Profiles of who we are:
This is Alpha Chapter #11 - 9/27/11
Bro. Frank "Doc" Sykes, Alpha 1914
(Bro. Sykes is on the left sporting the cap tipped to the right straight playa style)
Before Doc Hayes there was Doc Sykes. Sons of The Mother Pearl have a rich history of leadership, achievement, athletic prowess and multitasking. No where are these attributes acutely melded together than with Bro. Sykes. A son of former slaves from Alabama, Bro. Frank Sykes attended Howard University where he received his undergrad degree and earned a dental degree in 1918. While at Howard, Bro. Sykes was initiated into Alpha Chapter in 1914 and played baseball in the Negro Leagues professionally with the Brooklyn Royal Giants (see the above photo) and NY Lincoln Giants to finance his dental school tuition. Bro. Sykes noted as his collegiate athletic accomplishment to never losing a game as pitcher for Howard (this will be validated; if true then this Bruh deserves to be in the HU Athletics Hall of Fame which will be pursued). After receiving his dental degree, Bro. Sykes played baseball professionally for a year with the Hilldale Daisies in Philadelphia and Brooklyn Royal Giants before moving to Baltimore in 1919. In Baltimore, he opened his dental practice while playing baseball professionally for four years with the Baltimore Black Sox (dentist by day, pitcher by night). According to the Book, The Negro Leagues, 1869-1960:
“Respect came to the Black Sox early in 1920 with the acquisition of pitcher Frank “Doc” Sykes. Sykes pitched for Baltimore until 1924 when his occupation as a dentist curtailed his travel. His prowess culminated in a 22-4 season in 1922. Sykes was a pitcher hitters did not want to face.”
During that 1922 season, Doc pitched a no-hitter on 9/16/22 against the Bacharach Giants. While these are great achievements, this is not what Bro. Sykes should be recognized for. His great contribution was yet to come and had nothing to do athletics but to advancing the civil rights of African Americans.
Interested in learning about what Bro. Sykes' national contribution was to the civil rights movement? Stay tune for future issues for the answer to this question.