#Spotlight – This week as part of Black History Month, we introduce you to Norman "Turkey" Stearnes. Considered one of the greatest hitters in Negro league history.
Stearnes was a five-tool player and five time All-Star selection to the Negro Leagues East-West All-Star Classic.
His nickname “Turkey” came from the unusual way he ran, which resembled that of a turkey, with his arms flapping.
A accomplished center fielder he hit over .400 three times while also accumulating 143 stolen bases. While many think of Josh Gibson as the Negro Leagues all time home run hitter, it is Stearnes who is credited with the most career home runs, leading the league seven times over his career.
In 2001, Bill James ranked Stearnes as the 25th greatest baseball player of all-time and the best left fielder in the Negro Leagues.
Stearnes' known career statistics include a .344 batting average, 176 home runs, 750 games, and a .621 slugging percentage.
Stearnes was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2000.