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Cecil Kaiser


Cecil Kaiser - Born Cecil Kaiser on June 27, 1916 in New York City. As a young man, Cecil got his start playing "sandlot baseball" during the 1930's playing for teams in West Virginia including the Bishop Street Liners, the Kimbrell Red Sox and the Gary (West Virginia) Grays. The sandlot teams were proving grounds for young players, like a non-official Negro League's minor league. In 1938 he played for the World Championship Pontiac Big Six softball team, as an outfielder. Cecil Kaiser playing sporadically with the Crawfords as an outfielder, but when the pitching staff was depleted due to injuries, manager "Candy Jim" Taylor decided to convert Kaiser into a pitcher. Cecil, a diminutive 5' 6" southpaw weighing only 165 lbs., Kaiser pitched a complete game victory against the Cincinnati Clowns in his very first start. Before long, Cecil Kaiser earned the nickname "Aspirin Tablet Man" and the "Minute Man," with his fastball and off-speed breaking stuff. Now, playing professionally full-time, started out his professional Negro League pitching career for the Detroit Stars during the 1939-40 season, then pitching for the Motor City Giants between 1941 and 1944. Kaiser continued his stint in the Negro Leagues, playing for Pennsylvania's Homestead Grays in the mid-1940s, one of the more stable and long lasting teams in the league. Kaiser quoted in an interview with the Michigan Chronicle explained: "I pitched on the 1945 Homestead Grays and my catcher was Josh Gibson, but we also had Sam Bankhead, Buck Leonard, "Cool Papa" Bell and Jerry Benjamin. Any of those guys could have played in the White league." After the 1945 season, Kaiser left the Grays pitching in 1946 for Gus Greenlee's Pittsburgh Crawfords of the newly founded U.S. League. The next year, Kaiser returned to play for the Homestead Grays once again, pitching for them from 1947 through the 1949 season. 1947 proved to be "The Aspirin Tablet Man's" professional baseball career's peak earning season taking home a salary of $700 a month. Cecil Kaiser during his 15 year professional career pitched all over the continent, not only playing ball in the United States and Canada but also pitching in Puerto Rico, Cuba, Mexico, Panama and the Dominican Republic as there always seemed to be a demand, for a quality southpaw with a good fastball. In the early 1950s, Kaiser's adventurous spirit took him north where he pitched for Farnham in the Canadian Provincial League. Cecil played 69 games in 1951, playing the outfield when he wasn't pitching. At Farnham in 1951, Kaiser went 14-13, batted .260 with four home runs. In 1952, Kaiser relocated to Tampa, Florida playing in just twenty games in the Florida International League, getting a sore arm. After injuring his arm that year, Cecil Kaiser left professional baseball for good, taking a regular job with the Ford Motor Company and playing five years with the Ford Motor Company baseball team in the Detroit Industrial League. After his career with Ford Kaiser began a new career with a printing company near the Helmar offices. He worked well into his nineties.

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