Positions: c, 1b, of, p
Teams: Memphis Red Sox, Kansas City Monarchs, Detroit Stars, Cleveland Buckeyes (1949-1950), Birmingham Black Barons, Philadelphia Stars, minor leagues (1950)
Born: December 1, 1921, Linden, Alabama
He was an outfielder with the 1949 Cleveland Buckeyes and, after beginning the 1950 season with the same ballclub, left to play in the Mandak League with Brandon and the Winnipeg Buffaloes. Beginning in 1951, after the decline of the Negro Leagues, he played and managed for several black teams for another decade. For a quarter century he was affiliated with ballclubs in organized baseball as an instructor, scout, and coach.
Baseball Career Highlights:
Reminiscing about the Negro Leagues, Evans commented, "We took a lot of abuse, stuff that people wouldn't know about these days, but we were one family. We were the nice guys who finished last except on the field." Evans said that the big losers in those days were the white baseball fans. "They didn't know what they were missing. They talk about all the great hitters - Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle. They don't ever talk about Josh Gibson, the greatest home run hitter of all time. Josh could hit a home run with one hand. I was there. I saw him do it. They talk about the great base runners, but they don't talk about "Cool Papa" Bell, the greatest of them all. They talk about the great pitchers, but most of them never saw Satchel Paige . I admired him because he threw strikes. He was always around the plate. He had absolute control, and he did it for more than 50 years."
Honored by the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1990, in a Salute to the Negro Leagues, Evans has been rated by many major league organizations as the best hitting instructor in organized baseball. Presently, Evans spends his spare time speaking to youth about the Negro Leagues and the importance of family values.
Awards, Honors, Titles, Championships,
• First Base Coach, St. Louis Cardinals AAA Ball Club
• Honorary Mayor of Tuskegee, Alabama - January 29, 1979
• Red Birds American Association Champions - 1984-1985
• Key to the City of Birmingham, Alabama - 1985
• Awarded Commission of Kentucky Colonel by the
Commonwealth of Kentucky - December, 1985
• Brigham Young University's (BYU) Honorary Spokesman
Against Drug Abuse and Athletic Counselor - 1990
• State of Alabama Certificate of Commendation - May 16, 1994
• Loachapoka High School's Certificate of Appreciation in
Support of Sports Education (Loachapoka, Alabama)
• Auburn Flag Tag Football Raiders Championship - 1994
• Sankofa Academy Honors - 1997
• Columbia State University Certificate of Appreciation
(Columbia, Tennessee) - 1997
• PHAT KAP, Inc.'s Award for Contribution, Support and
Guidance for the Community of Nashville, Tennessee - 1997
• Loachapoka Community Honorary Elder (Loachapoka,
Alabama) - 1999
• Inspired the song, "Let's Play Ball," written by Larry Long - 2000
• City of Birmingham (Alabama) Resolution: A Salute to the
Legacy of Baseball - April 4, 2000
NLBM Legacy 2000 Players' Reunion Alumni Book, Kansas City Missouri: Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, Inc., 2000.
James A. Riley, The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues, New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers, Inc., 1994.