July 15, 1908|
Silver Spring, Maryland
|Died: November 4, 1948
|Batted: Right||Threw: Right|
|August 3, 1930 for the Washington Senators|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 30, 1945 for the Philadelphia Phillies|
|Runs batted in||327|
Alvin Jacob Powell (July 15, 1908 – November 4, 1948), born in Silver Spring, Maryland, was an outfielder for the Washington Senators (1930, 1934–36 and 1943–45), New York Yankees (1936–40) and Philadelphia Phillies (1945).
Powell helped the Yankees win the World Series every year from 1936 to 1939 and batted .455 in the 1936 series. In eleven seasons, he played in 688 games and had 2,540 at bats, 353 runs, 689 hits, 116 doubles, 26 triples, 22 home runs, 327 RBI, 65 stolen bases, 173 walks, a .271 batting average, .320 on-base percentage, .363 slugging percentage, 923 total bases and 43 sacrifice hits.
On July 29, 1938, in a pregame radio interview, Chicago White Sox broadcaster Bob Elson asked Powell how he stayed in shape during the offseason. Powell responded, "Oh, that's easy. I'm a policeman, and I beat niggers over the head with my blackjack." After a surge of public outrage, including calls that Powell be banned for life, baseball commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis suspended Powell for ten games.
Powell played in 31 games in 1939 and 12 games in 1940 before the Yankees sold him to the minor leagues.
In 1948, Powell tried to make a comeback, playing in 31 games for the Gainesville G-Men of the Florida State League, but batted just .220.
- Wulf, Steve. "Bigot unwittingly sparked change". espn.go.com. February 22, 2014. Retrieved February 23, 2014.
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
- Chris Lamb, "A Public Slur in '38 Laid Bare The Game's Racism", The New York Times, July 27, 2008.