Candy Jim Taylor

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Candy Jim Taylor
3rd Baseman / Manager
Born: (1884-02-01)February 1, 1884
Anderson, South Carolina, US
Died: April 3, 1948(1948-04-03) (aged 64)
Chicago, buried: Burr Oak Cemetery[1]
Batted: Right
Threw: Right
Career statistics
Managerial record955–991–21
Winning percentage.491
Batting average.297
Home runs26
Career highlights and awards

James Allen "Candy Jim" Taylor (February 1, 1884 – April 3, 1948) was an American third baseman and manager in Negro league baseball. In a career that spanned forty years, he played as an infielder in the early years of the 20th century for over a dozen black baseball teams; by the mid-1920s, he would play less regularly (doing so as a pinch hitter), with his final game came at 58. In 1920, the same year of the start of the golden era of Negro league baseball, he would take on the responsibilities of manager, where he would manage 1,967 games for twelve teams. Described as one of the great strategists of his era, Taylor is the all-time winningest manager in the Negro league era, having 955 wins along with two Negro World Series titles and one additional pennant in 27 seasons as manager.[7] He has the most seasons managed by an African American manager along with having the seventh most for a manager in the history of baseball.


Born in Anderson, South Carolina, Taylor was one of four brothers who played in the Negro leagues, along with Ben, C. I. and "Steel Arm" Johnny.

Taylor began playing ball with an amateur club in Anderson, South Carolina in 1901, starting as a catcher.[8]

He played with several different clubs in 1902 and 1903, finally landing a position with the Birmingham Giants in 1904 where he played third base. That year, he played in 55 regular season games and only made three errors.[8]

1910 St. Paul Gophers

Taylor continued with Birmingham until 1909, and moved to the St. Paul Colored Gophers for part of a season in 1910. He was named the captain of the team. Later in 1910, he was asked to play for the Chicago Giants,[8][9] but played instead for the West Baden Sprudels as a player/manager until 1913.

In 1914, he moved to the Indianapolis ABC's as a player/manager, and by 1916, he helped the Indianapolis ABC's to win the Black World Championship. During the War, Taylor seemed to rotate between three teams, the Indianapolis ABCs, Dayton Marcos, and the Detroit Stars.

In 1918, 34 year-old Taylor registered for the WWI Draft. He lists his current occupation as a "Laborer" for the Penn Freight House at Dela and Georgia Street in Indianapolis, Indiana. Taylor lists his current address as 645 Blackford Street in Indianapolis. He does not list any dependents and lists his closest relative as Charles Isaac Taylor at 446 Indiana Avenue.[10]

When the newly formed Negro National League started in 1920, Candy Jim worked as a player-manager for the Dayton Marcos.[6] But he moved on to the Cleveland Tate Stars in the next season. He also served as a vice chairman for the league during its tenure (his brother C.I. also served as one of the co-founders of the league and vice president).[11]

A disciplinarian and a master strategist, as manager Taylor led the St. Louis Stars to contention in the Negro National League, which coincided with the decision to match first half and second half champions for a Championship Series, starting in 1925 (his third and final season in his first stint). That year, his team won the second half of the season and won the right to be matched against the Kansas City Monarchs. They lost that series four to three.[12] Taylor returned in 1927 to St. Louis and managed them to their first championship in 1928, doing so over the Chicago American Giants five games to four in the Championship Series.[13]

The Great Depression took its toll on the economics of the game, and while managing the 1933 Richmond All-Stars, Taylor was forced to sell the team bus, and later had to send the players home.

In 1943 Taylor took over as manager for the Homestead Grays, which had been led by player-manager Vic Harris. After having won the NNL title for the previous three seasons, the Grays were tasked to try and win it again for the right to advance to the newly created second incarnation of the Negro World Series title. They succeeded in winning the pennant and the World Series, for which they would repeat their success again the following year. Taylor managed in baseball until his death, which involved another stint as manager of the Chicago American Giants from 1945 to 1947. In 27 seasons, he managed eleven teams to a winning record, which saw him win three pennants and finish in second four times. He went 17-17 in postseason games.

Death and legacy[edit]

Taylor's grave at Burr Oak Cemetery

Taylor died at age 64 of a heart attack in Chicago and was interred in the Burr Oak Cemetery, Alsip, Illinois. He was buried in an unmarked grave which remained that way for nearly 54 years, until the Negro Leagues Baseball Grave Marker Project raised funds for a proper headstone in 2004.

Taylor managed a variety of black baseball legends in four decades that ranged from Cool Papa Bell to Josh Gibson to Vic Harris while being selected to coach in the East-West All Star Game four times.[14]

Managerial record[edit]

Team Year Regular season Postseason
Games Won Lost Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
DAY 1920 52 16 36 .308 7th in NNL
CLE 1922 62 25 35 .417 7th in NNL
TOL 1923 14 7 7 .500 8th in NNL (interim)
STL 1923 41 15 25 .375 10th in NNL (interim)
STL 1924 84 43 41 .512 4th in NNL
STL 1925 91 59 30 .663 2nd in NNL 3 4 .429 Lost Championship Series (KC)
CLE 1926 48 7 40 .149 8th in NNL
DET 1926 21 8 13 .381 4th in NNL
STL 1927 99 62 37 .626 2nd in NNL
STL 1928 93 67 26 .720 1st in NNL 5 4 .556 Won Championship Series (CHI)
STL 1929 107 63 42 .600 2nd in NNL
MEM 1930 86 30 55 .353 8th in NNL
IND 1931 67 32 34 .485 3rd in NNL
IND 1932 61 25 32 .439 8th in NSL
IND 1933 48 17 31 .354 9th in NNL 2
NEG 1934 55 22 32 .407 6th in NNL 2
CEG 1935 57 30 25 .545 4th in NNL 2
WEG 1936 65 30 34 .469 6th in NNL 2
CHI 1937 77 39 37 .513 3rd in NAL
CHI 1938 82 40 39 .506 3rd in NAL
CHI 1939 75 39 36 .520 2nd in NAL
BIR 1940 36 12 24 .333 6th in NAL
CHI 1941 37 13 22 .371 6th in NAL
CHI 1942 43 7 36 .163 6th in NAL
WSH 1943 102 78 23 .772 1st in NNL 2 4 1 .571 Won Negro World Series (BIR)
WSH 1944 85 63 29 .685 1st in NNL 2 4 3 .800 Won Negro World Series (BIR)
CHI 1945 101 47 53 .470 4th in NAL
CHI 1946 89 31 56 .356 6th in NAL
CHI 1947 89 28 61 .315 6th in NAL
Total 1,967[a] 955 991 .491 17 17 .500


  1. ^ Burr Oak Cemetery, Alsip, IL., Wilson, Scott. Resting Places: The Burial Sites of More Than 14,000 Famous Persons, 3d ed.: 2 (Kindle Location 46191). McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. Kindle Edition.
  2. ^ "Win Three Double-Headers In One Week" Indianapolis Freeman, Indianapolis, IN, September 25, 1909, Page 7, Columns 2 and 3
  3. ^ "Bears Romp Away from Giants 8 to 1" The San Diego Union, San Diego, CA, Monday Morning, December 30, 1912, Page 8, Column 1
  4. ^ "Big City Stuff is Too Much for Local Club" Logansport Pharos-Reporter, Logansport, IN, Monday, July 9, 1917, Page 6, Columns 1 and 2
  5. ^ "Palm Beach Notes" Indianapolis Freeman, Indianapolis, IN, February 12, 1916, Page 4
  6. ^ a b "A's and Marcos in Two Scraps Here Tomorrow" Indianapolis Star, Indianapolis, Indiana, May 22, 1920, Page 19, Column 7
  7. ^ "Candy Jim Taylor is a Negro Leagues legend".
  8. ^ a b c "Frank Lelands' Chicago Giants Base Ball Club" Fraternal Printing Company, 1910
  9. ^ "Chicago Giants Will Raise Flag Sunday" Chicago Broad Ax, Chicago, IL, Page 2, Columns 4 and 5
  10. ^ "WWI Draft Registration of Candy Jim Taylor" Local Board Division 4, Fletcher American Bank Building, Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana, September 12, 1918
  11. ^ "Negro Leagues Baseball eMuseum: Personal Profiles: "Candy Jim" Taylor".
  12. ^ "1925 Championship Series - Kansas City Monarchs over St. Louis Stars (4-3)".
  13. ^ "1928 Championship Series - St. Louis Stars over Chicago American Giants (5-4)".
  14. ^ "Jim Taylor – Society for American Baseball Research".


  1. ^ Taylor also managed in 21 games that ended in ties

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