Quincy Thomas Trouppe
Nickname: Big Train, Baby Quincy, El Roro
a.k.a. Quincey Troupe
Positions: c, of, 2b, p, manager
Teams: St. Louis Stars (1930-1931, 1939), Detroit Wolves (1932), Homestead Grays (1932), Kansas City Monarchs (1932, 1934-1936), Chicago American Giants (1933, 1948), Bismarck, N.D., Cubs (1933-1936), voluntarily retired (1937), Indianapolis ABCs (1938-1939), Mexican League (1939-1944, 1950-1951), Cleveland Buckeyes (1944-1947), New York Cubans (1949), Canadian League (1949), major leagues (1952)
Height: 6' 3'' Weight: 210
Born: December 25, 1912, Dublin, Georgia
Died: August 10, 1993, Creve Coeur, Missouri
A smart receiver and a superior handler of pitchers, this switch-hitter had power from both sides of the plate, but more from the right side. Consequently the pull-hitter received a substantial number of free passes from opposing pitchers. He used a heavy bat and was a good curveball hitter, but he did not have much speed on the bases. Trouppe played in five All Star games for the West squad over a ten-year period.
He was the youngest of ten children and learned early in life to watch out for himself. He was a Golden Gloves boxer before he began playing baseball, and he also attended Lincoln College in Missouri. The strong-armed catcher broke in with the Negro National League champion St. Louis Stars in 1931 as an eighteen-year-old youngster. In 1932 he played with the Homestead Grays and Kansas City Monarchs, and the following year he played as a reserve with another championship team, the Chicago American Giants.
After a three-year tour with Bismarck, North Dakota (1934-1936), he was out of baseball for a season. But the big receiver returned to the diamond with the Indianapolis ABCs in 1938 before traveling to Mexico, where he spent five years (1939-1944) plying his trade while also acquiring and polishing his managerial skills. In each of these seasons he hit over .300, registering averages of .307, .337, and .306 with Monterrey and .364 and .301 with Mexico City. The next year, during the height of World War II, he encountered difficulty with his draft board in securing a passport to return to Mexico. Seeking assistance, he contacted Mexican League president Jorge Pasquel, who quickly made arrangements for eighty thousand Mexican workers to be exchanged so Trouppe and Theolic Smith could leave their defense jobs and play baseball in Mexico.
Late in the 1944 season, Trouppe was contacted about managing the Cleveland Buckeyes for the 1945 season. He returned to the United States and played a few games at the end of the season with the Buckeyes to evaluate the personnel, and became playing manager for the Buckeyes in 1945, replacing Red Parnell, who remained as captain. With his able knowledge of the game and his own playing ability, he led his team to the Negro American League pennant. Although batting only .245 during the regular season, he hit .400 in the ensuing World Series as the Buckeyes swept the Negro National League champion Homestead Grays in 4 straight games. He continued his hot hitting into the next two seasons, with averages of .313 and .352 in 1946-1947. In the latter year the Buckeyes won another pennant under his leadership, but lost the World Series to the New York Cubans.
The next season, Trouppe played with the Chicago American Giants, hitting a robust .342 with 10 home runs. Leaving after one year, he traveled to Canada to play with Drummondville in the Provincial League, batting .282 for the 1949 season. In 1950 he returned to the Mexican League for a second, short stay, hitting .283 and .252 and 1950 and 1951 with Guadalajara.
Afterward he signed with the Cleveland Indians and played briefly in the major leagues in 1952. During his short time with the Indians the veteran catcher proved to be a hard worker, good on blocking balls, and a very good receiver with an excellent arm who called a good game. After only 10 at-bats and 1 major-league hit, he was assigned to Indianapolis in the American Association, and he completed the season with a .259 batting average.
Throughout his career Trouppe frequently played baseball year-round, logging twelve years of winter ball, including six All Star seasons. He played in Puerto Rico (1941-1942, 1944-1945, 1947-1950), Cuba (1950-1951), Venezuela (1945-1947, 1951-1953) and Colombia (1953-1954). Among his accomplishments in Puerto Rico was managing his Caguas team to a championship in the 1947-1948 winter league.
During his career, summer and winter, he played with about two dozen different teams over twenty-three years, during seventeen of which he was an All Star, and seven years were spent as a catcher-manager. He went to the East-West All Star game five times, and every year that he played, his team won. When he closed his career he had a lifetime average in the Negro Leagues of .311. For his eight years in the Mexican League he showed a .304 average, and for three winters in Cuba he finished with a .254 average. After retiring from baseball he was a scout for the St. Louis Cardinals for ten years.
Source: James A. Riley, The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues, New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers, Inc., 1994.