Note: you do not need a paypal account to donate any amount of money to support this website. Any and all donations are appreicated. At present I  am running  two websites africanafrican.com & negroartist.com . Both websites are free of charge and have millions of visits per year. The problem (perhaps less of a problem than a cost) I am having is that the websites have become so popular that I have been forced to go to a dedicated server which will cost me over $2000/year. My websites are dedicated to African and African American history and contain millions of images, texts, videos and other material. I have added artists free of charge to my website so that they have a voice and place on the net. I have spent the last 10 years building and growing this site. I am an unemployed engineer and the reason this is relevant is because this is what keeps me going... this is what keeps me sane. It gives me a purpose. I would hate to lose it or take it down due to success... it would be devastating.

My work has a powerful impact not only on the people that I work with directly, but also on the world as a whole. I have seen my traffic from Europe, Africa, Asia and Middle East explode in the last couple years and I hope I can continue to grow. I am at the point where I am  completely reliant on charitable donations in order to be able to continue to provide my services. Any amount you can share will be greatly appreciated and put to good use right here at home as well as thoughout the world.  email me if you have any questions.


NEGRO LEAGUE BASEBALL

400+ WSGA (an African-American member-based golf organization) images click here

Baseballs Negro Leagues essay by Matthew Eisenberg
Womens professional baseball league - Negro leagues
Negro Leagues timeline
Early Black Baseball in North Carolina
Rube Foster and Negro Leagues
Records of the national negro business league
black diamonds in negro league baseball

Literature

Early Latino Ballplayers In The United States: Major, Minor And Negro Leagues, 1901-1949
Format Hardcover
Subject Sports & Recreation / Reference
ISBN/SKU 078642012X
Author Nick C. Wilson
Publisher McFarland & Co Inc Pub
Publish Date November 2005

 

Black Ball the Negro Baseball Leagues 2006 Calendar
Format Paperback
Edition WALL
Subject Non-Classifiable
ISBN/SKU 0764931830
Author N
Publisher Pomegranate
Publish Date June 2005

Voices From The Negro Leagues: Conversations With 52 Baseball Standouts Of The Period 1924-1960
Format Paperback
Subject Sports & Recreation / Baseball / General
ISBN/SKU 0786422793
Author Brent Kelley
Publisher McFarland & Co Inc Pub
Publish Date March 2005

Cool Papas And Double Duties: The All-Time Greats Of The Negro Leagues
Format Paperback
Subject Sports & Recreation / Baseball / General
ISBN/SKU 0786422297
Author William F. McNeil
Publisher McFarland & Co Inc Pub
Publish Date March 2005

Journal of Biddy Owens: The Negro Leagues
Format Library
Subject Juvenile Fiction / Historical / General
ISBN/SKU 0439554993
Author Walter Dean Myers
Publisher Scholastic
Publish Date November 2003

Annotation
Teenager Biddy Owens' 1948 journal about working for the Birmingham Black Barons includes the games and the players, racism the team faces from New Orleans to Chicago, and his family's resistance to his becoming a professional baseball player. Includes a historical note about the evolution of the Negro Leagues.A teenager's 1948 journal about working for the Birmingham Black Barons covers the games, the players, racism the team faces, and his family's resistance to his becoming a professional, with a historical note about the Negro Leagues.


The Negro Leagues, 1869-1960
Format Hardcover
Subject Sports & Recreation / Baseball / General
ISBN/SKU 0786413808
Author Leslie A. Heaphy
Publisher McFarland & Co Inc Pub
Publish Date December 2002

Review
The Negro leagues emerged in response to the refusal of "organized baseball" to field African Americans. After struggling to subsist in the 1920s, black baseball made its mark on American society in the 1930s, featuring such superstars as Josh Gibson and Satchel Paige. During these years black teams won more than half the exhibition games they played against white teams. But the slow integration of major league baseball after WW II made the Negro leagues increasingly irrelevant, and by the early 1960s they had disappeared. Heaphy (history, Kent State Univ.) begins his story long before the formal founding of the Negro National League in 1920, and he provides rich detail on some of aspects of black baseball that distinguished it from white baseball: the enduring importance of barnstorming, the unenforceability of contracts, the shifting role of the press, and the place of black baseball in African American urban communities. But what makes this book a milestone in Negro league historiography is its bibliography: the more than 80 pages of references, organized topically (by player and subject), will serve as an indispensable starting place for the next generation of students. Summing Up: Essential. Libraries supporting African American studies or coursework that intersects with sports history or sociology; all levels. Copyright 2003 American Library Association


