William “Bill” (the “Kansas Cyclone” and “Lightning”) Lindsay was born in Lexington June 12, 1891, the son of Peter and Mona Mady Lindsay. He was one of nine brothers who all played baseball, and one of many outstanding African American ball players to come from Lexington in the era of the Negro Leagues. He began his career during the 1910 season with the Giants of Kansas City, Kansas. Manager Rube Foster of the Leland Giants was impressed with Bill’s performance against his team, and signed him to pitch with the Lelands.
The new acquisition traveled with the team to Cuba for the winter season and after returning to the States in the spring, Bill became a star pitcher with the American Giants in Chicago.
Lindsay was sometimes referred to as the best all-around pitcher in the team’s history.
Tragically, Bill died at Provident Hospital on September 1, 1914, at the age of 23, a result of uremia. His body was returned to Lexington and he was buried on September 4, 1914, at Forest Grove Cemetery. There are those who remember seeing his headstone there, but it has mysteriously disappeared.
From the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader, The Evening News, Wed. Sep. 9, 1914:
FULLERTON’S DOPELETS Bill Lindsay is dead. Had he been white we would be mourning as we would the loss of Walter Johnson. He was one of the five really great pitchers of the world.
From The San Bernardino County Sun, Wed. Dec. 23, 1914:
Sid Foster, formerly a pitcher of the Chi Giants, and Bill Lindsay, pitcher of the same club, together with Homerun Johnson, are the three greatest colored players known to the country. Foster and Lindsay played here three winters ago when the Colored Giants gave an exhibition of the brand of ball dished out by colored players.
If you have information, photographs, or personal stories about someone buried at Forest Grove, please contact us. We are creating an anthology of people buried there.