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Monday, November 22, 2004

Bullet Rogan

How great of a pitcher was he really?

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 22, 2004 at 02:45 PM | 70 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. TomH Posted: November 22, 2004 at 04:11 PM (#977228)
Bill James has him as his #3 NegLeg pitcher; one of the 3 Negro Leaguers he felt bad about leaving off his top 100 (he included Stachel and Smokey Joe, also Dihigo but he would be utility/pitcher combo).

Holway has Rogan as his #4, behind Paige, Williams, Bill Foster.

Ted Knorr has Rogan as one of his top 6 (above plus Rube Foster and Brown), altho he hints he could make room for Winters or Byrd also.

My crib notes say the McNeil encyclopedia had him 4th as well, but my crib notes need verification.

The SABR poll only had him 7th.
   2. Chris Cobb Posted: November 23, 2004 at 12:31 AM (#978360)
Here's the data I have on Joe Rogan as a hitter/fielder. Pitching data to follow shortly.

All play for KC Monarchs

From Holway

1920 .273; rf
3-15 vs. major-league competition
1921 .293; cf
1922 .439, 18 HR, 13 3B, 41 hr/550 ab; MVP; cf
0-1 vs. major-league competition (Jack Quinn)
1923 .355, 43 hr/550 ab; cf
1924 .409 (led league); MVP; rf
13-40 in WS vs. Hilldale
1925 .374, 10 3B; MVP; cf
10-22 in playoff vs. Stl
1926 .329; ut
7-12 in playoff vs. Chicago
1927 .330; cf (also manager from henceforth)
1928 .358; ut
1929 .325; cf
1930 no data – Riley lists Rogan as “seriously ill”; at the end of this season KC Monarchs disband
1931 .200; ut – Monarchs reform in August, 1931, according to Riley, with Rogan as manager; Holway has them barnstorming against the white House of David until mid-August, when they began playing black teams
1932-35 Monarchs not in NeL (barnstorming) Rogan listed as lf in Holway’s 1934-5 rosters
1935 Rogan goes 1-7 vs. Dizzy Dean all-stars
1936 .600; ut (in 7 games)
1937 .410; ut
0-6 in playoff vs. Chi Am Giants
3-4 vs. Bob Feller all-stars
1938 .263; ut

709-2038, .348, 62 HR according to Holway
20-54 vs. major-league competition

mean avg. 1920-29 = .349

From Riley

For the seasons 1922-30, Rogan hit .351, .416, .412, .366, .314, .330, .353, .341, .311
Average vs. ML competition, .329
   3. Chris Cobb Posted: November 23, 2004 at 12:32 AM (#978362)
Joe Rogan Pitching

All play for KC Monarchs

From Holway

1920 10-4; team 45-31, led league with 154 K
1-1 vs. major league competition (Casey Stengel all-stars)
1921 20-11; team 54-35, TRA 2.87, 108 K
1922 20-11; 4.09 TRA, 96 K, GSA, all-star; team 77-37
1-0? vs. major-league competition (unclear if he or Currie got the win)
1923 20-19; TRA 3.61, 61 K; team 78-49
1924 17-5, 4.35 TRA, 101 K, GSA, all-star; team 60-27
2-1, 2.89 ERA in WS vs. Hilldale
9-4 in Cuban play
1925 20-2, 2.95 TRA, 90 K, GSA, all-star; team 63-20
4-0 in playoff vs. Stl, 3.00 TRA, MVP of series
1926 14-4; team 65-19
3-3, 3.33 TRA in playoff vs. Chicago
1927 15-6, 2.84 TRA, 89 K; team 59-33, all-star
1928 11-3, 3.52 TRA; team 49-32
1929 no data
1936 1-0; team 7-0
1937 0-0; team 13-8

151-65, according to Holway
(seasons add up to 148-65 1925 listed as both 22-2 and 20-2, w/22 wins Rogan has 150)

From Riley

1922-28 w-l of 13-6, 12-8, 16-5, 15-2, 12-4, 15-6, 9-3
   4. sunnyday2 Posted: November 23, 2004 at 02:38 AM (#978481)
Now I'm confused. Rogan won 150 games in the NeL while Redding won more like 80 if I recall? Yet Redding has a better i9 MLE? Is that wrong, like I said I'm confused!

Also apparently the listing that says his career was 1920-1938 is not wrong but misleading. It looks like his first half was awesome both pitching and at bat, and the second half was less than awesome. He was more Bob Caruthers than Babe Ruth or Joe Wood or John Ward in terms of the model. Does that sound right?

So those are two questions. Why the discrepancy between his (and Redding's) NeL vs. i9s records? And was most of his offensive value as a pitcher rather than later?
   5. Chris Cobb Posted: November 23, 2004 at 03:20 AM (#978527)
Here's the story of Rogan's career as I know it. It has three parts:
c. 1915-1919, 1920-1929, 1930-1938.

1) Sometime during the 1910s (I would guess no later than 1915), Rogan becomes a leading player on the 25th Infantry Wreckers team with Dobie Moore and Oscar "Heavy" Johnson. Rogan is older than either of them, so it is likely that he preceded them on the team (maybe gadfly will stop by again and provide more info . . . ).

2) Just before his 31st birthday (if Riley's dates for him are accurate), he leaves the army and joins the Kansas City Monarchs. From 1920-1929, his 30/31 through 39/40 seasons, he is a leading star on the Monarchs.

3) After his 1930 and 1931 seasons are disrupted by illness and the Depression, Rogan serves as player/manager for the Monarchs through 1938, his 48/49 season. During this time, it appears that he pitched only very occasionally and probably was not a regular in the field, though he may have been a regular in the outfield through 1932-35. He did, however, continue to play in meaningful games, so I don't think he was playing just in barnstorming games as a kind of gate attraction or something.

