Bingo DeMoss

DeMoss, a 6’2″ 175-lb righthanded hitter and a smart, aggressive fielder, was considered the best second baseman of his day in Negro League baseball. He began as a shortstop in 1905 with the Topeka Giants, the first full-time black semi-pro team in the Midwest. After hurting his arm while pitching in an emergency, he moved to second base. DeMoss spent his prime years with the Chicago American Giants, and as a player-manager for the Indianapolis ABC’s and Detroit Stars. From 1920 through 1930, he batted .247, including highs of .314 for the 1929 Detroit Stars and .292 for the 1920 Chicago American Giants.

DeMoss was a proficient bunter and hit-and-run man, making him an ideal second-place hitter. Jelly Gardner, who batted ahead of DeMoss on the American Giants, said of his teammate, “If he thought you’d be out trying to steal, he’d foul off the pitch if he couldn’t hit it well. He could hit ’em anywhere he wanted to.

DeMoss retired as a player after 1930, but continued to manage through 1943. His last assignment was with the Brooklyn Brown Dodgers of the United States Baseball League, a circuit organized by Branch Rickey to scout players for possible signing by the Brooklyn Dodgers. The league lasted only one full season, 1945.