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Wilber “Bullet Joe” Rogan

Born:

July 28, 1889

Died:

March 4, 1967

Teams:

K.C. All Nations, Kansas City Monarchs

Position(s):

Pitcher, Outfield

Hall Of Fame:

1998

Notes:

Professional baseball was Bullet Rogan’s second career. As a young man he had intended to make military service his life’s work, and in 1911 he began a decade long stint in the U.S. Army. During this period both his interest in baseball and his skills on the diamond steadily grew as he organized and played on camp baseball teams while stationed in the Phillipines, Hawaii and Arizona.

Leaving his military career behind Rogan joined Wilkinson’s Kansas City Monarchs in 1920, the inaugural season of the Negro National League. From the onset of his baseball career it appeared that there was nothing that he could not do, and do well. His blazing fastball and widely varied arsenal of breaking pitches quickly made him the ace of the Monarchs’ staff. His quick bat and power made him an invaluable hitter in the lineup³so much so that he remained in the lineup as an outfielder when he wasnêt on the mound. And, what’s more, he was durable. Only seldomly did he miss a pitching assignment, and only seldomly did he leave the game until the last man was out. During the first Negro League World Series in 1924 Rogan posted three complete games and made a relief appearance in yet another game.

Rogan’s career in Kansas City continued until 1937, a total of 17 years in a Monarchs uniform as a player and a manager. When the time came to hang up the spikes he traded his fielder’s glove for a umpire’s chest protector and continued in baseball as an umpire in the Negro American League.

Rogan was elected to the National Baseball Hall Of Fame in 1998.


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