#Spotlight – This week as part of Black History Month, we introduce you to Raleigh "Biz" Mackey. Considered one of the greatest catchers in Negro league history.
When you think of the Negro Leagues and catchers you think of Josh Gibson and Roy Campanella, but many believe that Biz Mackey was right with them, especially defensively.
“Actually, as much as I admired Campanella as a catcher, all-around, and Gibson as a hitter,” said Hall of Famer Cool Papa Bell, “I believe Biz Mackey was the best catcher I ever saw.”
Mackey's first season with the Hilldale Giants, he would hit .423, while winning the ECL batting title and pacing the team to the pennant. He would hit over .300 for the next eight seasons.
Mackey's catching career lasted an amazing 30 years. He played for the Hilldale Giants, Philadelphia Stars, Newark Eagles, Indianapolis ABCs and the Baltimore/Washington Elite Giants.
Mackey joined the Newark Eagles in 1939 as manager mentored young players such as Monte Irvin, Larry Doby, and Don Newcombe.
Mackey was still playing in his 40s, where he batted .307 in 1945, and appeared in the 1947 All-Star Game at age 50.
He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2006.