On Rogan and Redding:

Rogan has the most recorded wins in Negro-League play of any NeL pitcher. One reason for this is that he pitched in the Negro National League during its heyday, 1920-1929, during which more league games were played and the results of games were better recorded than at perhaps any other time in the history of black baseball.

Redding starred in the teens, when many fewer games between the top black teams were played (they were mostly making money by playing white semipro teams) and the results were less reliably recorded. During the 1920s, Redding pitched in the East for the Brooklyn Royal Giants. The Eastern Colored League was organized later than the NNL (in 1923), the BR Giants were a marginal team in that league, and Redding was winding down his career. So his _documented_ record is much thinner than Rogan's, but i9s reasonably projects him to have pitched many more innings in the Negro Leagues than Rogan did.

If one gives Rogan credit for his military playing career (like Moore and Heavy Johson), his career-credited innings would probably be comparable to Redding's, perhaps more, perhaps less, depending upon when Rogan's baseball career actually started.

As to comparisons to other two-way players, yes, Joe Rogan is more Bob Caruthers than he is Babe Ruth or Joe Wood or John Ward. He was a star pitcher and star outfielder at the same time, at least from 1920-28. I suspect he was a two-way player for the Wreckers, but I have no evidence about that. I hope others will!

Hope that helps clarify Rogan's career!
   6. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: November 23, 2004 at 04:15 AM (#978563)
Any reason for me not to have Bullet Joe in an elect me spot on my next ballot? I see him as one of the best 100-125 players ever and we still have a pretty weak ballot again this year. Will anyone be putting Redding above Rogan?
   7. Michael Bass Posted: November 23, 2004 at 04:23 AM (#978571)
The Caruthers comparison intrigues me, and if accurate, because his productive career was even longer than Caruthers, would place him #1 on my ballot (I was a big FOBC).

What sort of hitting numbers are we looking at here?
   8. Chris Cobb Posted: November 23, 2004 at 04:38 AM (#978585)
What sort of hitting numbers are we looking at here?

My sense of the MLE for Rogan's .348 career Negro-League avg. is .304 to .310, with good speed and good but not outstanding power, (SA of .420 to .440).
   9. karlmagnus Posted: November 23, 2004 at 03:15 PM (#979159)
My problem with putting Rogan REALLY high (I agree he's on my ballot somewhere) is that Caruthers proved pretty decisively that you couldn't both pitch and hit in the ML without being forced to retire at 30 through sheer overuse. Ruth then emphasised this point by switching from one to the other, when purely for the short term he would obviously have been most valuable pitching 1 day in 4 and fielding the outfield (or, after 1973, being the DH) the other 3. Standards in the ML were rigorous enough that it simply wasn't possible to do both simultanously at ML level, even for players like Wood and Mays who had the natural talent.

Since NL play was at a lower level than ML and (VERY important) played fewer games, it appears to have been possible to be both a top pitcher and a top hitter in the NL throughout its existence (or at least, in the 1920s.) However, even assuming the translation of the pitching stats and the translation of the hitting stats may be indivudlally accurate, it would seem to be wrong to assume that Rogan could have done both simultaneously in the major leagues, any more than Babe Ruth could, for more than a year or 2.

Also, his hitting looks to me decent, but not Caruthers-like -- in other words, if we just ignored his pitching and extended his hitting to a greater number of at-bats proportionately, we would not be looking at a HOMer, whereas with Caruthers, we were (135 OPS+, more than any post 1900 player on the current ballot.)

I think I'm comfortable with him in a 12-15 spot, but not higher, but would like to see I9 equivalents for both pitching and hitting if Chris or someone has them before making my mind up.
   10. PhillyBooster Posted: November 23, 2004 at 04:15 PM (#979254)
My problem with putting Rogan REALLY high (I agree he's on my ballot somewhere) is that Caruthers proved pretty decisively that you couldn't both pitch and hit in the ML without being forced to retire at 30 through sheer overuse.

I don't know if one or two example constitutes "proof", let alone "decisive proof." Just because Caruthers burned out and Ruth devoted his career to hitting doesn't mean that given 20 two-way players, five or six won't be able to keep it up.
   11. karlmagnus Posted: November 23, 2004 at 04:21 PM (#979267)
They didn't though, did they Phillybooster? In the entire history of the ML, only Caruthers, Ward and Ruth for about 3 years hit and pitched at top level. Suggests it's pretty well impossible, and that Rogan would have been a Mays at ML level.
   12. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: November 23, 2004 at 04:33 PM (#979288)
Or it suggests that hitting and pitching are such wildly different talents that very few people really have the ability to do both at an ML level.
   13. Chris Cobb Posted: November 23, 2004 at 04:35 PM (#979294)
I don't believe Caruthers, Ward, or Ruth should be taken as predictors of what Rogan would have been able to do. Aside from being a two-way player, his career path is very different from theirs.

Caruthers and Ward, like just about every other pre-1900 pitcher, blew out their arms before they were 30.

Rogan _began_ his professional baseball career just before turning 31. It's entirely possible that part of the reason he flourished as a two-way player was because he didn't throw 400 innings a year before he was 22, as did both Ward and Caruthers.

Caruthers and Ruth were both notorious for their appetites. Both were great natural talents, neither was much for conditioning. Caruthers died at 47, Ruth at 53.

Rogan was a military man with a a quiet lifestyle who was known for taking care of himself, as is demonstrated by his playing professional baseball until the age of 48. It's entirely possible that part of the reason Rogan flourished as a two-way player is that he took excellent care of himself.

