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Specks Webster

 

Date and Place of Birth: July 8, 1889 Wayland, MO
Date and Place of Death:    November 16, 1918 France
Baseball Experience: Negro League
Position: Catcher
Rank: Corporal
Military Unit: 807th Pioneer Infantry AEF
Area Served: France

Specks Webster was one of the most popular Negro players around Brooklyn semi-pro fields before the First World War.

Pearl F. “Specks” Webster was born on July 8, 1889 in Wayland, Missouri. A fleet-footed catcher who could also play first base and the outfield, he began his professional baseball career with the Chicago Leland Giants in 1911. The left-handed hitter played for the Brooklyn Royal Giants from 1912 to 1916, hitting .333 his last season with the club. He was described as “a fine fielder, clever batsman and a great base stealer,” by the Brooklyn Eagle, which went on to explain how, one day “he stole, second, third and home in one inning.”

During the winter months, along with many Negro players, Webster traveled south to play in Florida’s Coconut League – a circuit of teams made up of hotel-run clubs from Miami and Palm Beach. Webster played for Hotel Royal Poinciana from 1912 to 1915. In 1916 he was with the Breakers Hotel Bulldogs playing with future Hall-of-Famer Smokey Joe Williams.

Webster joined the Hilldale Daisies for the summer of 1917 and hit .381. He then joined the Grand Central Terminal Red Caps in 1918.

Specks Webster was drafted into the Army during the summer of 1918, trained at Camp Dix, New Jersey and served as a corporal in France with the 807th Pioneer Infantry. He succumbed to influenza in France on November 16, 1918, aged 29. He was survived by his wife, Alice.

Sources
Brooklyn Eagle, Mar 18, 1914, Mar 1, 1915, Feb 8, 1916, Dec 20, 1918
New York Age, Apr 6, 1918
Schenectady Gazette, Aug 7, 1913

Date Added June 10, 2012

 

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