Oscar Charleston was born on this date in 1896 and died 9 days short of his 58th birthday.
By some accounts Charleston was the greatest player of his era, and possibly of all time. In The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract [c. 2001, Free Press] ranked Charleston the 4th greatest player of all time, behind only Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, and Willie Mays. Click on the image to the right to view a copy of Charleston’s Strat-O-Matic All Time Greats VII Online League card.
It was about a year ago that oneforfive profiled the Seamheads’ Outsider Baseball Bulletin and had the privilege to break the exclusive announcement that the OBB would be releasing a full-team Strat-O-Matic (and, it turns out, APBA Baseball) set of the 1933-34 Pittsburgh Crawfords. Unfortunately, due to copyright concerns, the publication was unable to continue to provide these freebies as a part of the subscription, but some of us were lucky enough to have been subscribers during the promotion and did end up with most of the set.
Below is a copy of the advanced Oscar Charleston card that was included in the February 27, 2013 issue of the Outsider Baseball Bulletin.
So APBA ballplayers don’t feel left out, the card below was a part of the APBA 20 Team Best of the Negro Leagues card set, which is an official APBA release: