George Wilson (pitcher)
|George H. Wilson|
July 1, 1875|
Palmyra Township, Michigan
|Died: November 26, 1915
George H. Wilson (July 1875 – November 26, 1915) was an African-American baseball pitcher in the Negro Leagues. He played for major teams from 1895 to 1905 and pitched for Havana in the Cuban winter league of 1907.
Wilson lived in Palmyra Township, Michigan when the Page Fence Giants were founded in Adrian, the Lenawee County seat, for the 1895 season. At age nineteen he pitched one game for the 1895 Giants but spent that season with Adrian's club in the Michigan State League. There he was one of the last black players in organized baseball before 1946. He batted .327 and won 29 games as a pitcher but the number of racially mixed leagues was already very low, the Michigan State League did not return, and none of Adrian's black players were rehired for 1896.
Wilson played at least one winter season in Cuba, and during one of those seasons it appears his professional ball career came to an end. He returned to his farm near Palmyra Township, Michigan and continued to pitch Sunday games for local teams until he was nearly 40 years old.
According to news reports, Wilson died at the age of 40 while living in an asylum at the Kalamazoo State Hospital in 1915. Reports say his body was shipped to his hometown of Palmyra Township, Michigan.
While research still needs to be done regarding why and when he was admitted to the hospital, the report says Wilson was admitted to the hospital "following a trip to Cuba several years ago." It also says "his mind became clouded."
- "Giants Win" Cedar Rapids Evening Gazette, Cedar Rapids, IA, April 23, 1897, Page 5, Column 1
- "Great Ball Games Scheduled Here" Janesville Daily Gazette, Janesville, WI, Thursday, May 10, 1900, Page 5, Column 3
- "Baseball Notes" The Upper Des Moines Republican, Algona, IA, Wednesday, August 27, 1902, Page 1, Column 3
- "Colored Champions" Muskegon Daily Chronicle, Muskegon, MI, Tuesday, May 15, 1900, Page 7, Columns 3 and 4
- "George Wilson, Noted as Ball Player, is Dead" Adrian Daily Telegram, Adrian, MI, Saturday, November 27, 1915, Page 1, Column 7
- "Former Athlete Dies in Asylum" Kalamazoo Gazette, Kalamazoo, MI, November 28, 1915, Page 8, Column 5
- Riley, James A. (1994). "Wilson, George H.". The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues. Carroll & Graf. pp. 872–73. ISBN 0-7867-0959-6.
- (Riley.) George H. Wilson, Personal profiles at Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. – identical to Riley (confirmed 2010-04-13)