McDuffie was successful as an outfielder early in his career, hitting .297 and leading
the league with 18 stolen bases with the Birmingham Black Barons in 1930. He became
a strong pitcher with good control; with the Newark Eagles in 1938, he completed
all 27 of the games he started. He was 27-5 in 1941, leading the Homestead Grays
to the pennant. He was also the winning pitcher in his first East-West all-star game
In 1945 McDuffie and Dave "Showboat" Thomas had tryouts with the Brooklyn
Dodgers, largely as a publicity stunt forced on Branch Rickey by Joe Bostic, sports
editor of the black newspaper People's Voice. Both players were in their late thirties, past their prime. Rickey signed Jackie Robinson later that year.
FROM THE BASEBALL CHRONOLOGY
»March 25, 1945: A group of blacks appears at the Dodger offices to ask for tryouts for aging Negro Leaguers P Terris McDuffie and 1B Dave Thomas. The two will work out for Branch Rickey in Brooklyn on April 7.