The California Winter League

America’s First Integrated Professional Baseball League


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About the Book

The California Winter League was the first to bring together Negro League teams and white professional teams in one league. It operated from October through February each year from the early part of the century until the late 1940s and generally consisted of one or more Negro League teams, which included Hall-of-Famers Satchel Paige, Turkey Stearnes, Willie Wells, and Cool Papa Bell on their rosters, and three or more white teams, which were made up of major league players who lived in California as well as minor leaguers from the top-rated Pacific Coast League.
This work is the first complete history of the California Winter League from its murky beginnings around 1912 to its golden years from 1924 to 1935 to its final demise in the mid 1940s. It provides an overview of the league and the early years of local amateur ball clubs evolving into the semi-professional league on through 1919. It then provides detailed summaries for the official seasons of 1920 through 1947 and accounts of the exciting pennant races between the Negro League teams and the white professional teams. Appendices provide statistical information: league champions season by season, career leaders in many categories such as batting average, home runs, complete games, victories, and shutouts, batting and pitching statistics for each season, and more.

About the Author(s)

William F. McNeil is a longtime baseball historian and the author of numerous books on the game. A member of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR), he is the recipient of five Robert Peterson awards for increasing the public’s awareness of the Negro Leagues. He lives in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

Bibliographic Details

William F. McNeil
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 335
Bibliographic Info: 77 photos, tables, appendices, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2008 [2002]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3881-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     ix

Introduction     1

1 California—From Wasteland to Fantasyland     5

2 The California Winter League—An Overview     9

3 The Early Years (1900–1919)     24

4 Season Summaries (1920–1924)     66

5 Season Summaries (1925–1929)     104

6 Season Summaries (1930–1934)     143

7 Season Summaries (1935–1939)     173

8 Season Summaries (1940–1944)     201

9 Season Summaries (1945–1947)     223

10 A Final Look Back     236

Appendices     243

Bibliography      311

Index      313

Book Reviews & Awards

Winner, SABR’s Robert Peterson Award for increasing public awareness of Negro League baseball
“the most comprehensive study of winter baseball in California, ever published”—The Courier; (SABR Negro Leagues Committee Newsletter); “detailed”—Sports Collectors Digest.