February 28, 1894|
|Died: June 24, 1963
|Batted: Left||Threw: Right|
|Negro leagues: 1922|
|Last professional appearance|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Election Method||Negro League Committee|
Ernest Judson Wilson (February 28, 1894 – June 24, 1963), nicknamed "Boojum", was an American third baseman, first baseman, and manager in Negro league baseball. He played for the Baltimore Black Sox, the Homestead Grays, and the Philadelphia Stars between 1922 and 1945. Wilson was known a unique physique, a quick temper and outstanding hitting skills. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006, one of 17 black Negro league or pre-Negro league players inducted that year.
Wilson was born in Remington, Virginia. As a teenager, he moved to Foggy Bottom in Washington, D.C. He served in World War I. During his career played primarily for the Baltimore Black Sox (1922–30), Homestead Grays (1931–32, 1940–45), and Philadelphia Stars (1933–39). Wilson was nicknamed "Boojum" after the noise his line drives made after striking the outfield fences.
One of the Negro leagues' most powerful hitters, his career batting average of .351 ranks him among the top five players. He also enjoyed remarkable success in the Cuban Winter League in the 1920s. Pitcher Satchel Paige claimed that Wilson and Chino Smith were the two toughest outs he ever faced (Wilson hit .375 against Paige). Catcher Josh Gibson said that Wilson was the best hitter in baseball. He had an unusual physique, standing 5'8" and weighing 195 pounds with a large torso, a small waist, bowed legs and pigeon toe.
Wilson was known for a bad temper and a willingness to get into physical altercations. His friend Jake Stephens said, "The minute he saw an umpire, he became a maniac." A well-circulated story involved Wilson holding Stephens out of a sixteenth story window by one leg after Stephens came in late and woke him. Others, including Judy Johnson and Ted Page, described him as different off the field. "He'd do anything in the world for you," Johnson said.
Late in his career, Wilson developed epilepsy. During a Negro World Series game, Wilson began to draw circles in the dirt and was said to be unaware of his surroundings. After retiring, he worked on a road construction crew in Washington, D.C. He had to be institutionalized late in life. Wilson died at age 69 in Washington, D.C. and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
Wilson was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Negro Leagues Committee in 2006. Wilson was elected in a class of 17 Negro league and black pre-Negro league inductees, the largest such group inducted in Hall of Fame history. Hall of Fame officials did not think that Wilson had any living relatives, but a great-niece heard about his scheduled induction and was able to attend the ceremony on his behalf. In 2010, the Washington Nationals honored Wilson and five other Homestead Grays in the Hall of Fame by including them in a Hall of Fame Ring of Honor at Nationals Park.
- "Pioneering Ballplayer, Unsung Star". Free Lance-Star Publishing Company. Retrieved August 7, 2013.
- "Wilson, Jud". Baseball Hall of Fame. Retrieved August 7, 2013.
- Porter, David L. (ed.) (2000). Biographical Dictionary of American Sports: Q-Z. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 1694. ISBN 0313311765.
- "Ernest Judson "Boojum" Wilson". Negro League Baseball Players Association. Retrieved August 7, 2013.
- "Jud Wilson". Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. Retrieved August 7, 2013.
- "Year-By-Year Inductees into Baseball Hall of Fame". Utica Observer-Dispatch. Retrieved August 7, 2013.
- Sheinin, Dave (July 31, 2006). "D.C.'s 'Boojum' Gets His Day in Hall of Fame". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 7, 2013.
- "Nationals Pay Tribute to Hall of Famers with Ring of Honor". Worldnow. Retrieved August 7, 2013.
- Jud Wilson at the Baseball Hall of Fame
- Negro league baseball statistics and player information from Seamheads.com, or Baseball-Reference (Negro leagues)
- Baseball Library - biography
- Negro League Baseball Players Association - biography