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Lefthanded pitcher Alfred “Army” Cooper was born in Kansas City, Kansas in 1899 and had a long career with Black baseball clubs between the First and Second World Wars. He played baseball while serving with the 25th US Infantry Regiment in Nogales, Arizona during most of the 1920s. After his discharge in February 1928, he pitched for the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro National League until 1930. The following year, he played for several weeks with Gilkerson’s Union Giants, a prominent barnstorming team, before rejoining the independent Kansas City Monarchs as they barnstormed through the end of the summer. Cooper spent his final season in Negro Leagues baseball with for the Cleveland Stars of the East-West League in 1932. In 1933 and 1934, he played for semipro teams that entered the state semipro baseball tournament in Wichita, Kansas. Integrated teams were not allowed to participate in the tournament, but in both years, Cooper was selected to pitch for integrated tournament all-star teams. In 1935, he pitched for the Denver White Elephants, who entered the Denver Post Tournament. In each of the tournaments, Cooper’s team finished in third or fourth place, high enough to earn a share of the prize money. Through 1939, he played for various teams and lived in multiple states before retiring in Kansas City, where he passed away in March 1966. Cooper was buried in Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery.
Army Cooper, Lefty Cooper, Andy Cooper, Hurley McNair, Jim Starks, Kansas City Monarchs, 25th Infantry Regiment, Negro Leagues, Gilkerson’s Union Giants, Arkansas City Beavers, Denver White Elephants, Kansas semipro tournament, Wichita baseball, Denver Post Tournament.
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© The Author(s)
Eberle, Mark E., "Alfred “Army” Cooper: A Baseball Career with the 25th Infantry, Negro Leagues, and Tournament Teams" (2022). Monographs. 32.