Willie Wells, a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and one of Negro League baseball’s greatest stars was laid to rest in the Texas State Cemetary in October 2004. Being buried at Texas State Cemetary is an honor reserved for those few individuals who have made a significant contribution to the State of Texas. Wells, who died in 1989, had previously been buried in another Austin cemetery.
Wells, an Austin native, began his Negro League career in 1925 with the St. Louis Stars. His ultimate fame, however, was earned in Newark during the mid-1940s as the shortstop in the Newark Eagles’ “Million Dollar Infield.
A power hitter and speedster on the basepath, Wells enjoyed considerable popularity south of the border as well. He was a fan favorite in Mexico where he was known as “El Diablo” (the Devil) for his slick fielding which often robbed the competition of base hits.