Louis Santop Loftin (January 17, 1890 January 22, 1942) was an African-American baseball catcher in the Negro leagues. He became 'one of the earliest superstars' and 'black baseball's first legitimate home-run slugger' (Riley), and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006. Santop was born in Tyler, Texas. At age 19 he played for teams in Fort Worth, Texas and Guthrie, Oklahoma before joining the Philadelphia Giants. In 1910, his only full season with Philadelphia, Santop and Dick Redding formed a 'kid battery', catcher and pitcher.(Riley) An amazing .406 lifetime hitter, Santop would often hit long home runs. In 1911, he hit an astonishing .470 and then, three years later, hit .455 for the Lincoln Stars. At this time, he was catching the two players considered the hardest throwing pitchers in the league: Smokey Joe Williams and 'Cannonball' Dick Redding. After military service in the U.S. Navy in World War I, Santop went on to have many more powerful years.
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