Real Baseball Mentor
Steelton Policeman Has Good Team in Giants; Wins Many Honors
A collection of some of the best Negro baseball stars of this
section, under the leadership of Cliff Christian, Steelton policeman, is
bringing many honors to Steelton by the fine record they have
established in baseball circles this season.
Christian, referred to frequently as another “Colonel Strothers,”
has gathered together former high school, college and semi-pro players
to form the Steelton Giants, which has won from some of the best clubs
in Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia. These boys have traveled
The mentor always has been a loyal backer of Steelton sports and
prominent for the past twenty years.
Before taking up the reins as manager he had established a record
for being a good athlete. He has a large following and formerly played
second base on the Harrisburg Giants.
“Cliff,” as he is called by his fellow-policemen, plans to take
his boys on a tour through all parts of Pennsylvania and southern states
because of numerous requests.
Recently the boys returned from Fredericksburg, where they exhibited
a class of ball that will long be remembered. “Cliff,” who comes
from the South, said his boys played before more than 1000 people at a
single game, which is reported to be a large attendance for ball games
in the Virginia states.
The down-river team plays all of its games away from home because of
no playing field. Plans are being arranged by Christian to have his boys
play three home games with Cottage Hill or the West Side Hose Company
for the championship of Steelton. These games are expected to draw one
of the largest crowds ever to witness a ball game in the borough.
Tonight the Steelton club will play Belmont A.C. on the Belmont
diamond, Twenty-first and State streets. The game will start at 5:45 o’clock.
Baseball Mentor," Harrisburg Telegraph, July 18, 1933, newspaper clipping in folder marked
"Baseball - Music" at the Alexander Family Library, The
Historical Society of Dauphin County, Harrisburg, PA.
A group photograph of the
police force of Steelton Borough in 1937 includes six patrolmen, three
of whom are African American. The African American patrol officers
are Clifton A. Christian, William Woolfolk and Joseph Shepherd.
The photograph is reproduced on page 118 of the book Steelton,
Pennsylvania; Stop--Look--Listen, by John B. Yetter (Harrisburg, PA
A 1930 Steelton Directory
entry shows Clifton A. Christian, police officer, residing at the home
he owned at 641 South Fourth Street. No spouse is listed with him.(1930 City Directory for Steelton, Pennsylvania - CE .. CL)
An earlier Directory listing, from 1919, gives his address as 911 South
Second Street. In this listing his occupation is given as laborer,
and a wife, Elsie, is named. (Boyd's Directory of Harrisburg and
The 1930 Directory lists
fellow police officer and homeowner William Woolfolk and his wife Ada L.
at 501 Bessemer Street.
Cliff Christian died in
1941 at 46 years of age. His tombstone in Midland Cemetery reads
"Clifton N. Christian, 1895-1941." His wife Elsie is
buried beside him. She lived 1893 to 1926.
Wednesday the club will journey to Bloomsburg to play the Bloomsburg
All-Stars. On Thursday afternoon the team goes to Hershey where
they will play Middletown A.A. as an added attraction to a picnic.
Saturday the boys meet the Carlisle A.C. on the latter’s field.
They will play the Lebanon Fire Company on Sunday, Royalton on Monday,
and Danville on Tuesday.
The Steelton club is composed of Robert Lee, shortstop, former Camp
Curtin Junior High School star; Buddy Carpenter, former second baseman
of the Harrisburg Giants; Warren Goodman, center field, who played with
Johnson’s All-Stars of Montreal, Canada; Poke Banks, former Camp
Curtin and William Penn athlete; Moffett, local semi-pro player, third
baseman; Slaughter, catcher from Georgia state; Robert Lacey, left
fielder and pitcher from Camp Curtin and William Penn schools of
Harrisburg; Bob Williams, of the Harrisburg Colored Monarchs; Byrd and
Garners, both of Susquehanna Township High School; Smith, another local
boy, who is the best pitcher on the team, and Robert Scott, another
Harrisburg star athlete.
The Steelton Giants have defeated Clinton A.C. team of Harrisburg in
easy fashion. Another good team that the Steelton club beat was Manheim.
The only games that they lost this season were to the Shade A.C. club of
Harrisburg, which Christian said are their “jinx.”