--Norman Lumpkin, Sr.
Norman Lumpkin, Sr.
That's how one player described the blazing fast Norman Lumpkin
A left-handed hitter along the lines of Otis Nixon, Lumpkin
chopped down on the ball and used his great speed to beat out base hits and consistently bat over .300.
was also known as a great bunter, and he
would often drag bunts for hits against pitchers he
had trouble with.
grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, and honed his
skills playing semi-pro ball during the 1930s in the strong industrial leagues.
worked and played for many industries in Atlanta, including Goodyear Tires and Napa Auto Parts
Atlanta's industrial leagues were some of the strongest in the country, and on the road played in some of the toughest towns for people of color, including towns in South and North Carolina, Florida, Alabama, Virginia and Georgia.
In the deep south, not only were the crowds rough, but so were the third-rate hotels!
"Some of the damn places, as soon as you laid down the bed bugs attacked you and you couldn't sleep," Lumpkin
"You'd be smackin' 'em all night and you wake up and there's blood all over the sheets."
Flyhawk Lumpkin played all three outfield positions, but, with his
speed, preferred center.
After excelling in the semi-pro leagues, and being picked for numerous All-Star teams, Lumpkin was signed by the Atlanta Black Crackers after World War II.
played for Black Crackers' owners John and Billie Harden (husband and wife), and manager Goose Curry.
batted over .300 with an occasional inside-the-park homer.
thought the best hitter he
played against was the Homestead Grays' Luke Easter.
Making it to the black baseball big time did not mean life was that much easier for Lumpkin
career with the New York Black Yankees
, then returned home to Atlanta where he
still resides today.