Biz Mackey, a Giant behind the Plate

The Story of the Negro League Star and Hall of Fame Catcher

Rich Westcott
Book Cover

HC: $27.50
EAN: 978-1-4399-1551-6
Publication: Feb 18

Ebook: $27.50
EAN: 978-1-4399-1553-0
Publication: Feb 18


The first biography of arguably the greatest catcher in the Negro Leagues

Read Chapter 1 (pdf).


“The best all-around catcher in black baseball history”—Cumberland Posey, Owner of the Homestead GraysNational Baseball Hall of Fame catcher James Raleigh “Biz” Mackey’s professional career spanned nearly three decades in the Negro Leagues and elsewhere. He distinguished himself as a defensive catcher who also had an impressive batting average and later worked as a manager of the Newark Eagles and the Baltimore Elite Giants.Using archival materials and interviews with former Negro League players, baseball historian Rich Westcott chronicles the catcher’s life and remarkable career in Biz Mackey as well as providing an in-depth look at Philadelphia Negro League history. Westcott traces Mackey’s childhood in Texas as the son of sharecroppers to his success on the baseball diamond where he displayed extraordinary defensive skills and an exceptional ability to hit and to handle pitchers. Mackey spent one third of his career playing in Philadelphia, winning championships with the Hilldale Daisies and the Philadelphia Stars. Mackey also mentored famed catcher Roy Campanella and had an unlikely role in the story of baseball’s development in Japan.A celebrated ballplayer before African Americans were permitted to join Major League Baseball, Biz Mackey ranks as one of the top catchers ever to play the game. With Biz Mackey, he finally gets the biography he deserves.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Monte IrvinForeword by Ray C. Mackey IIIAcknowledgmentsIntroduction1. One of Baseball’s Greatest Catchers2. From the Farm to the Diamond3. Black Baseball in Philadelphia4. Blossoming with the Daisies5. Helping the Stars to Sparkle6. Elevating Baseball in Japan7. Moving Up to the Job of Manager8. Teaching Campy the Tricks of the Trade9. A Long-Overdue Induction into the Hall of FameAppendix: Biz Mackey’s Year-by-Year Negro League StatisticsSourcesIndex