No. 25 Negro Leagues Louis Santop

Baseball Reference has only 4 years of his career and it is in his mid-30s. However, Bill James has him as the second-best catcher in Negro League history ahead of Biz Mackey. It is interesting that Santop’s team Hilldale made the Negro League World Series with old Louis Santop catching and young Biz Mackey at shortstop. Of course, catcher was probably the best place to keep Santop’s bat in the lineup. In 1925, Mackey became the starting catcher. Santop was the backup catcher with a few pinch-hitting appearances.

Santop is written up from being a fair catcher with a strong arm, to a real good catcher with a strong arm. Mackey has a much better reputation for defense and wasn’t a bad hitter himself.

I notice a few Negro League players waited to get married until after they retired. Santop was one of them. I guess being on the road all year and always having to switch teams among other things wasn’t conductive to a good marriage.

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