Dandridge, as I said, was a slick fielding 3B who played in the Negro Leagues from 1933 until 1944. He was just 19 when he took the field professionally for the first time. He was a perennial .300+ hitter, who was not known to have any power. He had seasons where he stole 20+ bases, but was not known as a fierce base stealing threat. During his time in the Mexican League from 1940-1948, he enjoyed as much success. He hit well over .300.
The Newark Eagles team started to build their team around Dandridge. With fellow infielders 1B Mule Suttles, SS Willie Wells and 2B Dick Seay, they formed what was called the million dollar infield. It was a 1937 version of Connie Mack's "hundred thousand dollar infield" of Stuffy McInnis, Eddie Collins, Jack Barry and Frank (HomeRun) Baker. The Newark infield had a fine balance of speed, power and defense, but still finished in second place in their division. Dandridge made his only East/West All Star game that season.
In 1938, Dandridge became teammates with a young Monte Irvin. In 1940, he started playing in the Mexican League, after spending the past several winters playing in Cuba. He was idolized by a young Minnie Minoso, as they were teammates in the Mexican League. The Mexican League became mixed with several current and former MLB players in the mid to late 1940s, but Dandridge continued to compete at their level. No question, Ray proved himself as the top third baseman of both the Negro and Mexican Leagues.
Dandridge finally got to play minor league baseball in 1949 with the Minneapolis Minners out of the San Francisco Giants organization. In 1951, he mentored a young Willie Mays, but their team still was not that competitive. His last season was 1953, where he was moved to 2B at age 39 and had little left to offer.
Though Dandridge never made the big leagues, he was given credit for making players like Irvin, Minoso, Mays and Don Newcome better. As I said before, it would have not been a crime if the San Francisco Giants gave him a brief call-up anytime from the 1949-1952 seasons while playing for Minneapolis. He earned it, as after the 1952 season made 20 years playing professionally. If I had to rank his defense, I'd say it was not quite to Brooks Robinson's level, but better than guys like Mike Schmidt, Graig Nettles and Clete Boyer. Clearly, one of the top defensive 3B to ever play in this game. Hopefully, nine years after his death, more people will start to notice Ray Dandridge as one of the top 3B, not just in the Negro and Mexican Leagues. MLB Network just profiled him when going over the all time Negro League team; he was the starting 3B.