Fats Jenkins was a wiry, 5’7″ outfielder who inherited his nickname from a plump older brother. A great all-around athlete who played professional basketball with the Renaissance team, he was a good hitter and a fast runner.
Statistics documenting Jenkins’s career are sketchy; none exist for his first four years (1920-23). He batted .319 in 1924 and .307 in 1925 for the Harrisburg Giants, and .358 for the 1929 Atlantic City Bacharachs. He played in the 1933 and 1935 East-West all-star games. At the age of 37, Jenkins hit .305 for the 1935 Brooklyn Eagles and stole nine bases in 42 games to lead the league.
Though his name is most often linked with the New York Black Yankees, virtually no recorded statistics remain of Jenkins’s years with them. Fragmentary evidence gives him a lifetime average of .319 in the Negro Leagues, while black-baseball historian James Riley credits him with a .331 mark. His last job in black baseball was as manager of the 1940 Brooklyn Royal Giants.