Nickname: Andy, Pullman
Teams: Louisville Black Caps (1932), Cleveland Cubs (1932), Nashville Elite Giants (1932-1934), Columbus Elite Giants (1935), Washington Elite Giants (1936-1937), Baltimore Elite Giants (1938-1939, 1942-1946), Mexican League (1939-1943), Newark Eagles (1947), Indianapolis Clowns (1948-1950), minor leagues (1952)
Height: 6' 4'' Weight: 190
Born: March 7, 1912, Little Rock, Arkansas
This big right-handed power pitcher threw smoke and had a good slider, and along with Bill Byrd and Jonas Gaines formed the Big Three on the Baltimore Elite Giants' pitching staff. He began his pro career with the Louisville Black Caps in 1932, but joined the Elites, then based in Nashville, in the fall and stayed with the ballclub as the franchise moved to Columbus, Washington, and finally to Baltimore. After one full season in the Elites' final location, Porter jumped to Mexico for five years.
During his first two seasons (1939-1940), pitching with Tampico (10-7, 2.38 ERA) and Nuevo Laredo (21-14, 3.35 ERA), he led the league in strikeouts, averaging 6.8 and 7.1 per game, respectively. During this time he also pitched two seasons (1939-1941) in the Cuban winter league, splitting 18 decisions on the island. Back in Mexico for the 1941 summer, he experienced his first losing season (11-16, 4.48 ERA), pitching with the Mexico City Reds. In 1942 he had a 7-1 record with the Elites, but after joining Vera Cruz he experienced control problems and dropped to a 5-8 record and a 5.66 ERA. The following season he appeared in only 3 games without a decision, before returning to Baltimore.
Upon his return to the Elites, "Pullman" won 3 of his 4 decisions in 1944, and followed in 1945 with a perfect 7-0 record, including 2 shutouts. In 1946, his last year with the Elites, he dropped to a 2-4 mark. Following a brief stint with the Newark Eagles, he signed with the Indianapolis Clowns in the Negro American League, where he posted a 4-5 mark with a 4.68 ERA in 1948. In 1949 he improved to a 10-6 record with a 3.64 ERA, and made his only appearance in the All-Star game. In 1950 he appeared in only 3 games, winning his only 2 decisions.
Two years later he entered organized ball briefly, pitching with Porterville in the Southwest International League in 1952 and posting a 3-5 record to close out his playing days. During his baseball career Porter always wore tailor-made suits, and after ending that career, he worked for twenty-three years with a rubber company before retiring in Los Angeles.
Baseball Career Highlights:
"In 1934, I played in the East-West All Star Classic."
Although the Elite Giants originated in Nashville, Porter followed the franchise as it moved to Columbus, Washington and finally, Baltimore. Shortly thereafter, Porter changed locations again but this time it was South of the border as a player in the Mexican League (1939-1943). He spent his final playing days with the Winnipe Buffs (1950-1953). In 1954, Porter began working for Goodyear Rubber Company. He retired in 1977.
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.