Walter I. Cannady
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 10", Weight 180 lb.
- Debut 1922
- Final Game 1945
- Born March 6, 1902 in Norfolk, VA USA
- Died December 3, 1981 in Fort Myers, FL USA
Walter "Rev" Cannady played for 25 years in the Negro Leagues. Not a top-flight star, he was a reliably good performer for much of his career. He moved around a lot, with 13 different teams in the Negro Leagues.
Cannady broke in during 1921 as a 17-year-old with the Cleveland Buckeyes. He hit .333 as a starting outfielder for the 1922 Cleveland Tate Stars. He moved to the Homestead Grays in 1923 and was their starting second baseman in 1924. Joining the Harrisburg Stars, he hit .399 in 1925. He was 5th in the Eastern Colored League in average behind Jud Wilson, Oscar Charleston, Bernardo Baro and John Beckwith. His 12 home runs were fourth behind Beckwith, Charleston and Alejandro Oms.
In 1926, Cannady hit .260 as Harrisburg's shortstop. That winter, he went 4 for 20 with two doubles as a backup for the Almendares club of Cuba. He batted .321 in 1927, remaining at short. His 11 steals were third in the ECL behind Fats Jenkins and Frank Warfield. Rev was with Hilldale in 1928 and hit .289. His four triples tied for second in the ECL behind Clete Thomas. Hilldale then traded him with Jake Stephens to Homestead for Chippy Britt and future Hall of Famer Martin Dihigo. For the Gray in 1929, ahe hit .337 as their main shortstop. In the winter, he hit .286 for Almendarista, which won the Campeonato Unico in Cuba. He was the starting second baseman on an infield which included Pop Lloyd (1B), Dick Lundy (SS) and Judy Johnson (3B).
Cannady hit .269 as the second baseman for the 1930 New York Lincoln Giants. He was 4th in the east (the ECL had folded and there was no formal league) with 6 homers, tied with Beckwith and Charleston behind Mule Suttles, Dihigo and Chino Smith, pretty impressive company. In 1931, he hit .261 for Hilldale. His four steals were second in the east. He split 1932 between Homestead and the Pittsburgh Crawfords.
At age 29, Cannady joined the New York Black Yankees, the team that remained his home longer than any other. Playing second base in 1933, he hit .364, but he fell to .190 in 1934. He hit .264 in 1936 and .365 in 1937, just missing the top five in the Negro National League. Moving to third base as a player-manager in 1938, he fell to .179, but made his only East-West Game. Starting at third base for the East in the 1938 East-West Game, he hit 5th between Buck Leonard and Sammy Bankhead. He doubled off Sug Cornelius in the first and finished 1 for 3 with a double, run, RBI and sacrifice hit in a 5-4 loss to the West.
Rev saw limited action in 1939. That winter, he was 12 for 66 for Habana in his first Cuban season in 10 years. He backed up Sammy T. Hughes at second base for Habana. He played for the Brooklyn Royal Giants in 1940 and the Philadelphia Stars in 1941. Playing for the Chicago American Giants in 1942, the 38-year-old veteran had a resurgence, hitting .349, his best mark in five years.
Cannady played for the Cincinnati-Indianapolis Clowns in 1943. In his fourth tour of duty over three decades with Homestead, Rev had one last big year in 1944. Starting at third base, the 40-year-old in his 24th season hit .356, 5th in the NNL behind Shifty Jim West, Dave Hoskins, Ray Dandridge and Josh Gibson. His 9 doubled tied Cool Papa Bell for third in the circuit behind Leonard and Bankhead. He was just 3 for 16 in the 1944 Negro World Series as Homestead beat the Birmingham Black Barons. Cannady wrapped up with the New York Cubans in 1945.
Known as a bad-ball and curveball hitter on the field, Cannady was also noted for his temper. He once attacked an umpire and on another occasion, he broke the window of an umpire's car with his bat.
Cannady was on the preliminary ballot for the 2006 Special Committee on the Negro Leagues Election but didn't make the cut.
Year-By-Year Managerial Record
|1938||New York Black Yankees||Negro National League||11-28||6th||New York Black Yankees|
- 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
- Cuban Baseball: A Statistical History by Jorge Figueredo