Bill Foster, Pitcher
William Hendrick “Bill” Foster (June 12, 1904 – September 16, 1978) was a left-handed pitcher for the Nego Leagues in the 1920s and 1930s. He was a much younger half-brother of fellow star, Rube Foster.
Bill Foster was born in 1904 in Calvert, Texas, and grew up in Rodney, Mississippi. He played for the Memphis Red Sox in 1923 and 1924, and then the Chicago America Giants from 1925 to 1930, then again from 1932 to 1935 and in 1937. He also played for the Homestead Grays and the Kansas City Monarchs in 1931 and the Pittsburgh Crawfords in 1936.
He starred in the Chicago American Giants teams that won the Negro League World Series’ in 1926 and 1927, the Negro Southern Pennant in 1932, and the Negro National League Pennant in 1933. In 1926, he won 23 games in a row and 26 overall. But most notably, in the playoffs for the Negro National League pennant against the Kansas City Monarchs, played as a double header, Foster pitched complete game shut out in BOTH games, winning the title for his team with 1-0 and 5-0 wins,
Foster was the top vote getter and the winning pitcher in the first East-West All Star Game in 1933 and was on the All-Star team again in 1934. With excellent control of his fastball, curve, slide and changeup, manager Dave Malarcher said “Bill Foster was my favorite pitcher, the greatest pitcher of our time, not even barring Satchel Paige.”
After retiring from professional baseball, be played semi pro ball and ended up as baseball coach at his alma matter, Alcorn Agricultural and Mechanical College, He died in 1978 in Lorman, Mississippi. The baseball field where he coached was renamed the Foster Baseball Field in his honor, and he was inducted intro both the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1996 and the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame in 2003.