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Negro League player Doc Dennis dies

Wesley ”Doc” Dennis, who played in the Old Negro Leagues from 1942 until 1955 died of pneumonia March 6, 2001 at the age of 83. He had a stroke almost three years ago and had been recuperating at the Trevecca Health Care Center in Nashville.

”I think I could have played in the majors,” Mr. Dennis told a newspaper reporter in 1984. ”Our league was just as good. We used to barnstorm against major league teams when the regular season was over. In all, I would say that we split the games that we played against them.

Dennis was 30 when Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier with Dodgers in 1947.

Dennis, who was an all-star first baseman nine times and had a lifetime batting average of about .300 during his career with the Philadelphia Stars, Baltimore Elite Giants and Birmingham Black Barons, received his nickname from childhood friends.

Dennis also won several Negro golf championships against national competition.

 SOURCE: Nashville Tennessean Web site