Even in Negro Leagues, Rogan was unique in playing at an all-star level as both a pitcher and a fielder for a decade. I don't think we can assume that he wouldn't have been able to do the same in the majors.

I don't have detailed conversions yet, but it's clear from my initial study that he both hit and pitched at a level above major-league average for his career.
   14. KJOK Posted: November 24, 2004 at 05:20 AM (#980503)
Bullet Joe Rogan, Batting 1928:

AVE-.345 (NeLgAve .279)
OBP-.334 (NeLgAve .334)
SLG-.515 (NeLgAve .384)
OPS-.849 (NeLgAve .717)

Meuhlbach Stadium was generally a pitchers park, but based on just 1928 stats it a neutral park.
   15. KJOK Posted: November 24, 2004 at 05:29 AM (#980512)
Bullet Joe Rogan Pitching 1928:

RA/G - 3.71

1928 Negro National Leage RA/G Leaders:
1. Willie Powell, 2.50 (144 IP)
2. Satchel Paige, 2.93 (126 IP)
3. Ted Trent, 3.16 (205 IP)
4. William Bell, 3.56 (147 IP)
5. Willie Foster, 3.60 (230 IP)
6. Bullet Rogan, 3.71 (114 IP)
   16. KJOK Posted: November 24, 2004 at 05:34 AM (#980518)
Bullet Joe Rogan Fielding, 1928:

PO-6 (led league)





   17. Chris Cobb Posted: November 24, 2004 at 05:40 AM (#980528)
KJOK, thanks for the 1928 data on Rogan -- his fielding profile is mighty interesting!

Is there a typo for Rogan's OBP or BA? His BA is listed as .345, but his OBP as .334 .
   18. KJOK Posted: November 24, 2004 at 05:46 AM (#980534)
Oh, yes, .334 is the NeLG Average OBP.

Rogan's OBP for 1928 was .398, and I used the wrong OBP for his OPS, so OPS should really be a very impressive .913.
   19. jonesy Posted: November 25, 2004 at 12:29 AM (#981564)

You wouldn't by chance have anything on Will Jackman, would you?

I am making a run at writing a full biography on him. So far I have been focusing on the 1925-1932 period and have had a lot of good luck there are well as material beyond that.

He said he pitched professionally from 1918 to 1953. I know 1953 is right as he was still active in the Boston Park League. I have also confirmed his birth year as 1894, not 1897 as usually listed.

He also said he pitched in 1,200 games lifetime.

Jim Riley lists a 52-2 mark one year for him circa 1930 but does not cite a reference. I have a 1930 quote from a Massachusetts papers that said his 1929 record for the Boston-based (though named) Philadelphia Colored Giants as 48-4 with two no-hitters.

I hope to have a substantial data sheet complied of his games by the time the SABR convention rolls around.
   20. KJOK Posted: November 25, 2004 at 01:48 AM (#981634)
For 1928, I only have an Earl Jackman that pitched for the "Colored All-Stars" team vs. some of the ECL teams.

I'll see if I can find anything else...
   21. jonesy Posted: November 25, 2004 at 02:50 AM (#981689)
Thanks. Any help would be appreciated.

I can't say for sure about the Boston papers but Jackman was held in very high esteem in the white suburban papers around eastern New England where he did most of his work. The Giants didn't waste him if they were just playing a local twilight league team, but rather would used him in the outfield. Many times the smaller cities would put out a call for their homegrown talent to come home to make up an all-star team for to face Jackman. Guys would come home from the Cape Cod League or other college summer league to face him.

The HOF has a nice photo of the 1929 East Douglas team of the Blackstone Valley League in which Jackman (the only non white on the team) is standing next to teammate Hank Greenberg. Jackman said he got $175 a game plus $5 a strikeout to play for East Douglas. East Douglas payed Lefty Grove $300 and $10 a strikeout for one big game in October 1927.

He was such a drawing card it appears went through stetches, I imagine like Paige, where he pitched one inning of every game.

I have a 1942 game, albiet facing only so-so talent, in which Jackman, by my tally 47 years old, fanned 17 while tossing a one-hitter.
   22. DavidFoss Posted: November 26, 2004 at 10:03 PM (#983402)
I don't have detailed conversions yet, but it's clear from my initial study that he both hit and pitched at a level above major-league average for his career.

Thanks for all the discussion, guys. I'd like to read more though because I have a feeling that Rogan is cruising for an easy first ballot induction.

My feeling from reading this thread is that perhaps he's an easy #1 in 1940, but perhaps not a few years ago. Would he have ranked higher than Heilmann or Torriente? How about Santop? He's certainly got the name recognition, but -- bless me -- I'd like to read more. :-) Thanks.
   23. karlmagnus Posted: November 28, 2004 at 05:36 PM (#985040)
Chris Cobb, do you have any WS equivalents for Rogan (or an I9 W/L)? Balloting oepns tomorrow, and I do NOT currently feel I have enough information to put him on my ballot, which may be an injustice. He's not Caruthers; if he's Carl Mays with a shorter pitching career he doesn't make it.
   24. Howie Menckel Posted: November 28, 2004 at 07:25 PM (#985098)
excerpts from

"Rogan's career .721 winning percentage (111-43) is the highest recorded in Negro League history. In 11 seasons with the Kansas City Monarchs, he compiled a .339 batting average, 10th among all Negro Leaguers.......

Rogan used a no-windup delivery and possessed a devastating fastball and an array of curveballs. He also threw a forkball, a palmball, and a legal spitter. Chet Brewer, another Monarch pitching great who played with Satchel Paige and Rogan, insisted that "Rogan should have been put in the Hall of Fame before Satchel.".... Paige once said Rogan "could throw as hard as Smokey Joe Williams." ..... Rogan was also regarded as the Negro Leagues' finest-fielding pitcher.

