Frank McAllister

Frank McAllister ("Chip"), born April 29th, 19181 in Forrest City, AR,2 was a Negro League baseball player from about 1935 to 1947.


McAllister was the son of Wade McAllister and Callie (nee Tucker) McAllister and grew up in Madison, AR and Forrest City, AR.3 A large and tall4 right-handed pitcher, McAllister made his professional debut in 1935 at age 17 with the nearby Claybrook Tigers of Claybrook, AR5 , Harry Bailey's Booker T.'s of near Blytheville, AR,6 and perhaps the Memphis Red Sox.7 In 1936, McAllister and several other members of the Claybrook team8 joined the Mounds Blues of Mounds, IL.9 While pitching for Mounds in the Illinois State Semi-Pro Tournament, McAllister held Rockford, IL hitless through 9 innings in a 13-inning win,10 and struckout 18 batters in a game against the Chicago Mills.11 McAllister's tournament performance caught the attention of the Pittsburgh Crawfords of the Negro National League, who in the spring of 1937 gave McAllister a brief trail.12 After a short stint with the Crawfords, McAllister returned to play with Mounds in the 1937 Illinois State Semi-Pro Tournament.13

Over the next few years, McAllister continued to be a regular starter with the Mounds franchise as it was transferred to various cities. In 1938, the Mounds Blues became the Indianapolis A.B.C.'s and played in the Negro American League. McAllister performed well enough with Indianapolis that season to earn several all-star selections. In August, he played with the North team in the Negro American League's North-South All-Star game in Milwaukee.14 Shortly afterword, he appeared for the West team in the first 1938 East-West All-Star Game in Chicago, though he did not play in the game.15 He was also named to play in the second 1938 East-West All-Star Game in New York City in September, but again did not appear in the game.16

In 1939, McAllister moved with the Mounds franchise to St. Louis, MO where the team became the St. Louis Stars.17 From 1940-1941, the Stars franchise represented both St. Louis and New Orleans, LA. The following year, the Stars took over half interest in the New York Black Yankees, and McAllister and several of the Stars best players were transferred to the 1942 Black Yankees.18 In 1943, McAllister returned to the Stars as they represented Harrisburg, PA, in the Negro National League. However, the team became suspended from the league that same year, leaving McAllister and the Stars to return to St. Louis in 1944.19 Midway through the season, the franchise was taken over by new management and re-branded as the Harlem Globetrotters.20

After spending the 1945 season on the roster of the Birmingham Black Barons,21 McAllister played the 1946 season in the short-lived United States Baseball League. A descent hitter with some power, McAllister was used as an outfielder as well as a pitcher throughout the season. He began the season with the Boston Blues,22 yet another incarnation of the Stars franchise.23 In mid May, McAllister was expected to join the Brooklyn Brown Dodgers, but instead joined the Cleveland Clippers in the same league. In a game against the Pittsburgh Crawfords at Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec in June, McAllister struck out 17 batters.24 In July, McAllister once again shifted elsewhere in the league, this time to the Brooklyn Brown Dodgers, with whom he finished the season.25

McAllister played his final season of professional baseball in 1947 with the independent Pittsburgh Colored Stars.26 He lived much of the rest of his life in Cairo, IL, near Mounds, IL. He died on May 5th, 1987.27


Statistics at Baseball-Reference.com.

Statistics at Seamheads.com.
4 Some sources suggest McAllister was 6'3" and 210 pounds.
7 Chicago Defender, 5/16/1936, p.13
8 Claybrook Tigers players John Lyles and Walter Calhoun also appeared with Mounds between 1936-1937.
15 'Chicago Tribune, 8/16/1936. McAllister appears in photos of the West team at the 1938 East-West Game in Chicago.
21 Indianapolis Recorder, 4/21/1945, p.3. Dayton Daily News, 9/12/1945. McAllister was frequently listed as a pitcher for Birmingham in 1945 newspapers, though it's not clear if he actually pitched for the team.
23 The Star Press (Muncie, IN), 4/26/1946. Daily Free Press (Carbondale, IL), 9/19/1946. The Boston Blues were owned by Allen Johnson of Mounds, IL.