1924 newspaper Baltimore BlackSox NEGRO LEAGUE Baseball

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SEE PHOTO—– COMPLETE ORIGINAL newspaper, the Baltimore News (MD) dated Oct 11, 1924. Inside page heading and report on the Negro League baseball team from Baltimore, the baltimore Black Sox plaaing the Major League Philadelphia Americans. Very early Negro League baseball as they were one of the original six teams to make up the Eastern Colored League in <1923

The Baltimore Black Sox were a professional baseball team based out of Baltimore, Maryland which played in the Negro Leagues. The Black Sox started as an independent team in 1916 by George Rossiter and Charles Spedden. They were one of the original six teams to make up the Eastern Colored League in 1923.

In 1929, the Black Sox boasted the “Million Dollar Infield” of Jud “Boojum” Wilson (first baseman), Frank Warfield (second baseman), Oliver “Ghost” Marchelle (third baseman) and Sir Richard Lundy (shortstop).  The nickname was given to them by the media because of the prospective worth had they been white players.   The Black Sox won over 70% of their games during the 1929 season and won the American Negro League Championship.

During their only season in the East-West League, the Black Sox won the the league championship.

A Great Summary of Negro Baseball

For almost a century, African American baseball players were barred from the major leagues because of their skin color. In December 1867, the National Association of Ball Players voted not to accept a team with black athletes. In those early days a few black players did play on integrated minor league teams. But by the turn of the twentieth century, black players were entirely shut out of white professional baseball until 1946 and the end of World War II. Then Jackie Robinson broke the ‘color line’ becoming the first African American to play in the major leagues.

Black players played on black teams that represented black communities. The teams were organized into black leagues, and competed for championships. In 1920, Rube Foster founded the Negro National League in Kansas City, Kansas. It was joined by the Eastern Colored League in 1923. In 1937 the Negro American League was formed. Through the years, Negro leagues overcame hardships, were reformed and replaced, grew and sometimes flourished. Players endured segregated, second-rate wages and playing conditions . . . but their competition and play was first-rate, major league! In fact when matched up against white major league opponents, the black teams won over sixty percent of the games.
In the 1920s, a crowd of 5,000 spectators for a Sunday game was normal. The heart of the leagues were the emerging Northern ghettos (Pittsburgh Crawfords, New York Black Yankees, Newark Eagles, Chicago American Giants) with a smattering of Southern teams (Birmingham Black Barons, Jacksonville Red Caps, Atlanta Black Crackers). By the Thirties, a doubleheader night card could draw up to twenty thousand fans. Before the breakdown of the segregated leagues, the Negro leagues were among the largest black businesses in the U.S.
The last of the Negro leagues struggled on until 1960 with only a fraction of their former support and prestige. By then the best African American players were in the former white major leagues.

Judy Johnson 1900-1989

Sure handed with good range and a strong arm, Judy Johnson was an all-around great third baseman. The 5’11″, 145 lb. Johnson was a good instinctive base runner, which offset his lack of outstanding speed. A righthanded line-drive hitter with an excellent batting eye, he hit for good average but not with exceptional power.

Playing with the great Hilldale clubs of the 1920′s, he had batting averages of .391, .369 and .392 in 1923-25 to help them win pennants in the Eastern Colored League’s first three years of existence. In the first World Series against the Kansas City Monarchs in 1924, he led the team with a .341 batting average in a losing cause.

Always a smart baseball player, afer leaving Hilldale he became the playing manager of the Homestead Grays, perhaps the greatest collection of talent in black baseball history. In 1932, after joining the third superteam of his career, as captain of the Pittsburgh Crawfords he continued his steady hitting with averages of .332, .333 and .367.

The superb fielder’s .349 lifetime batting average over a 19-year career in the Negro Leagues qualified Judy for induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1975.

Negro Leagues Celebration in Pittsburgh

I found this amazing article from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Monday July 16)  discussing a Black Tie Gala to honor some players of the Negro Baseball League.  The best part of the article were the photographs including this one that shows Satchel Paiges daughter, Pamela Paige O’Neal.  When I think of how much celebration is being made for the Negro Leagues, I wonder how big they could have become if they had remained segregated. 

 

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By Marylynn Uricchio, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
History not only adorned the walls of the Senator John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center on Saturday night — it walked and spoke in the guise of a number of former Negro League players who were honored at the Josh Gibson Foundation’s 2007 Negro League Remembering the History Black Tie Gala.Keynote speaker Monte Irvin was an endless fount of stories about the foundation’s namesake, the legendary Josh Gibson, with whom he played. Mr. Gibson’s great-grandson, Sean L. Gibson, is executive director of the foundation, which provides educational and recreational opportunities for youth. The organization also awarded scholarships that evening to Morgan Nicole Lee, a 2007 graduate of Penn Hills High School, and Rosanna Breaux of North Allegheny Senior High School.

