All Time Lists: 20 Greatest Players of the Negro Leagues

Greatest Negro Leagues team in history? 1932 Pittsburgh Crawfords. Standing: Benny Jones, L.D. Livingston, Satchel Paige*, Josh Gibson*, Ray Williams, Walter Cannady, Cy Perkins, Oscar Charleston*. Kneeling: Sam Streeter, Chester Williams, Harry Williams, Harry Kincannon, Henry Spearman, Jimmie Crutchfield, Bobby Williams, Ted "Double Duty" Radcliffe. (*Hall of Fame)
Ray Dandridge plaque in the National Baseball Hall of Fame
(Source: Penale52) Ray Dandridge plaque in the National Baseball Hall of Fame

Ray Dandridge, Third Base

Raymond Emmitt “Squat” Dandridge (August 31, 1913 – February 12, 1994), was a star third baseman. He grew up in Richmond, Virginia, but was discovered in 1933 playing in non-professional games in Detroit by Detroit Stars manager Candy Jim Taylor. He was soon recruited to the Newark NJ Dodgers (later Eagles) from 1934 to 1938. He was part of the “Million Dollar Infield” of Dick Seay, Mule Suttles, and Willie Wells.

He moved to play in the better paying Mexican leagues in 1939, where he was for nine of the next ten seasons. He rejoined the Eagles for one last season in 1944. In 1947, Bill Veeck of the Cleveland Indians invited him to play in the Major Leagues, but he declined to not have to move his family.

He was considered one of the greatest fielders in baseball history, never committing more than two errors in a single season. He was also a tutor to a young Willie Mays. He was too old to enter the Major Leagues after integration, but continued as a scout for the San Francisco Giants, and later oversaw a recreation complex in Newark, NJ. He died at the age of 80 in Palm Bay, Florida in 1984, was inducted to the Hall of Fame in 1987.