Turkey Stearnes

Turkey Stearnes

Norman Thomas Stearnes was born in Nashville on May 8, 1901. He earned the nickname, “Turkey” due to his awkward running stance which resembled a turkey. But this bird can hit! Stearnes was one of the first five-tool players seen in the negro leagues. Turkey could run, field, hit for average, hit for power, and throw. It was said that Stearnes was so good, he started as a right-handed hitter and switched to left-handed after arm troubles. Baseball Hall of Fame claims he is left-handed, as reports done by SABR say he is right-handed.

League financial and structural instability inhibited Stearnes opportunities for team success. Many of his accolades are from the individual player standpoint. Stearnes was an exceptional hitter during his 18-year career (1923–1940). Although he never won a world series, Turkey was crowned hitting champion multiple times. The five-time All-Star should have been selected to at least five more. However, All-Star games did not begin until 1933 and Turkey had all-star caliber seasons prior. In the 10 years up to 1933, Turkey led the league in triples four times, home runs three times, and RBIs twice. His best season was 1925. Turkey played in 94 games and led the league in hits (136), triples (14), home runs (19), and RBIs (126). Stearnes hit over 300 for 12 of 18 years of his career.

In 2000, Turkey Stearnes took his rightful place in the Baseball Hall of Fame; with a career batting average of .349, which is seventh all-time, and batting average of .351 in exhibition games versus white major league teams.








I am a baseball fan with a love for the history surrounding the game. I hold a Master's Degree in Sports Management.

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Baseball Names & Numbers by Thomas Holmes

Baseball Names & Numbers by Thomas Holmes

I am a baseball fan with a love for the history surrounding the game. I hold a Master's Degree in Sports Management.

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