Friday, May 6, 2011

Hoskins had role in historic start

Uncommon commons. Contemporary accounts of tidbits that as a collector of baseball and football cards I found interesting because they helped bring to life the faces on the cards I collected. I figure that if I found these items of interest, so would other vintage card collectors.recommended him to Indians general manager Hank Greneberg.  "You better sign this fella. He can hit. I know because I could never get him out," Paige told Greenberg.

Though there had been Negro pitchers in the major leagues since Dan Bankhead with the Dodgers since 1947, it was nearly the end of the 1953 season before black starting pitchers faced each other for the first time.

In the second game of the Sept. 7 Labor Day doubleheader at Cleveland, Satchel Paige of the St. Louis Browns took the mound against the Indians Dave Hoskins.

Coincidentally, or possibly not, Hoskins had gotten his major league opportunity on Paige's recommendation.
 Hoskins had started out in pro ball as an outfielder with the Cincinnati Clowns and Homestead Greys of the Negro Leagues. He came to Organized Baseball in 1948 with Grand Rapids in the Class A Central League. He hit .393 that season and Paige 
The Indians signed Hoskins in 1950, assigning him to Dayton in the Central League and switching him to the mound. Hoskins was okay with the position shift, allegedly saying after being hospitalized by a beanball, "I was tired of pitchers throwing at me and made up my mind to throw at other guys."
After winning 22 games for Dallas in 1952, Hoskins was called up by Cleveland for the 1953 season, where he was 9-3 for the year.
In the Labor Day doubleheader, which the Indians won 10-7, neither Hoskins nor Paige figured in the decision. Paige went 4.2 innings, giving up seven hits (three of them home runs) and seven runs, striking out a pair. Hoskins lasted only 3.2 innings. He gave up seven hits (two HR) and five runs, striking out five. In that game Paige got his only two base hits of the season.
Hoskins spent most of the Indians 1954 pennant-winning season on the bench, pitching in only 14 games with an 0-1 record. That ended his major league career and he returned to the minors until he retired after the 1960 season. He was only 44 when he died of a heart attack in 1970.
Hoskins appeared in Topps sets in both 1954 and 1955, and was even included in Topps' 1955 Doubleheaders issue.

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