The Indianapolis ABCs

History of a Premier Team in the Negro Leagues


In stock

About the Book

The Indianapolis ABCs were formed around the turn of the century, playing company teams from around the city; they soon played other teams in Indiana, including some white teams. Their emergence coincided with the remarkable growth of black baseball, and by 1916 the ABCs won their first major championship.
When the Negro National League was formed in 1920, Indianapolis was one of its charter members. But player raids by the Eastern Colored League, formed in 1923, hurt the ABCs and by the Depression the team was fading into oblivion. The team was briefly resurrected as a Negro league team in the late 1930s, but was otherwise relegated to the semiprofessional ranks until its demise in the 1940s. Through contemporary newspaper accounts, extensive research and interviews with the few former ABC players still living, this is the story of the Indianapolis team and the rise of Negro League baseball. The work includes a roster of ABC players, with short biographies of the most prominent.

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: 239
Bibliographic Info: 30 photos, tables, notes, bibliographies, appendices, index
Copyright Date: 2007 [1997]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3092-5
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0757-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vii
Introduction      1

1. Diamonds at the Crossroads      5
2. Laying the Foundation, 1867–1900      9
3. The Birth of the Indianapolis ABCs      14
4. The Home Team      20
5. Black Baseball and C.I. Taylor at an Indiana Health Resort      30
6. Difficult Years      40
7. The Press and Black Baseball in Indianapolis      44
8. C.I. Taylor Comes to Indianapolis      51
9. The Glory Years of the ABCs, 1915 and 1916      58
10. War Years, 1917–1919      72
11. Negro National League      84
12. Extra Innings, 1925–1940      103

Epilogue      119

Appendix I. Player Biographies      125
Appendix II. Statistics and Rosters of the ABCs      162
Appendix III Game Scores, 1902–1932      177

Notes      207
Bibliography      217
Index      223

Book Reviews & Awards

“valuable”—The SABR Bulletin; “a labor of diligent research and civic pride…a welcome contribution”—Nine; “thorough…a major contribution to our literature about the Negro Leagues”—Sports Collectors Digest; “valuable”—Indianapolis Star; “valuable contributions to…the still-uncharted waters of Negro League baseball”—Choice.