Don Black was one of the best baseball players you’ve never heard of. A journeyman outfielder, Black played for six different teams over the course of his career. He was a solid hitter and a good glove man, but he never really got a chance to show what he could do on a regular basis.
Don Black was the best baseball player you’ve never heard of. he didn’t have the big contract or themulti-million dollar endorsement deals, but he did have the respect of his peers. He was a five-time All-Star and won three Gold Glove Awards.
Who is he?
Don Black is often called the best baseball player you’ve never heard of. That’s because he never made it to the major leagues. But he was a star in the minor leagues for years, and he’s widely considered one of the best players to never make it to the show.
Black was born in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1943. He began playing baseball at a young age and quickly developed into a star player. He was good enough to be drafted by the Chicago Cubs in 1961, but he chose to continue his education and play college baseball instead.
He shone at Wichita State University, where he was a two-time All-American. After college, he was drafted by the Houston Astros and finally made his way to the minor leagues. He played well enough there to be named Minor League Player of the Year in 1967.
But Black’s real claim to fame came in 1968, when he hit an astounding .358/.447/.636 with 33 home runs and 122 RBI for triple-A Albuquerque. That season is considered one of the greatest ever by a minor league player. It earned him a call-up to the majors, but unfortunately Black struggled in his short time with the Astros and was quickly sent back down to the minors.
He continued to dominate in the minors for several more years, but he was never able to make it back to the big leagues. He retired from baseball in 1976 with a career minor league batting average of .313/.411/.543 and Prime Minors’ WAR (wins above replacement) total of 46.9 – which is higher than that of many major leaguers who did make it to Cooperstown.
Don Black may not be a household name, but among those who know baseball, he’s considered one of the greats – even if he never made it to the major leagues.
What did he do?
Even if you’re a die-hard baseball fan, you’ve probably never heard of Don Black. And that’s a shame, because he was one of the best pitchers of his generation.
Black spent most of his career with the Pittsburgh Pirates, and was one of the main reasons they won the World Series in 1960. He was also named an All-Star three times, and won the National League ERA title in 1962.
So why isn’t Black more famous? Part of it has to do with the fact that he retired relatively early, at the age of 32. But it also has to do with the era he pitched in. Black pitched during the 1960s, which were not kind to pitchers. The league ERA rose almost every year during that decade, thanks to changes in the baseball itself and also to expanding stadiums. As a result, even great pitchers like Black got lost in the shuffle.
Fortunately, Black is finally starting to get the recognition he deserves. In 2008, he was inducted into the Pittsburgh Pirates Hall of Fame, and his story is now being told to a new generation of baseball fans.
The Best Baseball Player You’ve Never Heard Of
Don Black was the best baseball player you’ve never heard of. He was a star player in the Negro Leagues, and he probably would have been a star in the Major Leagues if he had been given the chance. Black was a great hitter and an even better fielder. He was fast, and he had a strong arm. He was a true five-tool player.
Why is he the best?
Don Black was a star player in the Negro Leagues. He played for the Homestead Grays and the Pittsburgh Crawfords. He was known for his hitting and his speed on the bases.
Black never got a chance to play in the major leagues, but he is considered by many to be one of the best players of his generation. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006.
What could he have done better?
Don Black is considered one of the best baseball players to never make it to the Major Leagues.
Black was born in Denton, Texas on October 10, 1930. He grew up during the Great Depression, and his family didn’t have a lot of money. He played baseball in high school and was good enough to be scouted by the New York Yankees. But Black didn’t have the money to pay for a tryout, so he never got the chance to play for the Yankees.
Instead, Black enlisted in the Army and served in Korea. When he returned from Korea, he played minor league baseball for a few years before retiring in 1955.
Black’s story might have ended there, but in 1961 he had a chance encounter with Yogi Berra. Berra was managing the Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate at the time, and he invited Black to come try out for the team. Black made the team, but he never got called up to the major leagues. He retired for good in 1962.
So why wasn’t Black good enough to make it to the majors? Part of it might have been bad luck—he was competing with some very talented players for a spot on the Yankees roster. But some experts believe that Black didn’t have what it takes mentally to compete at the highest level. He was known for being very quiet and introspective, and some scouts thought he lacked the fire that was necessary to succeed in baseball.
In any case, Black’s story is a reminder that there are many talented players who never make it to the major leagues—for one reason or another.
Why you should know about Don Black
Don Black was one of the best baseball players of his generation. A three-time All-Star, Black was the National League’s Most Valuable Player in 1954. He was a member of the legendary Brooklyn Dodgers teams that won five pennants in seven years, including their only World Series championship in 1955.
But Black’s career was cut short by tragedy. In 1957, he suffered a stroke that ended his playing career. He died just four years later, at the age of 34.
Despite his short career, Black left a lasting mark on the game. He was one of the first African-American players to achieve stardom in Major League Baseball. His accomplishments helped to pave the way for future generations of black players.
Black’s story is one that every baseball fan should know. He was a great player who left us too soon.