led the league in triples. He excelled in a 1910 series played in Havana against the Detroit Tigers. The Tigers won 7 of the 12 games, with Ty Cobb itting .369 in five contests. But Cobb's average was only good enough for fourth place; Lloyd batted .500 in 12 games and added insult to injury by tagging Cobb out on three consecutive basestealing attempts. In 29 recorded games against white major leaguers, Lloyd batted .321.

      As Lloyd's legs began to go, he moved from SS to first base. Approaching age thirty-five, he signed with the Brooklyn Royal Giants as player-manager, and was active for three abbreviated seasons before going to the Columbus Buckeyes in 1921. Then thirty-eight, Lloyd led the Buckeyes in games, hits, doubles, and stolen bases while batting .337. Rejuvenated, he topped the .320 mark for Hilldale in 1923 and for the Bacharach Giants in 1924-25. He was forty-four when he hit a league-leading .564 for the New York Lincoln Giants in 1928; he also led with 11 HR and 10 SB in a 37-game schedule.

      When Babe Ruth was interviewed by pioneering announcer Graham McNamee, he was asked who was the greatest player of all time. Ruth asked, "You mean major leaguers?" "No," replied McNamee, "the greatest player anywhere." "In that case," responded Ruth, "I'd pick John Henry Lloyd." Lloyd was elected to the Hall of Fame by the Committee on Negro Baseball Leagues in 1977. (LL)

      Comment


      • #4
        New book on Lloyd due out Spring, 2011 by McFarland.

        Comment


        • #5
          Will pick it up for sure.

          Comment


          • #6
            It's an intolerable shame that stars like this not only missed fame in their time, but fame in modern baseball. I wish more casual fans were more familiar with the likes of Lloyd, Charleston, and Gibson. While we can never accurately rank Lloyd, I'm sure he would have been a wonder to the world all over. It's also nice to see some of the white MLB stars of his time being indifferent to race.
            "Allen Sutton Sothoron pitched his initials off today."--1920s article

            Comment


            • #7
              Bump. Great thread, I hope to add to it sometime soon. One of the forgotten all-time greats of the game.
              "It ain't braggin' if you can do it." Dizzy Dean

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Herr28 View Post
                Bump. Great thread, I hope to add to it sometime soon. One of the forgotten all-time greats of the game.
                I've come to appreciate him more too. The left-handed Wagner. Could do it all.
                Red, it took me 16 years to get here. Play me, and you'll get the best I got.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Pop Lloyd
                  Years played: 1906-1932 (13 winters in Cuba)
                  Main position: shortstop
                  All star selections: Holway 13
                  MVP selections: Holway 4, ESPN 5, James 1 (remember, James’ season by season picks begin in 1920)
                  League champions on: 16 American summer, 1 California Winter, 6 Cuban Winter
                  League leading performances: In American summer play, he was in the top two in average three times (led twice) and led in steals once. In California, he led in average once. In Cuba, he has the fourth best career average at .329 and led once in hits and once in homers.
                  Expert rankings: top shortstop in CPDD historian’s poll, 1st team shortstop in Courier poll, tied for fifth in SABR poll, third shortstop in Museum poll, James’ best Negro league shortstop, 2d best shortstop of all time and 27th overall, second team shortstop in Clark selections, and on Team #1 in the All World selections.


                  He’s frequently compared to Honus Wagner, and while I can’t quite rate him that highly, he probably comes as close as any retired shortstop ever has. Shades of Glory’s data begins when Lloyd was 36, but their data has him with a .343 average, .393 OBP and .450 slugging with 18.9 steals per 550 AB. That’s flat out impressive for someone from that point of his career on. The fragmentary records from 1919 and earlier suggest the Shades of Glory numbers are not out of line with his earlier play. He certainly had a long career toiling for many winners and garners a lot of respect from experts in all star and MVP picks.

                  Lloyd got a lot of praise for his defense, and the length of time he played at short would seem to confirm that his defense was top shelf. While I don’t think he comes close to catching Wagner, I don’t see any other retired shortstop as being particularly close to Lloyd, either.
                  Seen on a bumper sticker: If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
                  Some minds are like concrete--thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
                  A Lincoln: I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thanks for posting that info, I really like the combined breakdowns you have from the different sources and experts like Holway, James, etc. It really helps to pull things together in a concise and clear manner. Great work!

                    I really got interested in Lloyd when I read about him at the museum in KC a couple years ago. I never see him get much praise around the site here, not like Gibson or Charleston anyway. It is kind of surprising to me that he doesn't get more attention, but perhaps it is because of the timing of his career? I have a few more books on the Negro Leagues coming in the mail, so hopefully I can get more than what is already in Riley's encyclopedia. One of the books I am waiting for is from Holway, and I am real excited about that one.
                    "It ain't braggin' if you can do it." Dizzy Dean

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Double post.
                      Last edited by Herr28; 02-13-2015, 12:44 PM.
                      "It ain't braggin' if you can do it." Dizzy Dean

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Dare I say he was even more versatile than Wagner, b/c he could play any infield position AND catch (something Wagner couldn't or didn't do).

                        I find it cool that he had to wear a wire basket as a catcher's mask b/c his team couldn't afford a real one.
                        Red, it took me 16 years to get here. Play me, and you'll get the best I got.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I guess Lloyd never played outfield, so he and Honus' versatility are about the same.

                          It seems Connie Mack was right - "put them in a bag, pull one out, and you can't go wrong."
                          Red, it took me 16 years to get here. Play me, and you'll get the best I got.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by torez77 View Post
                            Dare I say he was even more versatile than Wagner, b/c he could play any infield position AND catch (something Wagner couldn't or didn't do).

                            I find it cool that he had to wear a wire basket as a catcher's mask b/c his team couldn't afford a real one.
                            Yikes?! No way, that isn't cool. I was thinking how they adjusted it to be a mask, with rags or some kind of padding. I catch in my league in Austin, and no way would I want just a wire basket over my face, unless it was real strong. I don't know how those guys survived catching back then without some kind of helmet, too. Catching is a helluva lot of fun, but man it gets painful back there sometimes.
                            "It ain't braggin' if you can do it." Dizzy Dean

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                            • #15
                              They did make things to last back in those days, so I'd think that at least the basket would have been strong enough. I have a hard time believing it would have been comfortable stuffed with rags or whatever, and I suspect the mask would have stayed on while he was in the field no matter what happened. It wouldn't have come off naturally, and would be a pain to get on right again.
                              Seen on a bumper sticker: If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
                              Some minds are like concrete--thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
                              A Lincoln: I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

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