June 23, 2021

The Baseball 100: No. 62, Smokey Joe Williams (The Athletic)

Starting in December and ending on Opening Day, Joe Posnanski will count down the 100 greatest baseball players by publishing an essay on a player every day for 100 days. In all, this project will contain roughly as many words as “Moby Dick.” Yes, we know it’s nutty. We hope you enjoy.

In April of 1952, the Pittsburgh Courier put together a panel of 31 experts — “thirty-one of the top baseball men in the country,” is how they were described — and had them pick what the paper called “The All-Time … All-America Baseball Team.” The famous team has sometimes been called “The All-Negro Leagues Team,” but it was not exactly that. It was, instead, a collection of the greatest black players from 1910 to 1952.

Now, because it was 1952, there is not much space between “greatest black players” and “greatest Negro Leagues players” since it was only five years after Jackie Robinson broke the color line in baseball. But, this is the…

Read “The Baseball 100: No. 62, Smokey Joe Williams” at The Athletic