Dismukes began playing professional baseball in 1908 with the East St Louis Imperials and spent the next two years working his way through stints with the Kentucky Unions and Minnesota Keystones.
As early as 1909 Dismukes began a long, sometimes intermittent, association with the Indianapolis ABCs. His first game with the club was a losing effort against C. I. Taylor's Birmingham Giants in July of that year. He stayed with Taylor, pitching for the Giants after they relocated to West Baden, Indiana in 1910. Over the next few years he also appeared on the rosters of the St Louis Giants, the Philadelphia Giants, and the Brooklyn Royal Giants.
In 1914, when Taylor became part-owner and manager of the ABCs, Dismukes returned to the roster. He began the next season with the Lincoln Stars, but was re-signed to Indianapolis in late April. His next two years with the ABCs were the best of his career as he compiled records of 19-5 and 17-6, both times ending the season in a title series against Rube Foster's Chicago American Giants.
During World War I Dismukes served with the 803rd Pioneer Infantry. When he returned to baseball he accepted a player-manager position with the Dayton Marcos. He returned to the ABCs roster in 1920, leading all pitchers in the newly-established Negro National League with an 11-6 record. After Taylor's death in 1922 Dismukes joined the Pittsburgh Keystones. He was on the roster of the 1924 Birmingham Black Barons, but left the following year for the Memphis Red Sox and later the St Louis Stars.
In 1930 Dismukes came to Chicago to helm the American Giants after Foster's death. Known as a warm-hearted teacher he embarked on a long managerial career. Among his 1930s teams were the Detroit Wolves, the St Louis Stars, the Columbus Blue Birds, the Atlanta Black Crackers, his own Cincinnati Dismukes, and the 1938 Birmingham Black Barons.
In 1940 Dismukes managed the Homestead Grays. The next season he was hired by the Kansas City Monarchs, where he moved up into the front office as personnel director. He helped the team acquire Jackie Robinson in 1945 and initiated his transition from shortstop to outfield. As an executive, Dismukes also served as secretary of the Negro National League before the integration of baseball. In the 1950s he became a Major League scout with the New York Yankees and the Chicago White Sox. He retired in 1956 and died in Ohio in 1961.
|Birmingham Black Barons manager
- William "Dizzy" Dismukes. (2006) Negro Leagues Baseball Museum / Kansas State University College of Education