21 Dec

totally random, vol. 3

Today’s subject: Dave Hoskins. Greenwood native Hoskins, who died in 1970, holds a noteworthy distinction in baseball history: He was the first black player in the Texas League. More than that, he was sensational for the Dallas Eagles of 1952, posting a 22-10 record and a 2.12 ERA. The right-handed pitcher, who batted from the left side, was a Negro Leagues star in the ’40s as both a hurler and slugger. He signed with the Cleveland Indians in 1953 and pitched in 40 big league games. Hoskins’ numbers were very good: 9-4, 3.81 in 139 1/3 innings, .227 batting average. But he was on a Cleveland team overrun with great arms (Feller, Lemon, Garcia, Wynn, et. al) and his opportunities were limited. He was out of The Show after 1954. Still, Hoskins made his mark.
P.S. Mitch Moreland, the former Mississippi State star from Amory, will be the speaker at Itawamba Community College’s Leadoff Banquet on Feb. 4. After his sparkling debut with the Texas Rangers last season, Moreland might be the most intriguing Mississippian to watch heading into 2011. … Former ICC star and onetime big leaguer Jonathan Van Every has signed a minor league contract with the Washington Nationals.

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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