The Black Aces are a group of black 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.
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. Grant is the first African American 20-game winner in American League history. 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 black players.
Some black pitchers from Latin America, notably Luis Tiant, have expressed disappointment that they are not included in this group. Meanwhile, Ferguson Jenkins is a Black Canadian, although he can trace his ancestry to escaped U.S. slaves.
Pitchers described by Mudcat Grant as Black Aces
|#||Number of 20-win seasons|
|Seasons||Seasons in which the pitcher won 20 games|
||Member of the Baseball Hall of Fame|
|Blue, VidaVida Blue||3||1971 (24–8), 1973 (20–9), and 1975 (22–11)|
|Downing, AlAl Downing||1||1971 (20–9)|
|Gibson, BobBob Gibson||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 Jenkins||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)|
- The Official Site of Major League Baseball: News: Major League Baseball News Archived 2008-06-21 at the Wayback Machine.
- Topic Galleries – South Florida Sun-Sentinel.com[permanent dead link]