While many debate the greatest Negro League player of all time, Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson or Oscar Charleston, it has become less of a debate on the greatest team of all time. That honor has been narrowed to two teams, the 1931 Homestead Grays and the 1935 Pittsburgh Crawfords.
The Pittsburgh Crawfords were owned by Gus Greenlee. The team was a member of the Negro National League.
The 1935 Pittsburgh Crawfords consisted of the following:
Oscar Charleston — 1B, CF (Hall of Famer)
Considered the best if not in in the top 3 Negro League Players of all time. Charleston was a smart and fierce competitor and was the team’s player-manager.
Josh Gibson — C (Hall of Famer)
The twenty four year old was in his prime and he showed it that season.
James “Cool Papa” Bell — CF (Hall of Famer)
The fastest player in the league, and perhaps of all time.
James “Judy” Johnson — 3B (Hall of Famer)
One of the games great defensive players.
John “Jimmy” Crutchfield — OF
Tremendous role player on a deep and great ballclub.
Two players jumped from the Crawfords before the season began.
Satchel Paige — RHP (Hall of Famer)
The team compiled a 51–26–3 (.656) record and won the NNL pennant.
The team's leading batters were:
SPat Patterson - .386 batting average with 23 extra-base hits and 41 RBIs
Josh Gibson - .369 batting average with 10 home runs and 57 RBIs
Cool Papa Bell - .345 batting average and 12 stolen bases
Sam Bankhead - .338 batting average
Leroy Matlock compiled an 8–0 record and 1.52 ERA