Ben Taylor

Ben Taylor, the youngest of four baseball brothers that included famed manager C.I. Taylor, Candy Jim Taylor, and Steel Arm Johnny Taylor, was the premier Negro League first baseman during the first quarter of the 20th century. He began his career with the St. Louis Giants in either 1911 or 1913, and peaked with the Indianapolis ABC’s of 1915-22, managed by his brother, C.I. He went 11-for-18 in the 1916 Black World Series, stealing three bases in five games. He batted .421 in 1921, with league highs of 106 hits and 19 doubles. He followed with a .362 mark. At the age of 41 he hit .310 in 12 games for the Bacharach Giants. He probably continued to play into the 1930s, but no records survive. He has been credited with a career .333 batting average.

Taylor was not only a great lefthanded hitter, but also a smooth defensive first baseman who made difficult plays look easy. An excellent teacher, he was instrumental in the development of Hall of Fame first baseman Buck Leonard.

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