It’s been about 70 years since Verdell Mathis pitched for the Memphis Red Sox. During the 1940s, he was considered the greatest lefty pitcher of the Negro Leagues.
At 5-10 and 150 lbs., Mathis was known for his arsenal of pitches – a terrific curve ball, a pretty good fast ball, and a screwball. He and his close friend Satchel Paige were the only pitchers to win twice in the Negro League All-Star Game. He even picked off the legendary Jackie Robinson several times.
Bone spur surgery cut Mathis’ career short. After baseball, he worked for 15 years at Colonial Country Club before retiring.
The Memphis Sports Experience and Hall of Fame plans to honor Mathis on Oct. 10 at AutoZone Park. And organizers are looking for his closest living relative to participate in the ceremony.
If you or someone you know is related to Mathis, contact Pierre Landaiche at 901-543-5300 or John Guinozzo at 662-772-8777.