The “Elite” in Gordon Elite Sports Medicine was inspired by Charlie Biot, Dr. Gordon’s father-in-law, who played professional baseball in the Negro Leagues during the period of 1939 – 1941. One of the teams on which he played was the Baltimore Elite Giants.
One of his earliest memories as a child was carrying Jim Thorpe’s bag into a ball park to get in to see a game. His professional career with the Negro Leagues began when Effa Manley approached his parents when he was a young teenager playing in the sand lots of Newark and the Oranges with Monte Irvin and Monte’s brothers. At first, his father refused the offer, saying he was too young. When he was 21, Effa Manley approached him directly and he signed on as a Newark Eagle (1939). He played for the New York Black Yankees (1939 – 1940) and Baltimore Elite Giants (1941).
The Biot File
Born: Oct 18, 1917 in Orange, N.J.
Height: 6-3 Weight: 180
Batted: right Average .305 – .278 in 1940 – 41
Position: Center Field
While with the Black Yankees in 1941 he hit a two-run home run off Ace Adams in the bottom of the ninth inning to win the game.
While on the Baltimore Elites in 1941 he made a great catch off the Gray’s Buck Leonard on a ball hit between light towers at Bugle Field, to save the game.
In the 1940 California winter league, he played against Babe Herman’s All-Stars. It was during that time that Charlie Biot gave a ticket to a young Jackie Robinson to watch his baseball game. Jackie, a UCLA student, reciprocated and gave Charlie a ticket to watch him play football.
Roy Campanella called him a better center fielder than DiMaggio, quoted in Sports Collectors Digest.
His professional baseball career was interrupted by the U.S. entry into World War II. After the war, wages in the Negro Leagues continued to be extremely low and he had to seek another occupation which could provide adequate pay in order to support his family. He never returned to professional baseball although stayed in touch with his friends that eventually were accepted into the Major Leagues. He retired in 1983 from PSE&G and died on March 10, 2000. The Mayor of East Orange recognized March 15, 2000 as Charlie Biot day.
Charlie Biot has received numerous awards and recognition for his participation in the Negro League history and is featured in many books and documentaries. Charlie Biot is now recognized as a member of the Major League Baseball Player Alumni Association as of 2008.
He will always be remembered as an outstanding baseball player and most importantly, a great Person, Friend, Husband, Dad and Pop-Pop.