Top 5 Black Players in Quad Cities Baseball History
In celebration of Black History Month, throughout February, teams across Minor League Baseball are taking a look back at five of the best Black players to suit up for their club. While some of these standout performers went on to long and illustrious Major League careers, others simply had great
In celebration of Black History Month, throughout February, teams across Minor League Baseball are taking a look back at five of the best Black players to suit up for their club.
While some of these standout performers went on to long and illustrious Major League careers, others simply had great Minor League careers or, in some cases, just one incredible season that went down as “a year for the ages.”
Here is a look at five of the best Black baseball players in Quad Cities baseball history.
Garrett Anderson (1991)
Anderson spent the 1991 season with the Quad City Angels on his way to an accolade-filled 17-year Major League career.
Despite putting up pedestrian numbers in the Midwest League, the former 1990 fourth-round pick made his Major League debut in 1994 and won Sporting News Rookie of the Year in 1995. Over 2,228 Big League games with the Angles, Braves, and Dodgers, Anderson batted .293/.324/.461 with 2529 hits, 522 doubles, 287 home runs, and 1365 runs batted it.
In addition to holding multiple club records, the three-time All-Star (2002, 2003, 2005) and two-time Silver Slugger (2002, 2003) helped lead Anaheim to a World Series Championship in 2002 and won the Home Run Derby and All-Star Game MVP in 2003.
Thad Bosley (1975)
After being selected in the fourth-round of the 1974 draft, Bosley—at just 18 years old—played his second professional season with the Quad Cities Angles and was named a Midwest League Postseason All-Star in 1975 after slashing .298/.410/.354, with 50 runs batted in and 37 stolen bases.
Bosley debuted in the Major Leagues with California in 1977 and spent parts of 14 seasons with the Angles, White Sox, Brewers, Mariners, Cubs, Royals, and Rangers. During the 1985 season, the outfielder hit .328 with seven home runs and was voted the best pinch hitter in baseball.
Shawon Dunston (1983)
Taken as the first overall pick in the 1982 draft, Dunston played in 117 games with the Quad Cities Cubs in 1983 and became Quad Cities’ first Midwest League “Star of Stars” (MVP) and Prospect of the Year, while also being named a Postseason All-Star. The shortstop batted .310/.332/.409 and remains eighth on the Quad Cities all-time singles list (112) and tied for fifth on the all-time stolen bases list (58).
Making his debut with the Cubs in 1985, Dunston spent 12 of his 18-year Major League career with Chicago before also seeing time in San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, St. Louis, and New York (Mets).
Dunston was a two-time Major League All-Star (1988, 1990) and holds a .269 career batting average with 150 home runs and 212 stolen bases.
Damion Easley (1990)
As the lowest drafted player in our top five, Easley turned a 30th round selection in the 1988 draft into a 17-year Major League career and spent the 1990 season with the Midwest League Champion Quad Cities Angels. The New York native hit .274/.358/.425 with 10 home runs and 56 runs batted in en route to a Postseason All-Star selection as part of the title winning squad.
After beginning his career with the California Angles, Easley was traded to the Detroit Tigers in 1996 where he’d spend the majority of his career and earn an appearance in the Home Run Derby and All-Star/Silver Slugger honors during the 1998 season.
In 2001, Easley hit for the cycle and notched an inside-the-park home run. He also tied Ty Cobb and Kid Nance for the Tigers’ single-game hits record with six against the Texas Rangers on August 8 of that season.
The utility infielder also played with Tampa Bay, Florida, Arizona, and New York (Mets).
Ron Jackson (1972)
A second-round pick by the California Angles in 1971, Jackson batted .274/.336/.436 with 12 home runs and 73 runs batted in with the Quad Cities Angels in 1972.
After four seasons with the Angles, Jackson played for the Minnesota Twins in 1979 and recorded a career-high 158 hits, 40 doubles, and 14 home runs over 153 games. The first baseman also posted a .9943 fielding percentage, breaking Rod Carew’s Twins’ record.
Following his 10-year playing career, which also saw stops in Baltimore and Detroit, Jackson spent 21 years as a coach/manager, including a stint as hitting coach for the Boston Red Sox.