Although he never played in the white major leagues, Davis teamed with future major
leaguer Artie Wilson to form one of the outstanding double play combinations in Negro
League ball. He hit a team-leading .353 and led the Negro National League in RBI
as player-manager of the 1948 Birmingham Black Barons, leading them to the World
Series. At Birmingham from 1948 to 1950, he managed Willie Mays. In 1951 Davis became
the first black signed by the Red Sox. An outstanding all-around athlete, he also
played basketball for the Harlem Globetrotters.
FROM THE BASEBALL CHRONOLOGY
»May 13th, 1950: The Red Sox release Piper Davis, their first black minor leaguer. Davis hit .378 last season with the Birmingham Black Barons and was the leading hitter on the Scranton (Eastern L) team when the Sox released him.