Born: October 18, 1917
Died: March 10, 2000
Town: East Orange
Charles Augustus Biot Jr. was born October 18, 1917 in East Orange. The owner of a long, strong but occasionally erratic right arm, Charlie was a pitcher as a teenager until his coach at East Orange High switched him to the outfield. There he used his speed to distinguish himself as an elite defender. He played semipro ball for the Orange Triangles and was a teammate of Monte Irvin.
Charlie made his Negro League debut in 1939 as a 21-year-old center fielder with the Newark Eagles and New York Black Yankees. The Black Yankee played their home games in Paterson. Charlie was a .300 hitter in 1940 for the team. In 1941, he was sent to the Baltimore Elite Giants. Charlie was never the star of his teams, but he never sat out a game and at 6’3 and 180 lbs. he was hard to miss. He was also recognized for his leadership abilities.
That quality served Charlie well when he served in the Army during World War II. He enlisted shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor and was named captain of the 93rd Division’s baseball team. The 93rd was part of the 369th Infantry Regiment, a primarily black regiment that was nicknamed the Harlem Hellfighters during World War I. The 369th performed labor and security duties in the Pacific during World War II, and saw combat action in the Philippines.
Charlie continued to play baseball after returning from the war in 1946, mostly with semipro clubs in New Jersey. His main source of income was a job at a plastics factory. In the late-1950s Charlie went to work for PSE&G. A lifelong resident of East Orange, he passed away at the age of 82. His average in official Negro League games was .291. Roy Campanella, a teammate in Baltimore, said Charlie was as good a defensive center fielder as Joe Dimaggio.