Leonard, Buck

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Leonard, Buck

(Walter Fenner Leonard), 1907–1997, African-American baseball player, b. Rocky Mount, N.C. Beginning in 1933, he played semiprofessional ball with the Baltimore Stars and the Brooklyn Royal Giants. An outstanding first baseman and powerful left-handed hitter who, because he was black, was barred from the major leagues, Leonard played for Pittsburgh's Homestead Grays (1934–50), helping them win nine consecutive Negro National League pennants (1937–45). He hit 42 home runs in 1942 and batted .320 during his career. Leonard later played in the Mexican League (1951–55). He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972.

Bibliography

See his autobiography (1995).