Harris, Jim - Pig


Died March 22, 2004

Jim "Pig" Harris, a former catcher in the National Negro Leagues during the 1940s. Because of his age, he never had an opportunity to make it into Major League Baseball once Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier, according to relatives.

He later became affiliated with the Mobile Black Bears, the Mobile Black Shippers and the Weinacker Red Sox as a manager-player with the semi-professional teams. "Semi-professional ball was very popular during those days," recalled Ralph "Tin Cup" Taylor.

Taylor, who formerly played with the Weinacker Red Sox, was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Indians and played with those organizations' minor league teams.

Taylor remembered Harris as a thoughtful man.

"He did a lot to develop players and spent his own money to do that," Taylor said. "He trained us well. He was well-versed in baseball. He was a very wonderful person."

Among the Major League players and Hall of Famers Harris helped to develop as youths were Hank Aaron, Amos Otis, Billy Williams, Willie McCovey and Tommie Agee, in addition to numerous minor league talents, according to Taylor.

Harris once hit a home run off Satchel Paige at Hartwell Field in Mobile.

Taylor said that Harris also had the opportunity to catch for Paige.

In 1997, Harris, Taylor and a number of others received the Mobile Minor League Hero's Award from Mayor Mike Dow and the City Council, Taylor said.