Taylor, Ben



Born: July 1, 1888, Anderson, S.C.
Died: Jan. 24, 1953, Baltimore Md.

Ben’s playing career spanned from 1913 to 1929 playing for teams such as the Chicago American Giants, Indianapolis ABC's, St. Louis Giants, Bacharch Giants, Wahington Potomacs, Harrisburg Giants, Baltimore Black Sox, Baltimore Stars, Brooklyn Eagles, Washington Black Senators, and New York Cubans.  He continued to coach and manage until 1940.

Ben Taylor, the youngest of four baseball brothers that included famed manager C.I. Taylor, Candy Jim Taylor , and Steel Arm Johnny Taylor, was the premier Negro League first baseman during the first quarter of the 20th century.

In all but one of his first 16 seasons, Taylor batted over .300. In a 1949 Philadelphia Evening Bulletin article, Oscar Charleston selected Ben Taylor as his first baseman on his all-time All-Star team, but Taylor initiated his career as a pitcher for the Birmingham Giants in 1908. After playing for the St. Louis Giants (1911-12) New York Lincoln Giants (1912) and Rube Foster's Chicago American Giants (1913-14), Taylor made his name playing for the team his brother, C.I. Taylor managed and owned, the Indianapolis ABCs.

Following a 1915 season in which he hit .308, he set Cuba ablaze, hitting .500 in winter league play. He took that hot bat into the 1916 championship season. Ben went 11-for-18 in the World Series, stealing three bases in five games.

Other than a 1919 season split between Hilldale and a managerial stint with the Bacharach Giants, Ben played with the ABCs from 1914 to 1922. In that final season, he replaced C.I. as manager in the wake of his death.

In 1923, Taylor organized the Washington Potomacs , bringing Johnny along as pitching coach. The team joined the new Eastern Colored League in its inaugural season the following year.

Ben continued as a player/manager, joining Harrisburg in 1925 and the Baltimore Black Sox from 1926 to 1928. He was then traded to the Bacharach Giants in exchange for their manager Dick Lundy prior to the 1929 campaign, the final season of his playing career. He continued to coach and manage until 1940.

After retiring, Taylor was an active businessman, operating a poolroom and acquiring the rights to print and sell game programs at Baltimore Elite Giants games.