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Sun, 04.28.1889

“Bullet Joe” Rogan, Negro League Baseball Player botn

Wilbert Rogan

*The birth of Bullet Joe Rogan in 1889 is celebrated on this date. He was a Black baseball player.

Wilbur Rogan was born in Oklahoma City and moved with his family in 1908 to Kansas City, Kansas, where he attended Sumner High School. He played on several semi-pro teams in the Midwest, as well as in the Army.  In 1917, on a tip from Casey Stengel, manager of the New York Yankees, J. L. Wilkinson hired Rogan to pitch for the All Nations Team.   A few years later, at the age of 30, Rogan moved to the Kansas City Monarchs, of the newly chartered Negro National League. Rogan was a star player for the Monarchs for eleven seasons.

He led the team in home runs and stolen bases three times, while twice, as a pitcher, lead the league in victories.  In 1926, Rogan became the team's manager, a position he held off and on through the 1936 season. Wilber "Bullet Joe" Rogan was one of the best and most versatile players in the history of the Negro Baseball Leagues. Known mainly for his fastball, Rogan had an assortment of effective pitches that made him very effective in the 1920s. He was also an outstanding fielder and a powerful hitter.

He retired from the Monarchs in 1938 and worked an umpire for the Negro American League until 1946, when he went to work for the post office. Bullet Rogan died in Kansas City in 1964.  He was inducted posthumously into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, in 1998.

The Negro Baseball Leagues A Photographic History
By Phil Dixon with Patrick J. Hannigan
Copyright 1992, Jed Clauss and Joanna Paulsen
Ameron House Publishing
ISBN 0-88488-0425-2

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