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[AR] Cooper & Battles from AR to PA

Cooper and Battles from Arkansas in Negro Leagues

According to The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues by James A. Riley, in the latter part of 1924 the Harrisburg Giants hired “Battles…a youngster from ‘out West’…to finish the season as a backup catcher and occasional utility infielder.” This encyclopedia entry mentions only the surname Battles, without the given name of the player.

Can anyone confirm or deny that Rufus Battles played for the Harrisburg Giants in 1924? That was the year that Darlton D. Cooper, also known as “Daltie” Cooper, joined the Harrisburg Giants after beginning his career with the Indianapolis ABCs. According to Riley, Daltie Cooper played for nearly a dozen baseball teams. In Pennsylvania his teams included: Harrisburg Giants, 1924-27; Hilldale Daisies, 1928-29, and Homestead Grays in 1930. In 1930, Cooper shared a home at 665 Briggs Street in Harrisburg with his PA-born wife Ida and his AR-born uncle Rufus Battles. Perhaps the uncle and nephew both made the 1924 team? They are listed in 1930 Harrisburg City Directory and also counted in 1930 Harrisburg census. Rufus had a twin brother Rupert, who eventually moved to Los Angeles, California.

Riley’s encyclopedia states that Daltie Cooper and Andy Cooper are brothers, although that seems unlikely. Andrew L. Cooper, of the Detroit Stars and Kansas City Monarchs, was voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006. According to available records, Andrew Lewis Cooper was born about 1896-97 in Waco, Texas or possibly in Washington County, Texas. His parents are said to be Robert Cooper and Emma Gilbert. Darlton D. Cooper, born about 1902-03 in Arkansas, is a son of Tony and Louisa Cooper of Clark County, Arkansas.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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