August 31, 1913|
|Died: February 12, 1994
Palm Bay, Florida
|Batted: Right||Threw: Right|
|Negro leagues: 1933 for the Detroit Stars|
|Last professional appearance|
|1955 for the Bismarck Barons|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Election Method||Veterans Committee|
Raymond Emmitt Dandridge (August 31, 1913 – February 12, 1994) was an American third baseman in baseball's Negro leagues. Dandridge excelled as a third baseman and he hit for a high batting average. By the time that Major League Baseball was racially integrated, Dandridge was considered too old to play in the major leagues. He worked as a major league scout after his playing career ended. Late in his life, Dandridge was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Dandridge was born in Richmond, Virginia. He was discovered by Detroit Stars manager Candy Jim Taylor in 1933 while playing for a local Richmond team. He played for the Stars in 1933 and for the Newark Dodgers, which were later called the Newark Eagles, from 1934 to 1938. While with the Eagles, Dandridge was part of the "Million Dollar Infield," consisting of Dandridge, Dick Seay, Mule Suttles, and Willie Wells.:p.55
In 1939, badly underpaid by the Eagles, Dandridge moved to the Mexican League, where he played for nine of the next ten seasons, rejoining the Eagles for one last season in 1944. In 1948-49 he returned to the United States as a player-manager for the New York Cubans. Although more than capable of playing in the majors, he never got the call to the big leagues, instead spending the last years of his career as the premier player in Triple-A baseball, batting .362 and leading all American Association third basemen in fielding percentage in 1949. He batted .360 in his last minor league season in 1955.
Dandridge was one of the greatest fielders in the history of baseball, and one of the sport's greatest hitters for average. Monte Irvin, who played both in the Negro leagues and the major leagues and saw every great fielding third baseman of two generations, said that Dandridge was the greatest of them all, adding that Dandridge almost never committed more than two errors in a season. Dandridge was also a tutor to the young Willie Mays. Because of the "gentlemen's agreement" not to allow African Americans in Major League Baseball, Dandridge was dismissed as being too old by the time of integration.
After retiring from playing in 1955, Dandridge worked as a scout for the San Francisco Giants and later ran a recreation center in Newark, New Jersey. He lived his final years in Palm Bay, Florida. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1987. He died at age 80 in Palm Bay.
- Grigsby, Daryl Russell (2012). Celebrating Ourselves: African-Americans and the Promise of Baseball. Indianapolis, IN: Dog Ear Publishing. ISBN 978-160844-798-5. Retrieved 8 August 2012.
- Fatsis, Stephan (1995). Wild and Outside. Walker and Company. p. 248. ISBN 0-8027-7497-0.
- "Brad Dandridge Batting Statistics". Retrieved 2010-02-01.
- Ray Dandridge at the Baseball Hall of Fame
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference (Minors)
- Negro league baseball statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference (Negro leagues)
- BaseballLibrary - biography and career highlights
- BlackBaseball.com: Ray Dandridge
- NegroLeagueBaseball.com: Ray Dandridge
- Dawidoff, T. Nicholas (1987-07-08). "Big Call From The Hall: Negro leaguer Ray Dandridge hears from Cooperstown". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 2009-06-15.
- Kuenster, John (1987-07). "Willie Mays Recalls Help Ray Dandridge Gave Him in the Long Ago". Baseball Digest. Retrieved 2009-06-15.
- Vecsey, George (1987-05-10). "Sports of the Times; Ray Dandridge, The Hall of Fame and 'Fences'". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-06-15.