Charles Spearman

Charles Kenston Spearman , born November 3rd, 1891 in Arkadelphia, AR,1 2 was a Negro League baseball player from about 1917-1932. He was the brother of Willie Spearman, Codie Spearman, Hayse Spearman, Clyde Spearman and Henry Spearman, as well as the father of Fred Spearman and Charles Spearman Jr. and the uncle of Sam Wheeler and Leon Wheeler. See the Spearman Family.


Charles Spearman, a small3 switch-hitting4 catcher, was the eldest of the Spearman brothers to play Negro baseball. He was born and raised near Arkadelphia, AR as the fourth of fourteen children belonging to farmers Iverson Spearman and Fannie (nee Phifer) Spearman.5 Among his earliest engagements in baseball came with the Arkadelphia Cuban Giants6 in 1910 and the nearby Malvern Tigers7 8 and Argenta Grays9 in 1911.
By 1917 he was playing with the Hot Springs Giants, a team which in June of that year combined with the Longview, TX club to become the Texas All-Stars.10 After a stint with the 151st Depot Brigade at Camp Devens during World War I in 1918, Spearman returned to Texas and joined the 1919 Dallas Black Giants.11 12 He was soon considered one of the best Negro league catchers in Texas,13 and in May earned a brief trial with the Brooklyn Royal Giants.14

After a season with the Fort Worth Black Panthers in 1920,15 Spearman secured a full-time position with the 1921 Brooklyn Royal Giants, a team now managed by Texas native Eddie Douglass.16 From then through 1926, he split the everyday catching duties with teammate John Cason. Spearman also played in Puerto Rico during the 1925-1926 winter season with a team of Negro league players representing Ponce.17 18 In early 1927, Spearman traveled to Palm Beach, FL to play with the Breakers Hotel team. From there, he left the Royal Giants and the disintegrating Eastern Colored League and joined the independent Homestead Grays for the 1927 season. However, he and a number of other players were unexpectedly released by the Grays before the 1928 season.19 20 Instead, Spearman spent the final seasons of his Negro baseball career with the New York Lincoln Giants in 1928 and 1929.21 Afterward, he worked as a porter22 at Pennsylvania Station23 in New York and played for the independent Pennsylvania Red Caps from 1930-1932 and the Lincoln Colored Giants in 1932.24

Spearman continued to live and work in New York for many years. His two sons, Charles Spearman Jr. and Fred Spearman, both became successful athletes during the 1930s. Charles Sr. died on February 28th, 1963 at Mount Alto Veterans Hospital in Washington D.C. He was buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA.25


"Catcher Charles Spearman, ex-[Dallas Black] Giant and [Fort Worth Black] Panther has signed a contract to play season of 1921 with New York Royal Giants. He will report to the Harlem tribe April 15."26

"Spearman, Charles K. On Thursday, February 28, 1963, at the Veterans Administration Mount Alto Hospital. CHARLES K. SPEARMAN of 1116 G St. n.e., beloved husband of Gladys Spellman Spearman and father of Charles D. Spearman of Pine Bluff, Ark., and Frederick D. Spearman of St. Albany, N.Y. He is survived by other relatives and friends. Remains may be viewed from 2 to 9 p.m. Sunday, March 3, at the Barnes & Matthews Funeral Home, 3619 14th st. n.w. ?14th st. at Spring rd. where funeral services will be held on Monday, March 4, at 12 noon, Father A. A. Birch officiating. Interment Arlington National Cemetery."27


Statistics at Baseball-Reference.com.

Statistics at Seamheads.com.