|Herbert Allen "Rap" Dixon|
|Born: September 15, 1902|
|Died: July 20, 1944 (aged 41) |
Although Dixon began playing in the league in 1922, he joined the semi-pro Keystone Giants in 1916 at the age of fourteen. Dixon was noticed for his quick and powerful bat by William Strothers, who was building up the independent Giants at the time.
When Dixon began playing for Strothers in the 1920s, the outfield for the Giants was one of the best of all time; Dixon, Oscar Charleston, and Fats Jenkins. The lineup, in its entirety, scored runs at a higher pace than the 1927 New York Yankees. Dixon had many weapons; speed, hitting, and power were all his strengths and he became known as a triple threat. In 1929, he batted .382 with seven home runs, and led the league with six triples.
In a doubleheader played on Saturday, July 5, 1930, Dixon helped make history at Yankee Stadium, which, for the first time ever, played host to two Negro League teams. With 20,000 in attendance, Dixon hit one home run in the opener, then two more in the nightcap to help Baltimore salvage a split with the Lincoln Giants.
In later years, with the Black Sox, Rap played with his brother Dick and also with Day. Dixon was selected to the East-West All-Star Game in 1933. Also, in 26 games against white major leaguers, he compiled a .372 average.
The accomplished Negro League legend died at age 41 in Detroit, Michigan.