The Coal Barons Played Cuban Giants

A History of Early Professional Baseball in Pennsylvania, 1886–1896


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About the Book

The Pennsylvania state leagues of the 1880s and 1890s rank among the most interesting minor leagues in the history of baseball. The rules were changing, the world around baseball, particularly the economy, was changing and things that would seem impossible in a later time were happening every year. These leagues had not only black players but also wholly black teams. They had great major leaguers—on their way up but also on the way back down. In fact, the greatest player of the age, surrounded by what would have been a major league all-star team only a few years before, played in a Pennsylvania minor league for almost a full season. The play was exciting, the players were exciting and the owners, managers and league politics were often more interesting than the games.

About the Author(s)

Paul Browne is executive director of the Carbondale Technology Transfer Center. A member of SABR since the mid–1990s, he has contributed to the SABR BioProject site, SABR’s Nineteenth and Minor Leagues Committee newsletters and local newspapers. He lives in Carbondale, Pennsylvania.

Bibliographic Details

Paul Browne

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 248
Bibliographic Info: 48 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2013
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6125-7
eISBN: 978-0-7864-9293-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Preface 1
Introduction 3
Prelude: 1885 7
1  1886: “The Elmira-Scranton Patent Double Back Action Combination Base Ball Team” 13
2  1887: Secession 30
3  1888: Will the Real Pennsylvania State League Please Stand Up? 47
4  1889: The Cuban Giants 72
5  1890: The Monarchs of York 102
6  1891: Failure to Launch 121
7  1892: The Pennsylvania State League 130
8  1893: Diddlebock and the Philadelphia Inquirer 142
9  1894: The Coming of the King 157
10  1895: Hard Coal Champions 184
11  1896: The Philadelphia Athletics 198
12  1897: The Passing of an Idea 211
Chapter Notes 217
Bibliography 225
Index 231