The tall man in the middle of the back row of this August 1921 team photo of the Cumberland Cubs is Clarence Smith. One of Cumberland's outstanding baseball pitchers of a half-century ago, he was better known as, "Cannonball" or "Bullet-Ball" due to his reputation as a fast-ball hurler. He was the strike-out king and mound ace for John Brown's "Cumberland Cubs". John Brown's Cubs played the best black teams of the early 1920's, including the Homestead Grays, Baltimore Black Sox, Harrisburg Giants, and Pittsburgh Orioles. Games were played, locally, at the Rolling Mill Diamond and Southern Ed Park.
Left to right, back row: Fred Thompson, Slim Jackson, Rollin Jones, Clarence Smith, Pat Taylor, Bob Parker, Hun Washington, and "Cricket" Denmark.
Front row: John Brown (manager), Hooks Banks, Mose Parker, Pampie Francis, Mel Washington, and Pearl Brooks.
The following excerpt is from Cumberland, Maryland Through The Eyes of Herman J. Miller:
"On March 31, 1919, upon the return of Eddie Francis, Edward Jones, and Harry Cooper, all Blacks, back from overseas after serving in the Army, the Cumberland Cubs, a baseball nine, was re-organized with John Brown as Manager. It was planned to have a number of social functions at Narrows Park to raise funds to equip the team. A number of other members of the team serving in the Army were expected home in time for the opening game."
Photograph from the Allegany County Historical Society
Allegany County, Maryland
African Americans, History; Allegany County (Md.), History.
Allegany County (Md.), 1890-2008