Stearnes was 6 feet and at his most weighed 165 pounds. He was a very thin player, more like Satchel Paige than Oscar Charleston and Josh Gibson. However, he did win a few homerun titles and his for power his whole career. Like Charleston he was a good centerfielder as he had plenty of speed. In fact, he was another 5-tool player. Stearnes said he got a lot of his power from his shoulders. He had strong shoulders. He didn’t say how his shoulders were strong. He won seven homerun titles, however a couple of them with 4. In fact, his last year he won a homerun title with 4 but he probably never knew and while he had a decent year hitting I think he knew his time was up.
Other players said he was a loner who didn’t smoke or drink which is probably why he didn’t hang out with the other guys. Buck O’ Neil said he was obsessed with his bats. The way he hit I don’t blame them.
Stearnes is the first on my list I don’t think anyone would call the greatest all time Negro League player. However, finishing behind the three listed ahead of him makes him quite the ballplayer.
1 thought on “No. 4 Negro Leagues Turkey Stearnes”
When we did the GOR, my take on Turkey Stearnes was that he was a similar player to Henry Aaron.