Negro Leagues: All-Black Baseball
Format Paperback
Subject Juvenile Nonfiction / Ethnic / African-American
ISBN/SKU 0448426846
Author Laura Driscoll
Publisher Price Stern Sloan
Publish Date July 2002

Annotation
When Emily goes to the Baseball Hall of Fame, she gets the chance to learn all about the Negro League and soon writes her report on the early players who changed the face of the game during such a difficult period of segregation and discrimination. Simultaneous.


Review
Gr. 3-5. "I love baseball. I know a lot about it. But before last fall, I had never heard of the Negro Leagues," begins Emily Brooks, who, as Driscoll's narrator, relates what she learned in Cooperstown in a report for class. The enthusiastic, clear delivery makes this entry in the Smart about History series a solid choice for middle-graders. Emily takes readers back to the late 1800s when Bud Fowler (credited with inventing shin guards because white players kept spiking him) played on a pro team and then follows the history through the creation of the Negro Leagues in the 1920s to the 1969 election of Satchel Paige to the Baseball Hall of Fame. There's nothing about current black players, but Emily certainly gives kids a clear view of the racism that marked the past and introduces them to a few of the great African American players of their day. The vintage black-and-white photos are fascinating, and the lively artwork keeps to the spirit of the game without trivializing the racial inequity. Too bad there is no bibliography so kids can read on. ((Reviewed September 1, 2002)) Copyright 2002 Booklist Reviews

The Biograpical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues
Format Paperback
Subject Biography & Autobiography / Sports
ISBN/SKU 0786709596
Author James A. Riley (EDT)
Publisher Pub Group West
Publish Date February 2002

Annotation
Updated and published in paperback for the first time, this definitive guide to the Negro Leagues provides readers with biographical profiles, vital statistics, records, career overviews of more than four thousand baseball players. Reprint.


A Complete History of the Negro Leagues, 1884 to 1955
Format Paperback
Edition REV&UPDTD
Subject Sports & Recreation / Baseball / History
ISBN/SKU 0806523247
Author Mark Ribowsky
Publisher Kensington Pub Corp
Publish Date January 2002

Annotation
Complemented by period photographs, this updated history of the Negro Leagues tells the story of the African-American players and teams of the Negro League, including such notables as Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson, Cool Papa Bell, and John Henry Lloyd. Original.


The Complete Book of Baseball's Negro Leagues: The Other Half of Baseball History
Format Paperback
Subject Sports & Recreation / Baseball / General
ISBN/SKU 0803820070
Author John Holway
Publisher Midpoint Trade Books Inc
Publish Date May 2001

Annotation
A chronological history of the Negro Leagues from 1862 to 1948 lists the statistics of every pitcher and batter, team records, significant games and advances for black players, and box scores.


Review
These two volumes contribute a good deal to the ongoing examination of the Negro Leagues. Holway, one of the deans of black baseball history, provides the most complete statistical accounting yet of the game's segregated half. The obvious by-product of painstaking research, The Complete Book of Baseball's Negro Leagues presents a quick overview of African American participation from 1859 to 1882 and then an annual accounting through 1948, the year after Jackie Robinson entered the major leagues. Holway's contribution is noteworthy, covering won-loss records, batting records, and pitching performances. Textual commentary is sprinkled throughout, as are useful lists of lifetime batting and pitching leaders. But the story remains incomplete because of the paucity of written accounts, incomplete box scores, and a general failure on the part of black baseball management and journalists alike to provide a historical record for the most statistically conscious of all sports. McNeil's (The Dodgers Encyclopedia) undertaking is different, as he seeks to determine which Negro League participants should be included in the National Baseball Hall of Fame; at present, 17 have been admitted. Cool Papas and Double Duties calls on both former Negro Leaguers and black baseball historians to select those candidates, then offers a final selection and biographies of those chosen. Biz Mackey, Turkey Stearnes, Dick Lundy, Mules Suttle, and Hilton Smith received the greatest number of votes; Stearnes and Smith, in fact, have subsequently been elected to the hall. McNeil's work also presents all-time Negro League all-star teams, with corresponding biographies. Enjoyable to course through, this book frequently enlightens but will in no way stop baseball fans and scholars from debating the various merits of the top performers. Both books are recommended for general libraries. R.C. Cottrell, California State Univ., Chico Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Josh Gibson: A Life in the Negro Leagues
Format Paperback
Edition 1ST I.R. D
Subject Biography & Autobiography / Sports
ISBN/SKU 1566632951
Author William Brashler
Publisher Natl Book Network
Publish Date April 2000

