Radcliffe was a star Negro League pitcher and catcher of the 1930s and 1940s. He was nicknamed Double Duty by Damon Runyon, who saw him in the 1932 Negro League World Series at Yankee Stadium. Radcliffe caught Satchel Paige in a 5-0 victory in the first game of a doubleheader, then pitched a shutout in the nightcap.
The 5’9″ 210-lb Radcliffe was a smart, strong-throwing catcher. On the mound he was the master of the emery ball and other pitches of questionable legality. Statistics available for 8 of his 23 seasons show him hitting .273, with a top mark of .316 for the 1929 Detroit Stars. In 6 of the 21 seasons he pitched during the 1930s, he went 33-17 with seven saves. He appeared in six East-West all-star games, three as a pitcher, three as a catcher.
Radcliffe hit .376 (11-for-29) in nine exhibition games against major leaguers. In 1934 he managed a white team that barnstormed through Canada, playing a major league all-star team. Radcliffe’s team was 2-1 when Hall of Famer Jimmie Foxx was beaned, and the tour canceled. Ted’s brother Alex was a top Negro League third baseman.