Frank Grant

The Life of a Black Baseball Pioneer


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About the Book

Widely considered the best black player of the 19th century, Hall-of-Famer Frank Grant challenged baseball’s color barrier in the 1880s to play for all-white professional teams—two of which fought a legal battle for his services. This first full-length biography documents Grant’s career highlights, including successful games against Major League teams and at-bats against Hall-of-Fame pitchers. Stories overlooked for more than a century are examined, including a falsified anecdote that obscured one of Grant’s best games from history. New light is shed on the early years of the Cuban Giants, the first black pro ball club.

About the Author(s)

Richard Bogovich, a contributor to the Society for American Baseball Research’s Inventing Baseball: The 100 Greatest Games of the Nineteenth Century (2012), works for the Wendland Utz law firm in Rochester, Minnesota.

Bibliographic Details

Richard Bogovich
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 287
Bibliographic Info: 30 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2022
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8460-4
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4607-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Preface 1
Introduction: A Superlative Career 3
1. A Family Accustomed to Freedom 7
2. Serious About Base Ball 20
3. Magic in Meriden (April to July 1886) 25
4. Buffalo and Immediate Stardom (July to October 1886) 35
5. A Bitter Pennant Battle (1887) 41
6. Winning Streak (1888) 60
7. Black Team in a White League (1889) 79
8. Ordered to Harrisburg (1890 to April 1891) 99
9. A Finale of Sorts (April–June 1891) 123
10. Barnstorming (1891–1892) 129
11. Making History from Cooperstown to Chicago (1893–1894) 146
12. A “Cuban” Rivalry (1895–1897) 157
13. Lured Away (1898–1903) 170
14. Exit from the Game (1904 and After) 189
15. From Obscurity to Enshrinement 201
Chapter Notes 209
Bibliography 257
Index 263