Rogan began as a catcher, but eventually played every position......He had thin but powerful legs and tremendously strong wrists, and would attack the ball with a smooth swing and a heavy bat..... In 1911 he began his pitching career with the 25th Infantry Wreckers army team. After nine years of army ball, he was discovered at age 30 by Casey Stengel.....
As a Monarch in 1922, Rogan hit 13 home runs in 47 league games. He led the league with 16 victories and batted .411 in 1924. He then starred in the first Black World Series, against Hilldale. In the 10-game series, he went 2-1 (2.57) in four games, and played the outfield the other six, hitting .325. The following year he notched a league-high 14 wins to lead the Monarchs to another BWS.........
In 25 games against white major leaguers, Rogan batted .329. At the age of 48, he participated in his last such exhibition; playing left field against the Bob Feller All-Stars, he went 3-for-4 and stole a base. Dizzy Dean said, "Old Rogan was a showboat boy, a Pepper Martin-type ballplayer......
   25. karlmagnus Posted: November 28, 2004 at 09:01 PM (#985179)
Thanks, Howie, but precisely my point. Rogan was clearly a wonderful player, but how wonderful and for how long? We're not about to elect Pepper Martin into the HOM.
   26. sunnyday2 Posted: November 28, 2004 at 11:11 PM (#985345)
karl, check posts #2, 3, 5 and 24. Reasonable people could come to different conclusions but the info is there. Sure it is spotty, but (and we've had this discussion many times over the years) that is the direct result of racism. Of course I made exactly the same argument re. Pete Hill and got steamrolled, so I understand where you are coming from.

But I think "how wonderful" and for "how long" are known quantities within the limitations that the culture imposed on Rogan and indirectly on us.

I was skeptical about Rogan, too--I mean, here we had about 8-9 years ot top caliber play. But then Chris pointed out that those were his age 31-39/40 seasons and that prior to that he had played on what was probably one of the 2-3 best black teams in America. Unfortunately, it is a team that does not appear to have left us any statistical records. Not Rogan's fault.

I don't know yet of Rogan will be #1 or in an elect-me position. I don't think he is a Pop Lloyd or Smokey Joe, but I think he is Bob Caruthers-plus--i.e. he did what Caruthers did for a longer period of time. Very hard to say, but ultimately irrelevant, how good his competition was. IOW, if we had a full statistical record we would have to discount it. As it is, we are constructing a hypothetical record and it is discounted as best as we can before it is even recorded. His competition could conceivably have been as good as Parisian Bob's, though.

So anyway, Rogan may be cruising for first ballot induction. I don't know if I'll have him #1 or in an elect-me spot. He might be an inner circle talent, but he is also not a NB because of the uncertainties. But then we have elected a lot of not-NBs over the years and Rogan is probably better than a couple of them.
   27. DavidFoss Posted: November 29, 2004 at 12:43 AM (#985469)
So anyway, Rogan may be cruising for first ballot induction. I don't know if I'll have him #1 or in an elect-me spot. He might be an inner circle talent, but he is also not a NB because of the uncertainties. But then we have elected a lot of not-NBs over the years and Rogan is probably better than a couple of them.

Sure... its a backlog year and you don't need to be a NB to be a runaway first ballot inductee this year, that's for sure. Just interested in more discussion. I've gotten a bit... and I'll get a bit more in the first ten ballots posted Monday or Tuesday.

But, before the voting actually starts, is there any reason why I shouldn't have Rogan number 1 this week?
   28. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 29, 2004 at 12:52 AM (#985474)
Chris Cobb, do you have any WS equivalents for Rogan (or an I9 W/L)? Balloting oepns tomorrow, and I do NOT currently feel I have enough information to put him on my ballot

I have plenty of information to place him near the top of my ballot, but Chris' equivalents will help me decide whether or not to place him in an "elect me" spot or somewhere else in the top five.
   29. Chris Cobb Posted: November 29, 2004 at 03:13 PM (#986267)
But then Chris pointed out that those were his age 31-39/40 seasons and that prior to that he had played on what was probably one of the 2-3 best black teams in America.

Please note that gadfly posted information over the weekend about Rogan on the Beckwith thread (based on his published biography) that indicates that Rogan was born in 1893, not 1889. Apparently he lied about his age to join the Army. So 1920-29 are his 27 to 36 seasons. An important difference.

gadfly's info should probably be copied and placed here.
   30. Chris Cobb Posted: November 29, 2004 at 03:18 PM (#986277)
I have plenty of information to place him near the top of my ballot, but Chris' equivalents will help me decide whether or not to place him in an "elect me" spot or somewhere else in the top five.

I'm sorry, but I am not going to have time to do ws equivalents for Rogan for at least the next three days. I'm pushing to meet several big deadlines this week.
   31. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 29, 2004 at 04:41 PM (#986394)
I'm sorry, but I am not going to have time to do ws equivalents for Rogan for at least the next three days. I'm pushing to meet several big deadlines this week.

Nothing to be sorry about, Chris (though I don't understand why you think your profession is more important than the HoM). :-)
   32. KJOK Posted: November 30, 2004 at 12:27 AM (#987155)
Copying Gadfly's post on Rogan from the Beckwith thread:

"'s apparent that no one has read or owns Rogan's wonderful (but very biased) biography by Phil Dixon "Bullet Joe and the Monarchs."

Rogan was born in 1893, not 1889 (he advanced his age to join the army). Rogan played with his hometown Kansas City Giants in 1911, the 24th infantry from 1912 to 1914, and the 25th Infantry Wreckers from 1915 to 1919.

