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Negro Leagues
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Negro Leagues Legacy

Stars of the Negro Leagues

Golden arm
Jesse "Nip" Winters one of the best pitchers in Eastern Colored League history
By Brian Wilson/MLB.com


Nip Winters pitched his Hilldale Daisies to pennants in each of the league's first three seasons.
Born: 1899, Washington, D.C.
Died: December 1971, Hockessin, Del.
Bats: Left
Throws: Left

One of the best pitchers in Eastern Colored League history, southpaw Jesse "Nip" Winters pitched his Hilldale Daisies to pennants in each of the league's first three seasons.

Winters' professional career started in 1919 with the Norfolk Stars. After spending 1920 with the Baltimore Black Sox, he joined the Bacharach Giants in 1921. In the championship playoff against Rube Foster's Chicago American Giants, Winters hurled a two-hitter as the Bacharachs won the series opener.

Blessed with good velocity and a great curve, Winters joined Hilldale in 1923. That season he was a combined 32-6, counting exhibitions. His 27-4 record in league games in 1924 was the best ever by a Negro League pitcher. Along with Hall-of-Famers Judy Johnson and Pop Lloyd, the Hilldale ace led his team to the first Negro World Series.

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In that season's fall classic, Winters won three games, including a shutout, and pitched four complete games, compiling a 1.16 ERA. Despite his efforts, the Kansas City Monarchs won the 10-game series, 5-4, with one tie.

Hilldale finally emerged victorious in the 1925 World Series. Though the reason is unclear, Winters pitched only in Game 4 of the series. But it was a complete game, 7-3, win in the Daisies' eventual four-games-to-two series victory.

In games against Babe Ruth's All Stars, Winters split a pair of decisions against Hall of Famer Lefty Grove. He was far less impressive in winter league matches in Cuba -- a dismal 4-12 from 1923 to 1926.

In the Negro Leagues, Nip fashioned a 15-5 record in 1926, but during his 1927 14-8 season, Winters was suspended for "not trying." It spelled the beginning of the end of his tenure with Hilldale. In 1928, he was traded to the New York Lincoln Giants. His stay in the Big Apple didn't last long, for he hooked on with the Homestead Grays in September, finishing the season with an 8-7 mark. He returned to New York in 1929, but with a diminished repetoire, Winters posted only a 3-5 mark.

He brought his deteriorating skills back to Atlantic City and the Bacharach Giants in 1931, but managed only a 1-5 record and a 1-1 mark in 1932. He ended his career with the team in 1933.

Brian Wilson is an editor/producer for the MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.



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