Bullet Joe Rogan
Hurley McNair of the Kansas City Monarchs, cropped from larger image of the 1924 Negro League World Series.
Charles Wilber Rogan
Nickname: Bullet Joe Rogan
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 7", Weight 160 lb.
- Born July 28, 1893 in Oklahoma City, OK USA
- Died March 4, 1967 in Kansas City, MO USA
- Inducted into Hall of Fame 1989
One of the Negro Leagues' most versatile players, Rogan attained mastery both on the pitcher's mound and at the plate. His career .721 winning percentage (111-43) is the highest recorded in Negro League history. In 11 seasons with the Kansas City Monarchs, he compiled a .339 batting average, 10th among all Negro Leaguers.
Rogan used a no-windup delivery and possessed a devastating fastball and an array of curveballs. He also threw a forkball, a palmball, and a legal spitter. Chet Brewer, another Monarch pitching great who played with Satchel Paige and Rogan, insisted that "Rogan should have been put in the Hall of Fame before Satchel. Rogan could throw a curveball faster than most pitchers could throw a fastball." Paige once said Rogan "was the onliest pitcher I ever saw, I ever heard of... pitching and hitting in the clean-up place. He could throw as hard as Smokey Joe Williams." Hall of Famer Judy Johnson said, "Satchel Paige was fast, but Rogan was smart." Rogan was also regarded as the Negro Leagues' finest-fielding pitcher.
Rogan began as a catcher, but eventually played every position. He was a great low-ball and curveball hitter. He had thin but powerful legs and tremendously strong wrists, and would attack the ball with a smooth swing and a heavy bat. He helped the Kansas City, KS Giants to 54 consecutive wins in 1909 against semi-pro and local competition. In 1911 he began his pitching career with the 25th Infantry Wreckers army team. After nine years of army ball, he was discovered at age 30 by Casey Stengel, and referred to Monarchs owner J.L. Wilkinson.
As a Monarch in 1922, Rogan hit 13 home runs in 47 league games. He led the league with 16 victories and batted .411 in 1924. He then starred in the first Black World Series, against Hilldale. In the 10-game series, he went 2-1 (2.57) in four games, and played the outfield the other six, hitting .325. The following year he notched a league-high 14 wins to lead the Monarchs to another BWS. But a freak knee injury forced him to watch from the sidelines as his club lost the championship to Hilldale.
In 25 games against white major leaguers, Rogan batted .329. At the age of 48, he participated in his last such exhibition; playing left field against the Bob Feller All-Stars, he went 3-for-4 and stole a base. Dizzy Dean said, "Old Rogan was a showboat boy, a Pepper Martin-type ballplayer. He was one of those cute guys, never wanted to give you a good ball to hit."
Satchel Paige said this about Rogan in the book Blackball Stars: "Joe Rogan was one of the world's greatest pitchers. ...He was a chunky little guy, but he could throw hard. He could throw hard as Smokey Joe Williams-yeah."
He died in Kansas City, Missouri on March 4, 1967 at age 73. The Baseball Hall of Fame first admitted Negro league players in the 1970s, but did not honor Bullet Rogan until 1998, 31 years after his death.
Negro Leagues Career Statistics
|1920||Kansas City Monarchs||NNL||37||145||12||43||5||8||0||6||8||8||.297||.441|
|1921||Kansas City Monarchs||NNL||66||199||25||57||9||7||4||13||19||23||.286||.462|
|1922||Kansas City Monarchs||NNL||62||200||40||78||10||6||13||33||15||30||.390||.695|
|1923||Kansas City Monarchs||NNL||68||209||39||76||12||3||7||45||5||20||.364||.550|
|1924||Kansas City Monarchs||NNL||60||195||36||77||11||6||5||51||8||16||.395||.590|
|1925||Kansas City Monarchs||NNL||56||139||20||53||7||8||2||11||5||15||.381||.590|
|1926||Kansas City Monarchs||NNL||57||147||26||45||8||3||1||8||2||24||.306||.422|
|1927||Kansas City Monarchs||NNL||56||116||18||38||3||3||2||9||1||21||.328||.457|
|1928||Kansas City Monarchs||NNL||64||201||40||70||14||5||3||22||5||18||.348||.512|
|1929||Kansas City Monarchs||NNL||71||256||64||92||15||9||7||33||26||40||.359||.570|