Annotation
An account of the life, career, and final downhill years of the man who was called "the black Babe Ruth," and who died, at thirty-five, during the winter after Jackie Robinson broke the minor league color barrier.



The Negro Leagues Revisited: Conversations With 66 More Baseball Heroes
Format Hardcover
Subject Sports & Recreation / Baseball / History
ISBN/SKU 0786408758
Author Brent P. Kelley
Publisher McFarland & Co Inc Pub
Publish Date May 2000

Review
Following up on his 1998 Voices From the Negro Leagues Kelley interviews another 66 people who played from the 1920s, when the Negro National League was formed, to the 1950s. He includes rare photographs and what statistics are available. He notes that many of the veterans are dying now and their stories are all that remain of the era. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)


Queen of the Negro Leagues: Effa Manley and the Newark Eagles
Format Paperback
Subject Sports & Recreation / Baseball / History
ISBN/SKU 1578860016
Author James Overmyer
Publisher Natl Book Network
Publish Date February 1998

Annotation
Tells the story of Effa Manley, a hard-headed business woman who owned the Newark Eagles baseball team and turned them into the pride of the local community

The Indianapolis ABCs: History of a Premier Team in the Negro Leagues
Format Hardcover
Subject Sports & Recreation / Baseball / General
ISBN/SKU 0786403675
Author Paul Debono
Publisher McFarland & Co Inc Pub
Publish Date July 1997

Review
If one grants that primary sources for early black baseball are relatively scarce, this reviewer fails to understand why Debono, a member of the Society for American Baseball Research's Negro Leagues committee, ignored some of those that should have been available to him. He identified Norman Beplay as the dean of Indianapolis oral historians, but cited him no further (he claims an interview not cited in the bibliography). The first three chapters were quite well done, but from that point on this reviewer became frustrated with the lack of narrative style, with a series of apparently unrelated facts and undeveloped arguments, and with a serious inattention to editing (e.g., misspellings, inaccurate footnotes, contradictions, grammatical flaws). Debono argued, for example, that the "black press ... guided all [italics added] of American society to a new day." That sentence ended a chapter. No effort was made to demonstrate the basis for such a far-reaching claim. Nearly half the pages are devoted to three appendixes--player biographies, ABC statistics, and ABC game scores, valuable contributions to a small segment of the still-uncharted waters of Negro league baseball. Copyright 1999 American Library Association


I Was Right on Time: My Journey from Negro Leagues to the Majors
Format Paperback
Edition REPRINT
Subject Sports & Recreation / History
ISBN/SKU 068483247X
Author Buck O'Neil
Publisher Simon & Schuster
Publish Date June 1997

Annotation
A veteran of seven decades of professional baseball reminisces about his days in the Negro Leagues, offers an intimate portrait of Satchel Paige, and reveals his current work scouting for the Kansas City Royals

The King of Swat: An Analysis of Baseballs Home Run Hitters from the Major, Minor, Negro, and Japanese Leagues
Format Paperback
Subject Sports & Recreation / Baseball / Statistics
ISBN/SKU 0786403624
Author William F. McNeil
Publisher McFarland & Co Inc Pub
Publish Date May 1997

Review
In search of the greatest home run hitter of all time, baseball aficionado McNeil surveys the history of baseball greats with the enthusiasm generally reserved for Saturday games at Fenway. Using statistical comparisons and accounting for the variances between players, the volume analyzes the minors, Japanese, Negro and major league candidates and compares the top sluggers in relation to their competition and ballpark differences, incidentally creating a personality driven history of the game. The top slugger? Like the movie The Crying Game , the publishers suggest we keep the results secret. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.


