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Thread: Early Negro Teams & Players

  1. #101
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    Chicago American Giants Team Photo - 1919 -.JPG
    Chicago American Giants 1919 team photo; Rube Foster is in a suit; Oscar Charleston is in the top row second from the right
    A lot of people say this honor validates my career, but I didn't work hard for validation. I didn't play the game right because I saw a reward at the end of the tunnel. I played it right because that's what you're supposed to do, play it right and with respect. If this validates anything, it's that learning how to bunt and hit and run and turning two is more important than knowing where to find the little red light at the dug out camera. - Ryne Sandberg

  2. #102
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    Thumbs up Walter Ball

    Quote Originally Posted by baclightning View Post
    A few notes on a couple of the other players pictured, from James A. Riley's Biographical Encyclopedia of Negro Baseball Leagues (a fantastic book, BTW):

    "[Walter Ball] was one of the best pitchers of the early decades of black baseball. At the end of the first decade of the century, he, Rube Foster, Dan McLellan,and Harry Buckner were considered head-and-shoulders above other moundsmen. He was a smart pitcher with good control, and made frequent use of the spitball, but was not a power pitcher. Off the field, the premier hurler was noted for his sartorial splendour, wearing tailored suits and earning a reputation as the 'swellest' dresser.

    "Ball pitched for eighteen years (1906-1923), primarily on Chicago-based teams, including the Leland Giants, Chicago Giants, Chicago Union Giants, and the Chicago American Giants. He also played with the Milwaukee Giants, and was one of the first black pitchers to play in the Cuban winter league, spending three winters on the island."

    "A fleet-footed, slightly bowlegged, sharp-hitting center fielder during the deadball era, Spot Poles usually batted in the leadoff position to utilize his incredible speed, which was comparable to Cool Papa Bell. Once in spring traing he was clocked under 10 seconds for the 100-yard dash. A left-handed batter, he watched the ball all the way to his bat, and consistently hit for a high average. He was also a good bunter, but despite a stocky build and arms described as massive for his size, he had only moderate power. in the field he had excellent range, good hands, and an accurate arm. An intense competitor, he was confident but not cocky in his baseball ability."

    Poles played from 1909 to 1923, and remained in the game as a coach after his retirement. During World War One, he served in the US Army as a Sergeant in the 369th Infantry Division, earning five battle stars and a Purple Heart for his service in France. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetary.

    John McGraw said that Poles was one of the four black players he would pick for the major leagues if the color line was erased; Paul Robeson ranked him with Jesse Owens, Joe Louis, and Jack Johnson as one of the greatest black atheletes he had seen.
    Walter Ball also pitched for the St. Cloud team of 1902, his LAST year playing with a white team. This team won the 1902 Northern LEague title.

  3. #103
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    Walter Ball Playing on Intergrated Team

    I obtained a photo of Walter Ball playing for the 1902 St Cloud Minn. baseball team, being the only black player on the team, making it a very early intergrated team. He went on the next year playing in the pre negro leagues. Was a very dominate pitcher for his day. By the time the Negro Leagues started in 1920, his career was pretty much over..........

  4. #104

    black players in OB around 1902

    Quote Originally Posted by Dennie Cunningham View Post
    I obtained a photo of Walter Ball playing for the 1902 St Cloud Minn. baseball team, being the only black player on the team, making it a very early intergrated team. He went on the next year playing in the pre negro leagues. Was a very dominate pitcher for his day. By the time the Negro Leagues started in 1920, his career was pretty much over..........
    That is also a very late integrated team. According to the list by Bob Davids (deceased), Appendix 16 in Sol White's History of Colored Baseball, U of Nebraska edition, here are the numbers of black players in Organized Baseball after 1893, known to historians about 15 years ago.

    1894
    New England League, 2 players on 1 team (10g and 2g)

    1895
    Michigan State League, 6 players on 1 team (three regulars)
    Kansas State League, 1 player

    1896
    Kansas State League, 2 players on 2 teams
    Colorado State League, 1

    1897
    Kansas State League, 1

    1898
    Kansas State League, 2 players on 2 teams

    1899
    Canadian League, 1 (5 games)

    Bill Weiss and Marshall Wright summarize the 20th century before Jackie Robinson:
    I]n the first decade of the 20th century, a player by the name of Dick Brookins played several seasons in the Wisconsin State and Western Canada Leagues from 1906-1910. The following season, Bill Thompson played for Bellows Falls, Vermont in the Twin State League. Finally, in 1916, a pitcher named Jimmy Claxton pitched in two games for the Oakland Oaks of the Pacific Coast League. Despite his short stint, Claxton received a baseball card, becoming the first African-American so honored.
    --Weiss & Wright, "Top 100 Teams: Team #84 -- 1946 Montreal Royals"
    Thompson was a regular player in 1911. That story is featured in SABR's annual journal The National Pastime about ten years ago, article by Seamus Kearney.

    Then Jackie Robinson in 1946.
    It's a northern and western story, of course.
    Last edited by Paul Wendt; 04-18-2008 at 08:41 AM.

  5. #105
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    Another excellent post. Thank you for your contributions gentlemen.

    Finally, in 1916, a pitcher named Jimmy Claxton pitched in two games for the Oakland Oaks of the Pacific Coast League. Despite his short stint, Claxton received a baseball card, becoming the first African-American so honored.
    Does anyone know if a pic of Claxton's card is available on the net?
    THE GREATEST WHO EVER LIVED

    Hitler & his supporters used Max Schmeling as a symbol & sports hero of the Jewish Holocaust known as Nazi Germany.
    Supporters & sympathizers of the Black Holocaust known as Jim Crow, have Ruth & Cobb.


    THE FLEET-WALKER MOVEMENT

  6. #106
    Quote Originally Posted by Moses Fleetwood-Walker View Post
    Does anyone know if a pic of Claxton's card is available on the net?
    Jimmy Claxton biography at BlackAthlete.net
    $7200 for an original graded 3 on a 10-point scale.

    Vaguely I recall that it was reproduced full-page size, as an illustration inside or on the cover of a book. But I can't place it and you know what vague means.

  7. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Wendt View Post
    Jimmy Claxton biography at BlackAthlete.net
    $7200 for an original graded 3 on a 10-point scale.

    Vaguely I recall that it was reproduced full-page size, as an illustration inside or on the cover of a book. But I can't place it and you know what vague means.
    Thank you kindly sir for that link and info. Have a blessed day.
    THE GREATEST WHO EVER LIVED

    Hitler & his supporters used Max Schmeling as a symbol & sports hero of the Jewish Holocaust known as Nazi Germany.
    Supporters & sympathizers of the Black Holocaust known as Jim Crow, have Ruth & Cobb.


    THE FLEET-WALKER MOVEMENT

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