& Notes From The Negro League Blog
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Professional Negro League Formed in Texas In 1897
During the late 1800s numerous attempts were made to organize viable, professional black baseball leagues. However, economic realities, travel and lodging difficulties posed by segregation, and the logistics of travel worked together to thwart the establishment of any solid baseball circuit. Nonetheless, in 1896 an enterprising group of baseball men in Galveston, Texas believed that they had come up with scheme that could build a league on a sound footing. All that was needed to implement their plan for the new Lone Star Colored Baseball League Of Texas, they believed, was an experienced baseball man at the helm.
Interesting Note: Boston Was Late To The Negro League Party
From New York To Atlanta almost every major city in the East and South either claimed it's own Negro League team or regularly hosted Negro League games from the 1920s forward. And, almost everywhere they played, Negro League teams enjoyed large and enthusiastic crowds. Boston appears to have been the exception to this rule.
It wasn't until September 8, 1942 that Boston hosted it's first exhibition game featuring two teams from the Negro League majors--the Philadelphia Stars and Baltimore Elite Giants. Playing in Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox, the Philadelphia squad squeaked past the Elite Giants 8-7 in a game that was called in the seventh inning due to rain. A brief account of the game was reported on the UP wire service.
Ross Davis Recalls Negro League Life In The 1940s
In a career interrupted by military service during World World II, Ross "Satch" Davis made a name for himself in big time Negro League baseball with the Baltimore Elite Giants and Negro American League champion Cleveland Buckeyes. Davis recalls his life in black baseball in an entertaining interview with Doug Krikorian in the Long Beach Press Telegram.
Pittsburgh Pirates To Debut Negro League Exhibit
On Monday (June 26th) the Pittsburgh Pirates will present a Negro League exhibit that will become a permanent fixture at PNC Park. The exhibit will be focused on the history and achievements of Negro League teams with specific emphasis on the two legendary teams from the Steel City area, the Pittsburgh Crawfords and Homestead Grays.
Charlie Johnson, 1930s American Giants Outfielder, Dies At 96
Charlie Johnson, former outfielder for the Chicago American Giants and numerous barnstorming teams during the 1930s, passed away in Chicago on June 10.
Audio Profiles Of New Hall Of Fame Inductees
TBO.com is featuring an excellent set of career profiles of the newly elected members of the Hall of Fame selected by the special committee yesterday, Feb. 27th. Also included are profiles of all other candidates for induction who were not elected in yesterday's balloting. The profiles are accompanied by audio narratives by Larry Hogan, a Negro Leagues historian who was a voting member of the committee.
Hall Of Fame Profile: Willard Brown
A career that began with the Monroe (La.) Monarchs (Negro Southern League) in 1934 took Willard "Home Run" Brown from the Southern "majors" of segregated baseball to a sterling career with the Kansas City Monarchs, a stint with the St. Louis Browns, and a few dazzling years in the integrated Texas League during the 1950s. Along the way Brown became the first black player to hit a homerun in the American League (with St. Louis in 1947) and a genuine legend in Puerto Rico. In the end, ten years after his death in 1996, Brown's career will come to a fitting conclusion with his induction into the National Baseball Hall Of Fame.
Seventeen Negro League Inductees Selected For Baseball Hall Of Fame
A select committee of baseball historians have elected 12 former Negro League and pre-Negro League stars and 5 Negro League executives to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. The Negro League luminaries will be inducted during ceremonies to be held at the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY on July 30. For the complete story, see this announcement on the National Baseball Hall of Fame website.
Negro League Legend Monte Irvin Returns To Cuba After 50 Years
The Bases Are Loaded, a newly released documentary film from Nagel Films, chronicles a trip by Hall of Famer Monte Irvin to Cuba where he reunites with former teammate, and Cuban baseball legend, Connie Marrerro. The Negro League-Cuban League baseball connection was a very important factor in the development of the game in both countries, and we can think of no better repository of the history than the recollections of Monte Irvin and Connie Marrero. With fan interest in Negro League baseball history reaching higher and higher levels during the past few years, it is good to see some attention being focused on Cuba--a home away from home for many Negro League stars in the pre-Castro years.
Buck Leonard Still A Hometown Hero
Buck Leonard passed away in November, 1997, but his life and contributions to his hometown remain fresh in the minds of Rocky Mount, NC residents. As the National Baseball Hall of Fame considers the nominations of 39 additional Negro League candidates for induction into baseball's shrine, the North Carolina community fondly remembers it's own Hall of Famer. Read more in this News & Observer article.
Robert Peterson, Negro Leagues Historian, Has Passed Away
Robert W. Peterson, historian and author of the groundbreaking Negro Leagues baseball history Only The Ball Was White passed away Saturday in Salisbury Township, Pennsylvania. Peterson's book, which first appeared in 1970, stands as the first extensive study of Negro Leagues baseball since the demise of the Negro National and Negro American Leagues, and the book sparked a new interest in Negro League research that intensified during the 1990s. For more information about Peterson, his life and work, read this article at KansasCity.Com.