Black Baseball and Chicago

Essays on the Players, Teams and Games of the Negro Leagues’ Most Important City


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About the Book

Founded in 1920, the Negro National League originally comprised teams throughout the Midwest, but the league’s groundwork was laid in one city—Chicago. Two of the season’s eight inaugural teams were based in the South Side, which was also the adopted home of Rube Foster, the “Father of the Negro Leagues.” A former stand-out pitcher in the Windy City, Foster founded the dominant Chicago American Giants. As the first president of the Negro National League, Foster controlled all major aspects of the game, from personnel to equipment and ticket sales, and his influence left black baseball indelibly associated with Chicago.

This essay collection presents notable papers delivered at the 2005 Jerry Malloy Negro League Conference in Chicago. With contributions from many Negro Leagues experts, the work offers a cohesive history of Chicago’s long relationship with black baseball. After an introduction and an overview, sections cover early Chicago baseball from the nineteenth century to the founding of the Negro Leagues; teams in the Negro Leagues after 1920; players, both well-known and obscure, who spent significant time with Chicago clubs; owners and managers; the East-West All Star Game; ballparks; the Great Lakes Naval Team; and the integration of the Cubs and White Sox. Appendices provide a timeline of major black-baseball events in Chicago and player rosters for Chicago–area teams.

About the Author(s)

Leslie A. Heaphy is an associate professor of history at Kent State University, Stark Campus, in Canton, Ohio.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Leslie A. Heaphy

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 267
Bibliographic Info: 40 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2006
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2674-4
Imprint: McFarland
Series: Jerry Malloy Conference Series

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      v
Preface      1
Introduction by Larry Lester      3

1. Early Black Teams in Chicago      7
2. The American Giants and Chicago’s Negro League Era Clubs      18
3. Leading Black Ballplayers in Chicago      41
4. Management and Owners      142
5. The Ballparks, the East-West Classics, Integration and the Great Lakes Naval Team      173

Appendix A: Time Line of African American Achievements in Chicago Baseball      199
Appendix B: Rosters      202
Appendix C: Chicago Players in the Major Leagues      212
Appendix D: East-West Game Highlights, 1933–1953      214

Chapter Notes      217
Bibliography      225
About the Contributors      251
Index      255

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “Highly recommended…all readers, all levels”—Choice
  • “Provide[s] new information about the story of baseball in Chicago…well documented”—Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society.