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Chester Brooks

Chester Brooks
Nickname: Irvin

Career: 1918-1933
Positions: cf, rf, 2b, p
Team: Brooklyn Royal Giants
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Born: Nassau, Bahamas

During the 1920s he was one of the best all-around ballplayers and also one of the most underpublicized stars. A strong right-handed hitter, his consistency at the plate didn't command the attention it should have because he played with a losing ballclub. He was an outstanding hitter: available averages show marks of .304 and .330 for 1924-1925 and correlate with the type of hitter oral histories attribute him to be. A good outfielder defensively, the West Indian toiled his entire 16-year career with the Brooklyn Royal Giants.

A Nassauan, one source indicates that he began his career as a pitcher and was discovered by Rube Foster in the Florida Keys in 1917. He was signed as a pitcher but hurt his arm and, although he continued to pitch for a few more years, he played more often as an outfielder. A broken ankle sustained in 1923 still caused him trouble and hampered his base running in 1924, but he was still regarded as the best utility man in the East. As the regular right fielder for the Brooklyn Royal Giants that season, he was their cleanup hitter.

Source: James A. Riley, The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues, New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers, Inc., 1994.