Real Baseball Mentor
Steelton Policeman Has Good Team in Giants; Wins
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 great distances.
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
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.
"Christian Real 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,
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 1979).
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 Steelton, 1919).
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
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.”