James Eugene Wilkes
- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 5' 6", Weight 150 lb.
- High School John Bartram High School
- Debut 1945
- Final Game 1948
- Born October 1, 1925 in Philadelphia, PA USA
- Died August 11, 2008 in Brantford, ON CAN
Jimmy Wilkes was a Negro League outfielder for seven years and made two All-Star teams. He also spent three seasons in the minors.
Wilkes debuted with the Newark Eagles in 1945 at age 19. He hit .235 as the starting center fielder and Newark in 1946, then batted .280 in the 1946 Negro World Series as Newark beat the Kansas City Monarchs. He fell to .234 in 1947. In the second 1948 East-West Game, he was a late defensive substitute for the East in a 6-1 win. He replaced Luis Marquez in center field as Marquez moved to right to replace Luke Easter. Wilkes did not bat in the game.
Jimmy hit .254 for the 1949 Houston Eagles. He started 1950 with Houston but also appeared in the minors with the Trois-Rivières Royals (.180/.342/.303, 15 SB in 34 G) and Elmira Pioneers (.281/.390/.304, only 1 SB in 36 G). The little outfielder led Eastern League flyhawks with no errors in 73 total chances.
In 1951, Wilkes hit .231/?/.301 for the Lancaster Red Roses and was 3 for 11 for Elmira. He started 1952 with the Great Falls Electrics and went 4 for 17 with two doubles and a triple before winding up back in the Negro Leagues with the Indianapolis Clowns. In the 1952 East-West Game, he led off for the East and started at first base. He was 0 for 3 in a 7-3 loss.
Wilkes later played for years in Canada's Intercounty Baseball League. He married a local woman and lived the rest of his life in Canada.
- NNL All-Star (1948)
- NNL Triples Leader (1948)
- Won one Negro World Series with the Newark Eagles in 1946
- The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues by James Riley
- The Complete Book of Baseball's Negro Leagues by John Holway
- Black Baseball's National Showcase by Larry Lester
- 1951 Baseball Guide