2017 - John Donaldson - Missouri Sports Hall of Fame Inductee May 25
John Wesley Donaldson (February 20, 1891 – April 14, 1970) was an American baseball pitcher in Pre-Negro league and Negro league baseball. In a career that spanned over 30 years, he played for many different Negro league and semi-professional teams, including the All Nations team and the Kansas City Monarchs. Researchers so far have discovered 667 games in which Donaldson is known to have pitched. Out of those games, Donaldson had at least 400 wins and 5,002 strikeouts as a baseball pitcher. According to some sources, he was the greatest pitcher of his era.
Printed box scores reveal 378 wins and 135 losses and a winning percentage of .737. He also notched 4,409 strikeouts, an ERA of 1.37, and 86 shutouts against all levels of competition. He completed 296 of 322 starts (92%) Donaldson can be credited with 13 no-hitters, a perfect game, and dozens of one-hitters. He also has two 30 strikeout games, 11 games with more than 25 strikeouts (including two back-to-back 25 strikeout games), 30 games with more than 20 strikeouts, 109 games with more than 15 strikeouts, and a total of 203 double digit strikeout games. Donaldson could also hit well, batting .334 in over 1,800 at bats.
He also played in at least one pre-season game with the All Nations in 1920, and in 1921.