|1930||Kansas City Monarchs||NNL||29||107||26||32||6||0||0||5||5||17||.299||.355|
|(did not participate in league play)|
|1933||Kansas City Monarchs||independent||7||19||5||6||0||0||1||5||2||3||.316||.474|
|1934||Kansas City Monarchs||independent||7||27||2||2||1||0||0||0||0||1||.074||.111|
|1935||Kansas City Monarchs||independent||2||6||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.167||.167|
|1936||Kansas City Monarchs||independent||2||2||1||1||0||0||0||2||0||1||.500||.500|
|1937||Kansas City Monarchs||NAL||16||30||4||8||2||1||0||6||2||4||.267||.400|
|1938||Kansas City Monarchs||NAL||12||24||5||5||1||0||0||2||1||2||.208||.250|
|per 162 g||4.15||162||487||88||165||25||14||11||61||25||59|
- source: Shades of Glory, Hogan et al., ppg. 396-397
|1920||Kansas City Monarchs||NNL||5||3||0||.625||9||9||8||0||79.7||67||32||20||27||68||2.26|
|1921||Kansas City Monarchs||NNL||12||8||1||.600||22||20||20||3||181.0||150||68||45||57||102||2.24|
|1922||Kansas City Monarchs||NNL||8||6||1||.571||19||14||13||1||131.33||117||61||29||27||80||1.99|
|1923||Kansas City Monarchs||NNL||16||10||3||.615||33||23||19||4||239.7||209||110||78||74||146||2.93|
|1924||Kansas City Monarchs||NNL||18||6||0||.750||27||25||21||1||204.0||181||94||61||66||115||2.69|
|1925||Kansas City Monarchs||NNL||17||2||3||.895||24||18||17||5||171.3||137||44||44||25||102||2.31|
|1926||Kansas City Monarchs||NNL||16||5||1||.762||24||14||13||0||158.0||145||64||56||41||77||3.19|
|1927||Kansas City Monarchs||NNL||13||7||3||.650||27||14||13||3||144.7||134||49||37||29||102||2.30|
|1928||Kansas City Monarchs||NNL||10||2||2||.833||17||10||8||0||114.3||122||47||38||14||54||2.99|
|1929||Kansas City Monarchs||NNL||0||1||0||.000||2||1||0||0||9.3||10||3||3||0||3||2.89|
|1930||Kansas City Monarchs||NNL||0||0||0||---||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0||0||0||---|
|(did not play)|
|1933||Kansas City Monarchs||independent||0||0||0||---||1||1||0||0||1.3||4||3||2||0||0||13.53|
|1934||Kansas City Monarchs||independent||0||0||0||---||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0||0||0||---|
|1935||Kansas City Monarchs||independent||1||0||0||1.000||1||0||0||0||3.00||5||3||0||0||1||0.00|
|1936||Kansas City Monarchs||independent||0||0||0||---||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0||0||0||---|
|1937||Kansas City Monarchs||NAL||0||0||0||---||2||1||0||0||5.7||5||9||1||9||5||7.94|
|1938||Kansas City Monarchs||NAL||0||0||0||---||1||0||0||0||1.0||0||0||0||0||0||0.00|
- source: Shades of Glory, Hogan et al., ppg. 409-409
These statistics can be compared to an earlier compilation by Negro leagues historian John Holway, who puts Rogan's career record in the Negro leagues at 151 wins and 65 losses, with a .348 average and 62 home runs in 2039 at bats. According to Holway's statistics, Rogan's 151 wins are first all-time among Negro league pitchers, his .699 winning percentage fifth, and his .348 average fourth among players with more than 2000 at bats. (It should be pointed out that Negro league schedules were at their longest in the 1920s, so Rogan enjoys a statistical advantage over both later and earlier pitchers.) Also according to Holway, Rogan hit .370 against white major league competition.
California Winter League
|1920/21||Los Angeles White Sox||30||106||39||3||4||5 *||.368 *||.613|
|1925/26||Philadelphia Royal Giants||30||89||30||8||0||2||.326||.494|
|1926/27||Philadelphia Royal Giants||23||57||17||2||0||0||.298||.333|
|1929/30||Philadelphia Royal Giants||19||76||28||8||0||4||.362||.632|
|* = league leader.|
|1920/21||Los Angeles White Sox||8||8||.500||16||16||144||74 *||110 *||1 *|
|1925/26||Philadelphia Royal Giants||14 *||2||.875||18 *||16 *||153 *||52 *||82 *||1|
|1926/7||Philadelphia Royal Giants||6||2||.750||11 *||6||68||21 *||38||2 *|
|1929/30||Philadelphia Royal Giants||5||1||.800||7||6||59||21||53 *||0|
|* = league leader.|
Cuban (Winter) League
|p = pennant; * - led league.|
Against all competition
Historian Phil Dixon puts Rogan's lifetime totals against all competition, including semipro and Army teams, at more than 350 games won, 2000 strikeouts, 2500 hits, 350 home runs, and 500 stolen bases.By Baseball Library