Oscar Charleston played in the Negro National League
Oscar Charleston played in the Negro National League and later managed several teams. He’s considered one of the best players in the history of the league.
Oscar Charleston was born on October 14, 1896, in Indianapolis and was a batboy for his hometown Indianapolis ABC’s. At the age of 15, he enlisted in the military, and was sent to the Phillipines, where he played baseball with the 24th Negro Infantry. In 1915, still a teenager, Charleston returned to Indianapolis and quickly became a star center fielder for the ABC’s. The next year he led them to the first of many championships in his career
A powerful hitter who could hit to all fields and bunt, Charleston was also extremely fast on the base paths and in center field. He played a very shallow center, almost behind second base, and his great speed and instincts helped him outrun many batted balls. He had a powerful arm. Charleston was famous for his temper, his fearlessness, and his fights with opposing players, umpires, police, and even armed soldiers. According to legend, Charleston ripped the hood off a Klansman who had confronted him. Despite (or perhaps because of) his aggressiveness, he was one of the most popular figures in the Negro Leagues throughout his playing and managing career.
Charleston was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1976, and into the Indiana Baseball Hall of Fame in 1981.