Early Black Baseball in Minnesota

The St. Paul Gophers, Minneapolis Keystones and Other Barnstorming Teams of the Deadball Era


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About the Book

Though they played in the years before Rube Foster formed the first Negro League, the St. Paul Gophers and their bitter crosstown rivals, the Minneapolis Keystones, had the talent, bench depth, and determination to rival many of those later, better known teams. (The Gophers, in fact, beat Chicago’s celebrated Leland Giants in 1909, laying claim to blackball’s western championship.) Focusing on these two clubs, author Peterson lays out the early history of African American baseball in the Upper Midwest. Included are new statistics and more than 50 rarely seen photographs.

About the Author(s)

Visual artist and teacher Todd Peterson lives in Kansas City, Missouri. His work has been published in Baseball Research Journal and Black Ball.

Bibliographic Details

Todd Peterson
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 313
Bibliographic Info: 62 photos, chronologies, statistics, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2010
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3816-7
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5752-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1

1. Fowler to Williams to Ball (1873–1899)      5

2. The Whole Show (1900–1906)      14

3. Fast Team in the City (1907)      31

4. The Road Leads Somewhere      49

5. Cutting a Wide Swath (January–June 1908)      64

7. Can You Hear the Noise? (1909)      99

8. The Boys Are Back in Town (1910)      120

9. Not So Fast (January–June 1911)      145

10. On the Way Home (July 1911–1912)      160

11. By Any Other Name (1913–1948)      177

12. After Many a Summer      203

Appendix I. Game Chronologies and Team Statistics      223

Appendix II. Player Register      253

Appendix III. Rosters of Minnesota Black Teams 1876–1945      265

Chapter Notes      271

Bibliography      291

Index      297

Book Reviews & Awards

Finalist, Larry Ritter Book Award—SABR
“I am tremendously impressed with Todd Peterson’s success in finding so many game results and biographical information on black players of the Minneapolis-St.Paul teams of this era. Peterson has done future baseball generations of the upper Midwest a great service in writing their history”—Nine; “Peterson has opened a door which had been locked for over 100 years, and discovers plenty of surprises inside…Peterson approached this work as a passionate craftsman. It’s a research tour de force, richly detailed…If you’re serious about baseball and want the keys to an important, underexplored part of the game’s history, you might wish to pick up a copy”—Outsider Baseball Bulletin.