First African Americans to appear in a major league box score( 1880s): (A) Moses “Fleetwood” Walker ( catcher) (B) Brother Welday (Wilberforce College) Walker (Outfielder)
They played for the Toledo Team of the American Association (1884)(Batted 5th)
Note: In 1884, three Major Leagues- National, American Association, and Union Association. The Walker Brothers had to quit the team - result of mob violence in Richmond, Louisville (Spectators hissed him).
(C) 1888 - Syracuse stars had two Negroes: Bud Fowler and Higgins (first name unknown).April 14, 1889, a member of the Buffalo Bisons, “The feeling is pretty general among professional ballplayers that colored men should not play with white men.”
Sporting Life, Dec. 30, 1885 • Fowler, the crack colored second baseman, is still in Denver, Colo., disengaged. The poor fellow’s skin is against him. With his splendid abilities he would long ago been on some good club had his color been white instead of black.
1900 - Five Black Professional Teams (A) The Cuban Giants (B) The Cuban X Giants of New York (C) The Red Stockings of Norfolk (D) The Columbia Giants of Chicago
Barnstorming Baseball 1909:St. Paul Goperds
1920 - Rube Foster - Founder of the Negro National LeagueNNL: We Are The Ship - All Else The Seas
1920’s Wave of black nationalism, Harlem Renaissance - Writing; black art; dance bands; Louis Armstrong; Duke Ellington; Poems, “The Lynching,” “If We Must Die,” work of Langston Hughes
Rube Foster is considered to be the founder of the Negro National League in 1920(February 13-14, 1920, Colored YMCA, Kansas City).
Rube Foster • Born: Texas,1879 • Quit school: 8th grade to play baseball • Age 17: pitched for the Forth Worth Yellow Jackets • Age 21-23: Pitched for Phil. Athletics, Cuban Giants, Cuban X Giants • 1910: Foster’s team- American Giants travels (Jack Johnson)
Clubs In: • Kansas City (Monarchs) • Indianapolis (ABC’s) • The Cuban All-Stars (Mohave City) • Chicago (both American Giants and plain Giants) • Detroit and St. Louis (Giants in both cities)
The Eastern Colored League appeared three years later with outfits in: • New York (Lincoln Giants) • Atlantic City (Bacharachs) • Baltimore (Black Sox) • Philadelphia (Hillsdale) and • Brooklyn (Royals)
After the Negro American League emerged: along with a facsimile of the all white World Series. (Eastern and National Leagues:1924)Foster died December 9, 1930.
Negro League World series ( 1924 to 1927 and 1942 to 1948) • 1924: KC Monarchs NNL 5 -4 Hilldale ECL • 1925: Hillsdale 5 -1 KC Monarchs • 1926: Chicago American Giants NNL 5-3 Bacharach Giants ECL • 1927: Chicago Giants 5-3 Bacharach ECL • Negro American League vs Negro National League • 1942: KC Monarchs NAL 4-0 Homestead Grays • 1942: Grays NNL 4-3 Birmingham Black Barons
Life in the Negro Leagues was hard Teams would play three games a day Earn $400-500 a month Jackie Robinson’s Yearly Salary: $5,000
Rube Foster Declared: “Ball players have had no respect for their word, contracts, or moral obligations. Yet they are not nearly as much to blame as the different owners of clubs.” • Lack of trusted umpires
Attendance was good - 1,650 per game • Costs: Train Fares, baseballs $23 per dozen
Walter “Buck Leaonard (Lou Gehrig) remembered:“We’d play a semi-pro team in Rockville, Maryland in the afternoon and a league game in Griffith Stadium that night.”
40 - 50,000 fans would pack Comisky Park.In 1934, Leonard received 60 cents per day and meal money (during the depression). There were no trainers, stayed at YMCA, the fields were often cow pattie or high school fields.
The Negro League pioneered night ball - the Kansas City Monarchs played the first contest under lights in 1930. Illumination was portable, travelling poles, banks of lights powered by a truck borne generator parked in center field.
One of the weaknesses of the Negro League was that it did not have a farm system.
1933 - East-West All Star Negro Competition:The game was played between teams of players who received most votes in polls conducted by Chicago Defender and Pittsburgh Courier - the West won 11-7
20,000 people in attendance. Games played at Comisky Park, Chicago. In 1942 East-West Game had 48,400 fans. The game outdrew the White All-Star Game.
Cool Papa Bell 27 years in the League (.480 over a 200 game year - 175 stolen bases in 1933)
Satchel Page Pitched in more than 2,500 games Won about 2,000 Pitched for about 250 teams Best Strikeout Mark - 22 Pitched 153 games in a single year Oldest Rookie in Major League History: Cleveland,1947
Role of the PressBy 1939 - The Black and White Press began to recognize the talent of the Negro Players
April 7, 1939 - The Washington Post wrote: There’s a couple of million dollars worth of baseball talent on the loose, ready for the big leagues, yet unsigned by any major clubs. Only one theory is keeping them out of the big leagues--pigment.
1901 to 1961: Baseball in the South-Southern Association Baseball Minor Leagues Atlanta Crackers New Orleans Pelicans Mobile Bears Chattanooga Lookouts Memphis Chickasaws
Little Rock Travelers • Birmingham Barons • Nashville Volunteers
All teams were independently owned. Half of the teams were owned by major league teams and the other half had farm club status. Teams were of the AA Classification. The Southern Association remanded all white with only one black man playing in only one game.
Atlanta Black Crackers was formed.House of David (Often traveled with Kansas City Monarchs)Southern Negro League (SNL) March, 1920
Chattanooga Black Lookouts, New Orleans Black Pelicans, Birmingham Black Barons, Atlanta Black Crackers, Nashville Elite (EE-Lite) Giants
(A) Zulu Cannibal Giants(B) Ethiopian Clowns - formed in Miami in 1927 after the Stock Market CrashGrass Skirts, Clown Activities