Rogan get out of the Army in 1917 and did play for the All Nations and the Kansas City Giants before being redrafted for the duration of World War One. He finally got his Negro League career going in June of 1920 at the age of 26 (almost 27).

Both Rogan and Beckwith would have been first ballot Hall of Fame players in my estimation if given the chance to play in the Majors.

Rogan was basically a combination of Zack Wheat and Dazzy Vance, a Hall of Fame hitter and Hall of Fame pitcher. I think he would have been in the Majors from 1915 to 1935 or so.

Beckwith was a cross between Rogers Hornsby and Lou Gehrig playing Third base and would have played in the Majors from 1919 to about 1938 or so.

I've got to admit that, if I had to chose between them, I'd pick Rogan. Great as Beckwith was at bat, Rogan was like two Hall of Famers rolled into one and is definitely in the top 10 Negro Leaguers of all time.

But John Beckwith is not far behind. "
   33. Gary A Posted: December 07, 2004 at 09:36 PM (#1004057)
Hi, I'm a Negro League researcher, and I've been following the discussions here for a while--they're the best ongoing public debates about Negro League players I'm aware of. I don't know that I have time to fill out full ballots, but I can contribute some information here and there, if nobody minds.

Bullet Rogan was just elected (and I think you all got him about right), but you might want to see this, from Patrick Rock's 1923 Negro National League yearbook, a reconstruction of that season for Replay Baseball, a tabletop game. His statistics are quite a bit different from Holway's.

*-led league
W Pct. - .593 (Monarchs were 61-37. .622; 54-32, .628 in league games)
ERA-2.94 (2nd in league, behind Ed Rile's 2.53)

Sorry-don't have league totals or park factors, but I can report from the schedule Patrick compiled that the Monarchs played 31 home games in the hitter-friendly Association Park, and 27 in the pitcher-friendly Muehlebach Field.
   34. Gary A Posted: December 07, 2004 at 09:41 PM (#1004071)
Bullet Rogan, 1923 hitting

Patrick doesn't include fielding stats (though I think he did compile them), but according to his player card in the Replay game he played LF and P primarily, but also CF, RF, 1B, 2B, and 3B.
   35. Gary A Posted: December 07, 2004 at 09:58 PM (#1004135)
By the way, through the early 1920s at least, Rogan was known in the black press as "Bullet" or "Bullets" Rogan (or simply Wilber Rogan). Phil Dixon's biography of Rogan says that the "Bullet Joe" nickname started with white reporters, who named him after Bullet Joe Bush.
   36. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 07, 2004 at 11:53 PM (#1004506)
By the way, through the early 1920s at least, Rogan was known in the black press as "Bullet" or "Bullets" Rogan (or simply Wilber Rogan). Phil Dixon's biography of Rogan says that the "Bullet Joe" nickname started with white reporters, who named him after Bullet Joe Bush.

Hmm...his HOF plaque has him as Bullet Rogan, too. I think I'll change it then. Thanks for the info, Gary!
   37. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 08, 2004 at 12:02 AM (#1004536)
BTW Gary, do you know if Rogan led the Negro National League in 1922 with 16? Holway doesn't have him listed as such.
   38. Gary A Posted: December 08, 2004 at 01:47 AM (#1004866)
That I don't know for sure. Right now Holway's the best source on that season.
   39. Gary A Posted: December 08, 2004 at 03:42 AM (#1005005)
Just looking through my Rogan-related stuff...From the 1986 SABR Baseball Research Journal, stats for the 1930 NNL season, compiled by John Holway and Dick Clark:


He isn't listed among the pitchers, but only the top five in innings pitched for each team are listed.

Rogan was hurt in a bus accident that injured several other Monarchs, and left the team shorthanded for a long barnstorming series with the Homestead Grays. The Grays won 13 of 15, including the famous 12-inning night game duel between Joe Williams and Chet Brewer.
   40. Gary A Posted: December 08, 2004 at 03:46 AM (#1005008)
Sorry, Rogan's 1930 BA was .311, SLG was .388.
   41. jonesy Posted: December 08, 2004 at 10:48 AM (#1005813)
I'm beginning to think that the nicknames were somewhat generic in nature.

Will Jackman, whom many thought was the greatest A-A pitcher was also called Cannonball. A pitching teammate on the Philadelphia Colored Giants - barnstorming around New England in the 20s and 30s - was called "Bullets."
   42. Gary A Posted: December 09, 2004 at 03:43 AM (#1007756)
This isn't that enlightening, but I've done some research on the 1934 season, and Rogan was the team's regular left fielder that season. The Monarchs spent much of the year barnstorming against the House of David in the upper Midwest, Pacific northwest, and Canadian west, but they did play a few games against NNL teams. Here's how Rogan did:

   43. jonesy Posted: December 09, 2004 at 12:11 PM (#1008251)

Can you provide Rogan's stats versus the House of David?

I'm having a difficult time evaluating the level of competition Jackman faced in New England in the 20's and 30's. I've having a lot of luck finding boxscores but many of the teams he and the Phi. C. Giants faced were just town teams. I have a spattering of ex or future big leaguers facing Jackman, and a lot of guys I know were minor leaguers, but the best competion I have run across so far have been teams from the Cape Cod League and the Boston Twilight League (not that I discount the competition levels of those two leagues).

It was not unusual for Jackman to fan 15 or more any time out and he also, not surprisingly, played the outfield where he had a good reputation as a hitter.

Right now I am working on the 1929 season where the Giants played often against the House of David team.

