McDuffie, Terris - Speed

aka: ‘Elmer the Great’ & ‘Terris the Terrible’

Born: July 22, 1920 Mobile, Alabama

Terris was a right-handed pitcher and outfielder who played from 1930 to 45 for the Birmingham Black Barons, Brooklyn Eagles, Newark Eagles, Baltimore Black Sox, New York Black Yankees, Homestead Grays, Cuban Stars (West), Hilldale Daisies, and the Philadelphia Stars

McDuffie began his career as a successful outfielder, hitting .297 and leading the league with 18 stolen bases with the Birmingham Black Barons in 1930.

He began playing as a pitcher in 1932 and became known as a strong arm pitcher with good control. In 1938 with the Newark Eagles, 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 '41and also pitched as an all-star in 1944.

In 1945 McDuffie and Dave "Showboat" Thomas had tryouts with the Brooklyn Dodgers, largely as a publicity stunt forced on Branch Rickey. Both players were in their late thirties and past their prime. Rickey signed Jackie Robinson later that year.

McDuffie actually still had some baseball left in him. He played several years in the Mexican League and other Latin American leagues. In 1951, at the age of forty, he was voted MVP for Caracas of the Venezuelan League and in '52 was the MVP of the Dominican Republic League.  In 1954, at age 44, he closed out his career when he pitched for the Dallas Steers of the Texas League in the minors and went 3-4 with a 3.04 ERA.