Frank Grant

The most accomplished black baseball player of the 19th century, Grant joined Buffalo (International League) in 1886 and became the first black to play on the same team in organized baseball for three consecutive seasons. With his extraordinary range and strong arm, he was compared favorably with the best second basemen of his era. One Buffalo writer asserted that Grant was the best all-around player Buffalo had ever seen; four future Hall of Famers had played in Buffalo prior to Grant. Though just 5’7″ 155-lb, he had surprising power at the plate; one-fourth of his hits in the International League were for extra bases. He led his team and/or league in various offensive categories, including batting average, stolen bases, total bases, and home runs. During the 1887 season, he hit for the cycle in one game and stole home twice in another. By the late 1880s, black players were banished from organized baseball. Grant went on to play for such strong independent Negro teams as the Cuban X Giants, Big Gorhams, and Philadelphia Giants through 1903.

Grant earned 10 of his 15 wins in 1928, when he led a weak Indians squad in winning percentage (.556) despite an ERA of 5.04.