My buddy John Brandeberry who lives out in Montana sent me this pic of Joe Lillard’s card. While it may not pitch, it is a pretty tasty-hitting card!
This is Lillard’s 1933 card while he played for the Chicago American Giants in the Negro National League. I’m going to throw this huge disclaimer out right now. Negro Leagues stats are quite sparse and even the ones we still have today are probably not as reliable as they should be.
Lillard for his part did well as far as we can tell from the plate. He hit .387 with two homers and a triple in 31 plate appearances.
It’s hard to tell how APBA graded Lillard. We see that he went 4-0 for the Chicago American Giants however he gave up 24 earned runs (30 total) in 34 2/3 innings. So I guess by APBA’s standards, his D grade is deserved.
Again, it’s hard to argue earned runs vs. unearned runs when it comes to a league which was poorly covered and tracked that we can’t verify the stats.
Regardless, this is fun card and that is point of Monster Card Monday. Precious few cards have two 1s and two 2s…and a 5! It’s possible APBA got their stats from somewhere else since B-R has no record of any steals. APBA rewarded Lillard with a 15-11 and a 25-10.
When Brando sent me this, the first thing I noticed was the “Born: Unknown”. Maybe Scott Fennessy or any other deadball fans can tell us if that is a common thing with early-era cards.
Anyway, thanks Brando! I’m looking forward to seeing Brando in one month as he will be flying into Chicago for the annual Illowa APBA League draft. Brando has extra incentive to come back. He placed in first in the standings and will be in playoffs that weekend!!