AP/ Haraz Ghanbari, file
August 11, 2005
Negro League star Ted 'Double Duty' Radcliffe, Aug. 11
Negro Leagues star Ted ``Double Duty'' Radcliffe, believed to be the oldest living professional baseball player, died from complications after a long bout with cancer in Chicago on Thursday, Aug. 11, 2005. He was 103. Radcliffe was given his singular nickname by sports writer Damon Runyon after catching Satchel Paige in the first game of a doubleheader in the 1932 Negro League World Series and pitching a shutout in the second game. Radcliffe made it a tradition in recent years of throwing out the first ball on his July 7 birthday for the Chicago White Sox. He lived within a half-mile of Comiskey Park. The Mobile, Ala., native was a six-time All-Star -- three times as a pitcher and three times as a catcher -- and played for more than 15 teams in the Negro Leagues from the late 1920s into the early 1950s. Radcliffe also roomed with Jackie Robinson with the Monarchs in 1945. Records were not always kept, but his biographer, Kyle P. McNary, estimated that Radcliffe had a .303 batting average, 4,000 hits and 400 homers in 36 years. Here, "Double Duty" shares a laugh with Washington Nationals first base coach Don Buford after throwing out the ceremonial first pitch against the Cubs in mid-May.