John Williams

John Williams born May 29th, 1922 in Jonesboro, AR,1 was a Negro baseball player in 1948 with the Chicago American Giants.


Williams was the son of John Williams and Geneva (nee Williams) Thompson.2 He spent his early life in Jonesboro, AR3 before moving to St. Louis, MO4 and Hot Springs, AR.

Williams, a first baseman, played with the 1947 Purity All-Stars, a semi-pro team in Hot Springs, AR. The following year, he played his only known season in league baseball was with the Chicago American Giants in 1948.5 Before playing baseball, Williams was a police officer in Hot Springs, AR.6

Williams died on January 19th, 1973 in Fort Wayne, IN.7 8 He was buried in Lindenwood Cemetery in Fort Wayne.9


John Williams.
John Williams.
"First base job is still a worry. There are two likely candidates. One is so sure that he can make the team that he has resigned from the Hot Springs, Ark., police force. His name is Williams."10

"On first [for the Chicago American Giants] was John Williams, policeman from Hot Springs, Ark."11

"The Giants have released Bernell Longest and Jesse Williams, coast first baseman, who was nosed out of a job by John Williams, former policeman in Hot Springs, Ark."12


Statistics at Baseball-Reference.com.

1 Williams' WWII draft card. (Accessed at Fold3.com) Williams was noted by Chicago newspapers to be a policeman in Hot Springs, AR. Hot Springs city directories and the local newspapers (e.g., Hot Springs New Era, 10/14/1963), link Officer John Williams to his mother Geneva Thompson, thereby establishing his identity.
2 Hot Springs New Era, 10/14/1963
5 John Williams should not to be confused with Johnny Williams, pitcher for the Indianapolis Clowns in 1948, Jesse S. Williams, who played with the Cleveland Buckeyes in 1947, or Jesse H. Williams, who played with the Harlem Globetrotters in 1948.
6 Chicago Defender, 5/1/1948
8 William's Indiana death certificate.
10 Chicago Defender, 4/10/1948
11 Chicago Defender, 5/1/1948
12 Chicago Defender, 5/15/1948