Cleveland Bears

From BR Bullpen

From 1922-1934, Cleveland, OH had nine different teams in the Negro Leagues, none lasting more than one year. After the longest hiatus, they got a new team in 1939 when the Jacksonville Red Caps moved north and took on the name Cleveland Bears. The Bears were distinguished from the prior 9 Negro League teams in the Forest City for two reasons - they lasted more than one year and had a winning record at least once. In fact, their 22-4 record in 1939 was the best mark in the Negro American League. Managed by Hooks Mitchell, the team was led offensively by 1B Mint Jones (.404, second in the NAL) and 3B Parnell Woods (.343, 5th in the loop, and tied for the lead with 3 triples). Smoky Owens (12-1, 1.50 RA, 42 K) missed a pitching Triple Crown because Hilton Smith struck out more, while Preacher Henry (9-2, 3.03) also had a fine year on the hill.

The Bears fell to 6-16 in 1940 as Owens and Henry combined to go 4-7. After that year the team moved back to Jacksonville, FL.

Sources: "The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues" by James Riley, "The Complete Book of Baseball's Negro Leagues" by John Holway