15 Feb

spotlight on …

Buddy Armour is a name that probably doesn’t ring a bell with most Mississippi baseball fans. He played in the relative obscurity of the Negro Leagues back in the 1930s and ’40s. Today, in honor of Black History Month, let’s put Armour in the spotlight. Born in Jackson in 1915, Alfred Allen Armour reached the “big leagues” of black baseball in 1936, when he signed with the St. Louis Stars. A 5-foot-9, 170-pound left-handed hitter, he would play until 1951 with more than a half-dozen clubs. He played primarily outfield but also saw some time at shortstop and third base. If you were putting together an all-time team of Mississippi natives who played in the Negro Leagues, Armour would have to be on it (see previous post). He was a three-time All-Star and, in what was probably the highlight of his career, a regular on the 1945 Cleveland Buckeyes team that won the Negro Leagues World Series. The Buckeyes went 53-16 overall and claimed both halves of the season in the Negro American League, according to Robert Peterson’s “Only the Ball Was White.” That club featured future major league outfielder Sam “The Jet” Jethroe, player/manager Quincy “Big Train” Trouppe, pitching brothers George and Willie Jefferson, Cuban shortstop Avelino Canizares and third baseman Parnell Woods. Armour batted .325 that season and went 4-for-13 in the World Series as the Buckeyes swept the Homestead Grays in four games.

Mike Christensen

Mike Christensen

A long-time sports fan and 30-year newspaper veteran muses on all things baseball in Mississippi. Contact: mwchristens@gmail.com
Mike Christensen

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