Eli Chism


Elijah "Eli" Chism1 ("Little Chism" or "Lil Chism"), born July 1st, 1916 in Marianna, AR,2 was a Negro League baseball player from about 1936-1948. He was the brother of John Chisum.


Chism was the son of Robert Chisum and Winnie G. (nee Lawson) Chisum.3 He was born in the small Mississippi delta town of Marianna, AR, but moved with his family to St. Louis, MO by 1920.4

Chism was a small but speedy outfielder who began playing Negro baseball in St. Louis as early as 1934 with the St. Louis All-Stars.5 To distinguish him from his older brother John, he was nicknamed "Little Chism" or "Lil Chism."6 7 Throughout the mid-to-late 1930s, Chism continued to play with various St. Louis teams. He also played with the St. Louis Giants in the early 1940s before joining the New Orleans Black Pelicans in 1942.8 After World War II, Chism returned to baseball with the 1946 Cleveland Buckeyes and the 1947 Birmingham Black Barons. He also played on a barnstorming all-star team after the 1947 season alongside his brother John and a number of other well-known Negro leaguers.3 His final season in Negro baseball came in 1948 with the St. Louis Braves.9

Chism died on April 4th, 1982 in St. Louis.10 11 He was buried in Oakdale Cemetery in St. Louis.12


"Elijah (Eli) Chism, an outfielder with the Cleveland Buckeyes and Birmingham Black Barons in the old Negro leagues, died April 4 in St. Louis. He was 65."13


Statistics at Baseball-Reference.com.

Statistics at the Seamheads Negro Leagues Database.
1 Most of Chism's family, including his parents and brother John, seem to have preferred to spell their surname "Chisum." Eli seems to have been the exception.
2 Chism's WWII Draft Card. His birthplace is given as "Marion, Arkansas." However, his strong family connections to Marianna, AR suggest that his birthplace was transcribed incorrectly.
10 The Sporting News, 5/3/1982, p.47
13 The Sporting News, 5/3/1982, p.47