Jackman's numbers versus them in 1929 compared to Rogan's numbers in '34 might be worth looking at.
   44. Gary A Posted: December 09, 2004 at 08:35 PM (#1009132)
Sorry, don't have that compiled. Actually, very few of the Monarchs-HOD games in '34 made their way into the Chicago Defender or KC Call (the main sources for Monarchs' news that year). I do think there are a few box scores, though, and the Monarchs' appearance in the Denver Post tourney was well-covered, including their two games against the HOD. The Monarchs, incidentally, borrowed Turkey Stearnes, Bill Foster, and Willie Wells from Chicago for the tourney, while the House of David countered with Satchel Paige and his catcher Bill Perkins. Paige shut out KC in the championship game.

Anyway, I can get out those box scores and see what's in them.
   45. Gadfly Posted: December 09, 2004 at 10:28 PM (#1009408)

I've always wanted to see more on Will Jackman and wish you well on your project. Here are a couple of Notes for you off the top of my head though you probably already know them.

From Census research, it does actually seem that Jackman was born in 1894. The 1900 Census lists the five year old Jackman living on his father's (Charles Jackman) farm in Texas. The 1920 Census lists him still there, working on his father's farm.

Will Jackman's first came north, as far as I can tell, in 1925 when he was 30. He joined the Lincoln Giants just in time to watch the team be completely torn apart by the aftermath of the Dave Brown murder case. Lincoln had the worst season of their history and Jackman went off to barnstorm in New England with Danny McClellan's Philadelphia Giants.

Late in 1928 the Lincoln Giants (the Eastern Colored League had collapsed) and the Philadelphia Giants played a series of games billed as the Colored World Championship in (I think) Brockton MA and New York City. If I get a chance, I'll try to dig up some info from my notes.

I would love to see a summary of that series. I do remember that Jackman lost the game he pitched in New York (mostly, according to the paper, because of defensive miscues by his teammates).

After Jackman played for the Brooklyn Eagles in 1935 and 1936 (pitching respectably at 40 years old in the Negro Leagues), he pitched some match games in 1937 against Johnny Taylor, the New York Cuban's ace. Taylor was pitching for the Hartford Gems after the collapse of the Cubans because of Alejandro Pompez's legal problems.

In 1942 Jackman pitched for the Boston Royal Giants in the Negro Baseball League, a doomed competitor to the two major Negro Leagues. I've never really seen anything about that League and a better history of it would be fascinating (It was a true nationwide league including a teams in Chicago and Detroit).

Right before Jackman's death in 1972, Will finally got some recognition for his baseball career. There was a field in Roxbury MA (Carter Field, I think) that was renamed for him (in June, I think) and Ray Fitzgerald of the Globe wrote some articles about him.

Jackman died of a stroke late in 1972 in Marion, MA while visiting some friends. Marion, of course, is a small harbor village in southern MA near Fall River. I do remember seeing a note in the 1920s that the Philadelphia Giants had leased a field for the season in Fall River.

Two other notes-

Glenn Stout, the Boston baseball writer, wrote an article about Will Jackman (called "Diamonds Are Forever") for Boston Magazine back in about 1985 and has evidently done some research in black baseball in Boston (such as the famous Moses Cisco). He may be a good contact.

There was a great picture of Will Jackman in a Philadelphia Giants uniform in the 2001 Black Ball Calender. There is also a picture of the 1935 Brooklyn Eagles in Spring Training that I see sometimes. Although he is not identified, I think Jackman is the tallest guy in the back row (but I could be mistaken).
   46. jonesy Posted: December 10, 2004 at 12:31 AM (#1009697)
Gadfly and Gary,

Thanks to both of you. I have the 1900 census with his correct 1894 birth but I had not seen the 1920 census. That's interesting as he listed 1918 as his first year pitching professionally. In 1929 both the Taunton and Brockton papers said that the Giants would be using New Bedford as their home city. New Bedford is but a few miles from Fall River. I am just starting 1928 now and had not heard of the "Colored World Series" but will now be on the look out for it.

I have seen the '35 Brooklyn photo. The HOF has some nice pictures of Jackman, one being a team photo of the East Douglas team in the Blackstone Valley League. Jackman is the only non-white on the team and is standing next to (who appears to be) Hank Greenberg.

I have spoken to Stout. He said most of what he had appeared in that article. I think I have most of the major Boston paper stories on Jackman from the late 1940s thru his death. There are about two dozen.

I expect this project to take several years and I hope I can find enough for a full biography. My goal is to have 200+ games in his database by the time the SABR convention rolls around.

One statement he made in 1947 was "That was my 1,200th game; well it could have been 1,199 or 1,201." This makes me believe he was actually counting them. And he kept pitching until 1953.
   47. Gary A Posted: December 10, 2004 at 02:17 AM (#1009897)
I have some stuff on Jackman, Jonesy, about that 1928 series with the Lincolns.

He pitched in three games against the Lincoln Giants, the first two for the Quaker City Giants, the third for a team called the "Colored All Stars," managed by Danny McClellan (also the Giants' manager), and featuring players from several teams, including Chaney White and Judy Johnson. He lost all three, though he pitched fairly well; his teammates committed 11 errors behind him. The three games were on consecutive weekends (9/23, 9/30, 10/7), all at the Lincolns' home field, Catholic Protectory Oval in the Bronx.


All three were complete games. Jackman also hit 3 for 12.

The Chicago Defender refers to him twice as "Earl Jackman," but notes in its 9/29 issue that he's the Jackman famous in the Boston area.
   48. Gary A Posted: December 10, 2004 at 02:25 AM (#1009909)
Also on Jackman: Syd Pollock, the booking manager of the Havana Red Sox, a travelling Cuban team, wrote a pair of open letters to Jim Keenan, the owner of the Lincoln Giants (Pollock was angry that Keenan refused to book games with his team). The second letter was printed in the 9/19/28 issue of the NY Amsterdam News. In it Pollock writes:

" [Keenan] threatened to expose us in the newspapers for losing seven straight games to the Baltimore Black Sox recently. Is this any disgrace? How did you make out in your series with the Philadelphia Giants out around Boston a few weeks ago? Have you told your metropolitan fans about these defeats suffered by your club?"

