Saturday, May 27, 2023

All-Time Teams Wrap-Up (& Negro League Stars)

In my initial All-Time Teams series four years ago, I began at the end - the Barnstormers were the first roster posted. It was implied that if there was a "best of the rest" 31st team, then the 32nd team had to be comprised of Negro League greats who were never allowed to show their skills in the segregated major leagues.

Having limited knowledge of Negro League stars aside from the top five or so, I deferred the task of revealing a roster for this 32nd team - until now. For the sake of completion, here are your Negro League All-Stars.

Rube Foster will be the manager of this club, which will call Kansas City's Municipal Stadium home.

Center fielder "Cool Papa" Bell seems like an ideal lead-off hitter. However Oscar Charleston, one of the greatest ever, also played center field. I guess he can DH?

First Baseman Buck Leonard will bat second.

Oscar Charleston is up next (by the way, I don't have any of these cards.)

 Followed by the incomparable Josh Gibson catching and batting cleanup. 


 Left fielder Mule Suttles will bat fifth.


Willie Wells will bat sixth and start at shortstop.

Turkey Stearnes will bat seventh and play right field even though he's a natural center fielder.

Judy Johnson gets the start at third base. He'll bat in the eighth spot.

Second base was a tough one. Bingo DeMoss seemed like the best player at the position, but I'm going to squeeze shortstop Dick Lundy in here.

Rube Foster has plenty of talented players on his bench, including backup catcher Biz Mackey, infielders "Pop" Lloyd and Ray Dandridge, and outfielders Monte Irvin and Cristobal Torriente.

Have I mentioned how much I love 1953 Bowman Color cards?

I admit my Negro League knowledge is limited and this roster is probably flawed in some way, but I don't think anyone will argue that the pitching staff should be anchored by Satchel Paige.

Assemble the rest of these great hurlers however you wish.

  • "Smoky" Joe Williams
  • Leon Day
  • "Bullet" Rogan
  • Martin Dihigo
  • Bill Foster
  • Hilton Smith
  • Andy Cooper
  • Bill Byrd
  • Ray Brown
  • John Donaldson

I'm not going to guess which one(s) would fit best in a closer's role. 

For those of you wondering what of Buck O'Neil, he's one of the five 'reserve' players.

Now that we have 32 completed rosters, we can realign these teams into four divisions of eight:

American League EastAmerican Lea. WestNational League EastNational League West
ChicagoKansas CityCincinnatiLos Angeles
DetroitOaklandNew YorkNegro League Stars
New YorkSeattlePhiladelphiaSt. Louis
Tampa BayTexasPittsburghSan Diego
TorontoBarnstormersWashingtonSan Francisco

If you're an All-Time Teams superfan and would like to see the complete list of 960+ players I invite you to take a look at the spreadsheet here.

Who are your picks for division winners? World Series? Worst roster?

This officially concludes The Collector's All-Time Teams series. I've got one more post scheduled for Memorial Day - which will include my latest COMC order - and then I'm going on vacation.

Thanks for reading!



  1. That's another super strong team! Congrats on finishing up the series, and I look forward to your new COMC loot!

  2. Off the top of my head, I'd pick the Yankees, Athletics, Reds, and Negro League teams to win their divisions. Probably Yankees and Negro League Stars make the World Series or whatever we'd call it. Worst roster is probably Tampa Bay, but the worst record would almost certainly belong to the D-Backs who have the misfortune of being in an absolutely loaded division--the Giants, Dodgers, and Cardinals would probably be my pick if any of them were in the AL West or NL East.

    1. I'm with Brett on all four division winners.

  3. The Negro Leagues Museum in KC is a must see. Been there several times.

    1. I will definitely check it out if I'm ever in Kansas City.

  4. I enjoyed this series a lot, thanks for doing it!

  5. Great job. Like you, I couldn't put together a roster like this without questioning whether I was doing an accurate job. I'm just happy I've heard of most of the players. Gathering a number of Negro League sets recently has helped.

  6. Was going to make almost the same comment as Night Owl. I don't know nearly as much Negro Leagues history as I like, and I was pleasantly surprised I recognized just about every name in the starting lineup.

  7. As always, your hard work and research made for a fantastic series!

  8. I don't think you've ever mentioned it, but I'd be curious to know, counting the research and writing, how much time, on average, went into each of these posts?

    1. The MLB team posts were about 3 hours each. This was probably 1 hour or so, since I didn't have cards to scan and didn't have all the pertinent stats to assemble a proper roster.

  9. Excellent work on all of these rosters! I'd be all in on a complete Negro Leagues set.

    1. I think a blogger made a custom set a while ago, but I didn't see it until long after the fact so I didn't buy one :/