The Chicago American Giants

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About the Book

In 1886, a semipro team known as the Union Baseball Club was founded in Chicago. Under the leadership of Frank Leland, this team of black players worked its way to the top of Chicago’s otherwise all-white semipro city league. In 1902, Leland recruited a talented young pitcher from Texas, Rube Foster, who soon established himself as one of the game’s outstanding players, seized the leadership of the Union Baseball Club and founded the Chicago American Giants. This team would dominate the early years of the Negro National League, also founded by Foster.
Covering the years 1870–1953, this is a history of a legendary Negro League team. Sources include contemporary newspaper articles and interviews with veteran players. Many photographs, a comprehensive biographical dictionary and a detailed game log are included.

About the Author(s)

A long time resident of Indianapolis, Paul Debono is an amateur baseball historian and member of SABR. He currently lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Bibliographic Details

Paul Debono
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 280
Bibliographic Info: 15 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2011 [2007]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6608-5
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0758-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vii

Introduction: Giants of American Sport      1

1. Prelude      5

2. The City of Big Shoulders and Giants (1870–1900)      7

3. Rube’s Odyssey (1901–1906)      14

4. Turf Wars (1907–1910)      21

5. The Birth of the American Giants (1911–1913)      35

6. Black Baseball in the Teens (1914–1919)      48

7. These Were the Negro Leagues (1920–1924)      74

8 . The End of One Empire, the Beginning of Another (1925–1930)      102

9. Life after Rube (1931–1939)      129

10. Democracy Invades Baseball (1940–1946)      150

11. The Collapse of a Dynasty (1947–1953)      173

Appendix 1: Who Was Who with the Chicago American Giants      189

Appendix 2: Game Log      221

Chapter Notes      251

Bibliography      259

Index      261

Book Reviews & Awards

Winner, Sporting News–SABR Baseball Research Award
“a useful addition”—The Inside Game.