In fact, while several of the Red Sox losses to Baltimore were generally reported in the eastern press, I've never seen a mention of the Lincolns/Quaker City Gts games in Massachusetts.

Gadfly--I'd love to hear more about those Brockton games, if you have anything. The only Lincolns' trips outside NYC in 1928 I know about were to Philadelphia to play Hilldale.
   49. Gary A Posted: December 10, 2004 at 02:30 AM (#1009923)
I found one more mention of Jackman in 1928. He pitched for Santop's Stars in a late April game against the Farmers, a popular white semipro team in the NYC area. The Farmers won, 7 to 1. Jackman pitched 8 innings, gave up 9 hits and 7 runs, walked 3, and struck out 3. His team committed 3 errors. Among Jackman's teammates were Burlin White, his catcher on the Quaker City Giants; Judy Gans, the longtime NeL outfielder; and Obie Lackey, a NeL infielder. (From NY Amsterdam News, 5/2/28)
   50. jonesy Posted: December 10, 2004 at 10:51 AM (#1010689)

Many thanks.

Burlin White died in Bedford, Ma., on April 5, 1971. He was a WW I vet and I believe White may have died in the Veterans Administration hospital there. White appears to have been the manager of the the P. C. Giants through most of their New England stay. He was referred to as the manager in most of the stories I have located in the 1929-1932 period. In the 1940s, when both Jackman and White were past 50, they were billed as the oldest battery in baseball. It was not unusual to find White pitching when Jackman was out of the lineup.

The suburban white papers around Boston were always very complimentary about the Giants, especially Jackman who seemed to have some type of transcendental power when it came to race relations. Of course, I may be reading to much into this and should reserve judgement until I actually start looking deeply into the Boston A-A papers.

My favorite so far. In the mid-1990s, a interview appeared in the Boston Herald. The story was about "Chink" Holmes, reported then as the last living member of the P. C. Giants still in Boston.

The team was barnstorming in Biddeford, Maine. As soon as the game started, a heckler started hurling racial slurs at the Giants player. This was very unusual as the Giants were well received all around New England (no doubt a factor as why Jackman lived here). The crowd - all of course being white - didn't appreciate the one heckling fan. After a couple of innings, smoke started coming from the parking area behind the the outfield. When everyone looked out there they saw that several members of the crowd had tourched the heckling fan's automobile.

All of these non-New England items you have sent will be a big help. I will be all over the 1928 Brockton papers next week.
   51. jonesy Posted: December 11, 2004 at 02:08 PM (#1012878)

Can you break down those fall 1928 games game-by-game for me. I would like to add them to Jackman's database. Opposing starting pitcher as well if you are willing.

KJOK had mentioned "Earl" Jackman earlier in this thread, or maybe another thread on this site, but until you confirmed it, I was unsure if was Will.

KJOK, Gary or Gadfly:

Have you ever run across Jackman facing Paige. Various sources say they faced each other twice, with some saying they split and other saying Jackman won both.
   52. jonesy Posted: December 15, 2004 at 12:09 AM (#1020886)
Gadfly and Gary,

The 1928 New England series between the Phil. Colored Giants and the Lincoln Giants did in fact take place. Only one of the four games was played in Brockton; the others were scheduled for Worcester and New Bedford (2).

Jackman tossed a three-hit shutout against the L. Giants on August 30 (the game only went seven innings due to darkness). Bill fanned nine was passing four.

"Bill Jackman added another game to his long list of victories..."

This game came four days after Jackman beat the Osterville team of the Cape Cod League, 9-1, with a four-hitter, two of which were registered by future major leaguer Ed Wineapple.
   53. Gary A Posted: December 15, 2004 at 03:36 AM (#1021257)
Jonesy, here are Jackman's three appearances against the Lincolns in NYC in 1928:


Hope this is readable.

Actually, I wonder if I could arrange to get a photocopy of that Brockton box score you found? I can send you copies of the newspaper coverage of the NYC games. Email me if you're interested.
   54. Gary A Posted: December 16, 2004 at 05:01 AM (#1023832)
I've compiled some batting numbers for Rogan's 1921 season:

1921 Bullet Rogan
Kansas City Monarchs
G-75 (team 90)
SB-18 (tied for team lead)
AVE-.307 (NeL .263)
OBA-.385 (NeL .324)
SLG-.472 (NeL .361)

Over the next few days I should be able to put together his pitching and fielding stats.
   55. jonesy Posted: December 16, 2004 at 10:10 PM (#1025813)

I am interested in trading boxscores. I trie emailing you via BBPrimer's service but apparently it did not go through.

Please email me at
   56. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 16, 2004 at 10:26 PM (#1025874)
I am interested in trading boxscores. I trie emailing you via BBPrimer's service but apparently it did not go through.

Gary may not allow that service on his end.
   57. Chris Cobb Posted: December 17, 2004 at 01:38 AM (#1026333)

Thanks for the 1921 Rogan data!

Two questions:

1) Are the NeL averages for 1921 you have provided for batting average, on base percentage, and slugging percentage for the Negro National League or are major Eastern teams included as well?

2) Do you have such data for other seasons? I'd be grateful for any seasons and leagues that you have. It would be immensely helpful to me in working out conversions of Negro-League records into major-league equivalents.

