Black Aces

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For the fighter squadron, see VFA-41 Black Aces.
For the South African football team, see Mpumalanga Black Aces F.C..
Mudcat Grant in 2011

The Black Aces are a group of African American pitchers who have won at least 20 Major League Baseball games in a single season. The term comes from the title of a book written by former Major League Baseball (MLB) pitcher Mudcat Grant, one of the members of the group.[1]

In the first years after the desegregation of MLB, teams who drafted African American pitchers often converted them into position players; few were allowed to continue pitching.[2] Grant is the first African American 20-game winner in American League history.[3] Two members of the Black Aces, Bob Gibson and Ferguson Jenkins, are members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. The group has organized formally to promote their successes and encourage the development of future African American players.[4]

Some black pitchers from Latin America, notably Luis Tiant, have expressed disappointment that they are not included in this group.[5] Meanwhile, Ferguson Jenkins is actually a Black Canadian, although he can trace his ancestry to escaped U.S. slaves.

Pitchers described by Mudcat Grant as Black Aces[edit]

Bob Gibson in 1962
Key
# Number of 20-win seasons
Seasons Seasons in which the pitcher won 20 games
dagger
Member of the Baseball Hall of Fame
Black Aces
Pitcher # Seasons
Blue, VidaVida Blue 3 1971 (24–8), 1973 (20–9), and 1975 (22–11)
Downing, AlAl Downing 1 1971 (20–9)
Gibson, BobBob Gibsondagger 5 1965 (20–12), 1966 (21–12), 1968 (22–9), 1969 (20–13), 1970 (23–7)
Gooden, DwightDwight Gooden 1 1985 (24–4)
Grant, MudcatMudcat Grant 1 1965 (21–7)
Jenkins, FergusonFerguson Jenkinsdagger 7 1967 (20–13), 1968 (20–15), 1969 (21–15), 1970 (22–16), 1971 (24–13), 1972 (20–12), 1974 (25–12)
Jones, SamSam Jones 1 1959 (21–15)
Newcombe, DonDon Newcombe 3 1951 (20–9), 1955 (20–5), 1956 (27–7)
Norris, MikeMike Norris 1 1980 (22–9)
Richard, J. R.J. R. Richard 1 1976 (20–15)
Stewart, DaveDave Stewart 4 1987 (20–13), 1988 (21–12), 1989 (21–9), 1990 (22–11)
Wilson, EarlEarl Wilson 1 1967 (22–11)

Recent honors[edit]

The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum had a traveling exhibit honoring the Black Aces.[6] The Black Aces were celebrated at McAfee Coliseum in 2007.[3][7]

In 2005, Dontrelle Willis won 22 games.[8] CC Sabathia won 21 games in 2010.[9] David Price won 20 games in 2012.

References[edit]

External links[edit]