The Negro Leagues
Format Paperback
Subject Juvenile Nonfiction / Ethnic / African-American
ISBN/SKU 0791025926
Author James A. Riley
Publisher Chelsea House Pub
Publish Date August 1996

Annotation
Provides a history of the Negro leagues and the role they played in integrating baseball


Review
Gr 5-8?Spanning the years 1868 to 1960, this title takes a look at blacks in professional baseball in general and at the Negro Leagues in particular. While the material is accurate and the book is attractively designed, the sheer number of players and teams discussed may overwhelm readers. Riley introduces a lot of names, but offers little substantive detail or real insight. Black-and-white photographs are liberally sprinkled throughout the seven chapters. While credits are cited for them, the text itself is not documented. The list for further reading includes predominantly adult titles. While not fatally flawed, this effort is not a first choice. Michael Cooper's Playing America's Game (Dutton, 1993), Robert Gardner and Dennis Shortelle's Forgotten Players (Walker, 1993), and Patricia and Fredrick McKissack's Black Diamond (Scholastic, 1994) all provide similar information in a more reader-friendly format.?Tom S. Hurlburt, La Crosse Public Library, WI


Baseball Integration Timeline

By David Marasco

Many people think that when Jackie Robinson took the field for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947 the floodgates opened for African-American players. This is simply not the fact. While the Cleveland Indians followed almost immediately, and the St. Louis Browns toyed with integration, it was two full years before the Giants joined the Dodgers in the National League when they played Hank Thompson.

When Jackie Robinson retired at the end of the 1956 season there were still three teams that had yet to integrate. When the Boston Red Sox played Pumpsie Green in 1959 they became the last team to integrate. By then the Dodgers were no longer in Brooklyn.
1947
Apr 15     The Brooklyn Dodgers integrate with Jackie Robinson.
Jul 5     The Cleveland Indians integrate with Larry Doby.
Jul 17     The St. Louis Browns integrate with Hank Thompson and Willard Brown.
Aug 15     India gains independence from British.
Oct 6     First World Series game on televsion.
Nov/Dec     Transistor invented.

1948
Jan 30     Ghandi assassinated.
May 14     Modern Israel founded.
Jun 24     Soviets cut off Berlin, West replies with airlift.
Nov     Truman defeats Dewey.

1949
Jul 8     The New York Giants integrate with Hank Thompson.
Aug 29     Soviets detonate an atomic device.
Oct 1     Mao Tse-Tung founds People's Republic of China after defeating Nationalists.

1950
Feb 22     Senator McCarthy declares that 205 Communists work for the State Department.
Apr 18     The Boston Braves integrate with Sam Jethroe.
Jun 25     North Korea invades South Korea.

1951
Feb 22     22nd Amendment is ratified - Presidents are limited to two terms.
Apr 11     Truman fires MacArthur.
May 1     The Chicago White Sox integrate with Minnie Minoso.

1952
Nov 5     Eisenhower elected President.

1953
Mar 5     Josef Stalin dies.
Jul 27     Korean War ends.
Sep 13     The Philadelphia Athletics integrate with Bob Trice.
Sep 14     The Chicago Cubs integrate with Gene Baker and Ernie Banks.

1954
Jan 21     America launches Nautilus, the first nuclear-powered submarine.
Apr 12     Salk licenses polio vaccine.
Apr 13     The Pittsburgh Pirates integrate with Curt Roberts.
Apr 13     The St. Louis Cardinals integrate with Tom Alston.
Apr 17     The Cincinnati Reds integrate with Nino Escalera.
May 7     French surrender to Vietnamese at Dien Bien Phu.
May 17     Supreme Court strikes down "Separate but Equal" with Brown vs. Board of Education.
Sep 6     The Washington Senators integrate with Carlos Paula.
Dec 2     Senate condemns McCarthy (not related to Carlos Paula).