   58. Chris Cobb Posted: December 17, 2004 at 03:43 AM (#1026668)
Just noticed that KJOK included NeL averages for 1928 in an earlier Rogan post. So the same questions for KJOK:

1) Are those Negro National League avgs or do they include the ECL as well?

2) Do you have any other such data?

   59. Gary A Posted: December 17, 2004 at 04:37 AM (#1026746)

Don't know what the problem is--my account info says I accept email from other members. Oh well--I'll get in touch with you at that address.


The 1921 averages are for NNL teams plus the Bacharachs and Hilldales, who were associate members of the league and played NNL teams, plus several independent teams --in the west, the Pittsburgh Keystones and Cleveland Tate Stars, who would join the NNL in 1922, and in the east the All Cubans and Baltimore Black Sox.

There was no eastern league in 1921, of course. The other three teams--the Lincoln Gts, eastern Cuban Stars, and Brooklyn Royal Gts--were I think all booked by Nat Strong. Basically there seemed to be a war between Nat Strong and Rube Foster and his allies--Strong-booked teams basically didn't play NNL-associated teams that year. I haven't compiled games between those three eastern teams yet, so their stats aren't part of the averages I cited.
   60. Gary A Posted: December 17, 2004 at 04:51 AM (#1026767)
Over the next few days I should be able to provide totals for NNL games only, in addition to other stuff.

Actually, KJ got his NeL stuff from me. I've got 1928 and (soon) 1921 compiled (though they're not complete). Anyway I think he was combining east and west. The averages for the two regions are nearly identical:

East (ECL+): .282/.333./.384
West (NNL+): .278/.333/.384

Both include games with important independent teams--there were more of these in the east, where the league disintegrated early (and important teams like Homestead and Hilldale were never members).
   61. KJOK Posted: December 17, 2004 at 06:05 AM (#1026923)
As Gary noted, he's was my 'secret source' for 1928 data and deserves all the credit for researching and compiling it!

As he also figured out, I combined ECL and NNL games for the averages I posted as they were extremely close anyway...
   62. Chris Cobb Posted: December 17, 2004 at 02:00 PM (#1027256)

Thanks very much for the explanation and thanks in advance for any more information you can provide.
   63. Gary A Posted: December 18, 2004 at 06:39 AM (#1028819)
1921 Bullet Rogan Pitching
NNL Kansas City Monarchs

TRA-3.32 (NeL 5.20)
IP-200.7* (led league)
K-118 (2nd)
SB-32* (most in league)
OAVE-.225 (NeL .263)
OOBA-.300 (NeL .324)
OSLG-.303 (NeL .361)
   64. Gary A Posted: December 18, 2004 at 06:40 AM (#1028821)
Rogan's 22 complete games led the league, too.
   65. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: May 22, 2005 at 10:17 PM (#1354994)
BULLET ROGAN'S PLACEMENTS ON HOLWAY-BASED CAREER NGL LEADERBOARDS (1920-1948, 1923 KC Monarchs used courtesy of Gary A.---thanks, Gary!)

WINS t-4th at 144

LOSSES t-24th with 57

DECISIONS 9th with 201

(50 Decisions Minimum) 6th
(25 Decisions Minimum) 10th
(10 Decisions Minimum) 21st

(50 Decisions Minimum) 18th
(25 Decisions Minimum) 26th
(10 Decisions Minimum) 42nd

WAT 9th with 13.7

(50 Decisions Minimum) 37th
(25 Decisions Minimum) 55th
(10 Decisions Minimum) 85th


1920 6th in NNL and NgLs with 10 wins

1921 2nd in NNL and NgLs with 20 wins (note here Holway and Gary differ; I'm only going with Holway here because I don't have complete team figures for KC.)

1922 Led NgLs and NNL with 20 wins.

1923 Led NgLs and NNL with 16 wins (tied).

1924 Led NNL with 17 wins, 4th in NgLs.

1925 Led NNL with 20 wins, 2nd in NgLs.

1926 t-3rd in NNL with 14 wins, 6th in NgLs.

1927 t-3rd in NNL with 15 wins, t-4th in NgLs.

1928 t-6th in NNL and NgLs with 11 wins.
   66. Son of Bohica Posted: August 14, 2005 at 05:19 PM (#1545204)
Bullet Rogan's hitting breakdowns for 1923:

In Association Park:
In Muehlebach:
Away games:

Totals for Monarchs' 98 games
This is not the total of the NNL in 1923, but the totals (Monarchs and opponents) played by Rogan's team. It generally eliminates the need for figuring a park factor.

His pitching breakdowns:
In Association:
In Muehlebach:
Away games:

Overall ERA for all players in games played by the Monarchs is 3.58, OppBA was .290.

Earned runs were estimated,using known ER and then extrapolating a percentage of ER/R based on fielding errors per 9 innings.

His fielding for 1923
(EDI = Est. Def. Inn.)
P 34/248.3/19/81/1
LF 15/ 98.3/19/0/1
CF 9/ 65.0/14/1/0
RF 2/ 10.0/1/0/0
3B 1/ 7.0/2/1/0
1B 2/ 3.0/4/0/0
2B 1/ 2.0/0/1/0
   67. KJOK Posted: September 17, 2011 at 07:28 AM (#3927873)
   68. KJOK Posted: September 17, 2011 at 08:32 PM (#3928210)

Bullet Rogan's Real Stats
   69. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 21, 2017 at 11:34 AM (#5559521)
Hey, everyone,

Please find my latest MLEs for Rogan here. The MLE method is fully articulated in a link in the article. This MLE represents Rogan if he had only been a pitcher.
   70. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: December 20, 2017 at 04:34 PM (#5595946)
Hey, gang,

Please find my latest MLEs for Rogan as a batter-only here. No pitching included. He was a heckuva hitter.

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