Rebecca Droke, Post-Gazette
John “Mule” Miles, left, Wallace “Bucky” Williams, seated, and Ted Toles.
Click photo for larger image.

WPXI anchor Vince Sims served as master of ceremonies. The event was co-chaired by Chauncey Smith of H.J. Heinz Co. and his wife, Bernice, and former Pittsburgh Steeler Dwight White and his wife, Karen.

Former Negro League players honored included John “Mule” Miles, Wallace “Bucky” Williams, Ted Toles, the late “Buck” Leonard, whose wife, Lugenia, and stepdaughter, Rose Hunter, attended the gala, and the late Satchel Paige, whose daughter, Pamela Paige O’Neal, was on hand to represent him.

Among the other 250 or so attendees were Gibson family members Lillian Bailey, Marjorie Gibson and Gertrude Gibson, along with Dr. Margaret Larkins Pettigrew, Jerry Lopes, Tene Croom of Sheridan Broadcasting, Patrick O’Leary of Fisher Scientific, Jonas Chaney and Mark Barash of WPXI, Kweilyn Murphy of WQED, Gibson Foundation vice president Jason Wells and foundation board member Angel Natal of St. Petersburg, Fla., Curtis Randle El, brother of former Steeler Antwon Randle El, Neal Barclay, executive director of the August Wilson Center for African American Culture, the Rev. Glenn Grayson of the Wesley A.M.E. Zion Church and NAACP board member Chase Patterson.


Rebecca Droke, Post-Gazette
Monte Irvin, left, and Sean Gibson.

Negro Leagues Basebll Museum receives national designation

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Contact: Adam   Miles 2022252865 adam.miles@mail.house.gov

Negro Leagues Baseball Museum receives national designation

Congressman Moore co-sponsors legislation officially designating museum as America’s National Negro Leagues Baseball Museum

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) — On Monday, the United States House of Representatives approved legislation designating the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (NLBM) in Kansas City as America’s National Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. The legislation, co-sponsored by Congressman Dennis Moore (Third District – Kansas), was introduced in the House by Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II (Fifth District – Missouri). Since the measure was passed unanimously by the Senate in April, the designation is now official.

“It is quite appropriate that Kansas City, the birthplace of the Negro National League in 1920, is now the official home of America’s National Negro Leagues Baseball Museum,” Congressman Moore said. “This designation is also a testament to the committed individuals who have worked so diligently to make this world-class museum a destination for anyone seeking to enrich their understanding both of the history of African-American baseball and the struggle against injustice in our country.”

The designation of the NLBM as America’s National Negro Leagues Baseball Museum will help it in its efforts to preserve the history of the Negro Leagues and the impact of segregation on our nation. The national designation will also assist the museum in efforts to continue the collection, preservation and interpretation of historical artifacts.

“I am very pleased to say that the Kansas City Metropolitan Area is now officially home of America’s National Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. The passage of this bill represents national recognition of the role our entire community, on both sides of the state line, played in the history of the Negro Leagues. We should all be very proud of the work Buck O’Neil and others have done to commemorate baseball played on segregated fields,” said Congressman Cleaver.

“I would like to thank Congressman Moore, for being a co-sponsor of this bill,” said Congressman Cleaver, “it is always a pleasure to reach across the state line and find a willing partner to work on projects that benefit the entire region.”

“As America’s only public museum dedicated to the history of the Negro Leagues, we are thrilled with this important recognition,” said John “Buck” O’Neil, NLBM Chairman.

“The Museum will forever strive to fulfill this national designation,” said Mark Bryant, NLBM Board Chairman.

“For the 2,600 Negro Leagues players, their legacy is forever etched in the national history of baseball,” said Bob Kendrick, Deputy Director of the NLBM. “It’s a great story that should be told and retold.”

The NLBM was founded in 1990 and is the only public museum in the nation that exists exclusively for portraying the players in the Negro Leagues from 1920 thru the 1960s.

More than 60,000 baseball fans throughout the country visit the museum in Kansas City each year. Currently, the NLBM houses a comprehensive collection of historical materials, important artifacts and oral histories of the participants of the Negro Leagues and the impact that segregation played in the lives of the ballplayers and their fans.