Positions: p, of, 3b, 1b
Teams: Atlanta Athletics (1934), Atlanta Black Crackers (1935, 1938-1939), Memphis Red Sox (1940-1948), Jacksonville Redcaps (1938), Indianapolis ABCs (1939), Baltimore Elite Giants (1939), Newark Eagles (1939), Ethiopian Clowns (1939-1940), Birmingham Black Barons (1949)
Height: 6' 2'' Weight: 180
Born: October 3, 1911, Atlanta, Georgia
Died: August 21, 1993, Pompano Beach, Florida
After starring as an all-around athlete at Morehouse College, this Atlanta athlete began his professional baseball career in 1934. A mound star for the Atlanta Black Crackers and the Memphis Red Sox throughout most of his sixteen-year career, the right-hander's best pitch was a good overhand curve, which was called his "mountain drop." A good hitter, as attested by his .295 batting average in 1949, when not taking his turn on the slab, he often played in the outfield or pinch hit when the occasion required.
In 1946, his 15-1 record at the All Star break earned the Memphis Red Sox star the starting assignment for the West in the midseason classic, played at Comiskey Park. The curveball artist shut out the East sluggers, yielding only 1 hit in his 3-inning stint, while registering the victory. At the end of the season, Chin was also the starting and winning pitcher in the North-South All Star game.
In the spring of 1938, while a freshman at Morehouse College, he played baseball with the Atlanta Black Crackers, remaining home on road trips so he would not miss classes. Because he would not travel with the team, the management dropped him from the squad in May, and he subsequently joined the Jacksonville Redcaps and became a big winner. Included in his win streak was an impressive victory over his former teammates, and within a month the Atlanta Black Crackers had negotiated for his return. After returning to the fold he became one of the "Big Three" pitchers who pitched them to the second-half title. Late in the baseball season, when college football practice began, the versatile athlete doubled up and on one occasion left football practice to pitch a postseason victory over the Birmingham Black Barons.
In the playoffs against the Memphis Red Sox, winners of the Negro American League's first-half title, the lanky right-hander was called on to start the first game against "Double Duty" Radcliffe. The Red Sox won the first two games of the series, but a dispute arose between the managements of the two ballclubs, and the championship series was never completed.
The following season, the Atlanta Black Crackers' owner sold the team to some of the players, and the season became a disaster. Before the season was over, Evans would play with four different teams. After the Atlanta franchise moved to Indianapolis to play under the banner of the ABCs, the best players (including Evans) were sold to the Baltimore Elite Giants in late July, and the Black Crackers eventually disbanded. After about a week in Baltimore, the curveball artist was released and quickly signed by the Eagles before finishing the season with the Ethiopian Clowns in the fall. In 1940, pitching under his "Clown name" of Kalihari, he was credited with a 26-4 record for the Clowns. But that season also provided his start with the Memphis Red Sox, and he remained with the Tennessee team through 1948, when he posted a 7-9 record with a 4.28 ERA. The following season he joined the Birmingham Black Barons for his final baseball season.
A good-hitting pitcher, during his career he often pinch-hit and played in the outfield. He is credited with 17 home runs against all levels of competition during one season, and credits Willie Wells for making him a better hitter by teaching him to hit the curveball. After closing his active baseball career, he entered the field of education as a teacher and coach until his retirement.
Source: James A. Riley, The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues, New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers, Inc., 1994.