1955
Apr 14     The New York Yankees integrate with Elston Howard.
Jul 18     Disneyland opens.
Dec 1     Rosa Parks arrested for not giving up her seat on a bus.

1956
Sep 9     Elvis appears on the Ed Sullivan show.
Oct     Soviets crush uprising in Hungary.
Oct/Nov     Suez Canal Crisis.
Nov 6     Eisenhower elected to second term.

1957
Apr 22     The Philadelphia Phillies integrate with John Kennedy.
Sep 24     Highschool integrated in Little Rock with help of National Guard.
Oct 4     Soviets lauch Sputnik.
Oct 7     Dodgers announce that they will move to Los Angeles for the following season.

1958
Jan 31     Explorer I, fist US satellite, launched.
Jun 6     The Detroit Tigers integrate with Ozzie Virgil.

1959
Jan 1     Fidel Castro overthrows Batista.
Jan 3     Statehood for Alaska.
Feb 3     Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and the Big Bopper die in plane crash.
Jul 21     The Boston Red Sox integrate with Pumpsie Green.

The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum Redux

By David Marasco

Many years ago I visited the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City. I wrote a review that contrasted that experience with a trip to Cooperstown. The NLBM was great if you were a novice, but it didn't have much for a person who had done their homework. Whereas in-depth knowledge of the game enhanced a Cooperstown experience, turning each small artifact into a reminder of a great story, a good grasp of Negro Leagues history left the viewer bored with the exhibits in Kansas City. More than a few Negro Leagues aficionados chimed in with disappointed agreement. In the intervening years the NLBM enjoyed increased funding and moved across the street to its current location, a building shared with the American Jazz Museum. I removed my less-than-enthusiastic review from my website, feeling that it wouldn't be in the spirit of fair play to continue to publicize my view on an institution that had gone under enough revision to deserve another look. This week I took that look.

They've done an excellent job in Kansas City. A timeline traces out the history of black baseball. From Fleet Walker to Cap Anson to Rube Foster to Satchel Paige to Jackie Robinson, the entire story is on the walls. Well-written explanations are interlaced with small objects, photographs and newsprint reproductions. It has a good sense of depth, and is enjoyable and educational to both people like my wife, who asked me when the Dodgers moved to Milwaukee, to myself, who has spent many an hour researching the Negro Leagues. Perhaps the timeline was there on my last visit, but I don't remember it being as detailed or decorated. It's not just a history of baseball though. Running on a parallel track is a timeline of race relations in the country, putting baseball in context with the rest of American society.

One of the big improvements I saw was the incorporation of motion pictures from the Negro Leagues. For years we got by on a few seconds worth of Satchel Paige warming up in Wrigley and a few other shorts. Now thanks to some people who searched through their attics we have a much larger selection. It has often been claimed that one of the barriers to "respectability" for the Negro Leagues has been the lack of good stats. I'd argue that in today's multi-media obsessed culture the lack of film footage also has slowed down the Negro Leagues. It's nice to know that this is less a problem now than it was ten years ago.

One of the exhibits I enjoyed the most had little to do with the history of the Negro Leagues. It was a large collection of signed baseballs (and a Lisa Fernandez softball). The signers covered a wide ranged of society, from Presidents to actors to ballplayers of course. One wonders why Clinton's ball was marked "President" and why W's was marked "Texas Governor". Did the younger Bush make an unpopular decision while owner of the Texas Rangers? Is a member of the staff a die-hard liberal who still hasn't accepted the Florida balloting results? Or have they simply forgotten to update the little piece of paper next to the baseball? Editor's note: Curator Raymond Doswell gives a simple explanation - Bush was Governor of Texas when he visited; the titles on the cards reflect the person's position when they visted. What is impressive about this exhibit is the range of people who have been drawn to the NLBM, showing baseball's draw across our society. Also, it isn't just African-Americans who had stopped in to learn history, many others had seen the light. More than a couple people went over and above scribbling their name on hide. Messages of thanks to the men who cleared the path touched my heart.

Returning to my comparison between the NLBM and "The Hall", some things haven't changed. Part of Coopertown's draw is that it has so many artifacts. Popular interest in the Negro Leagues didn't hit critical mass until after sports collecting also moved into the mainstream, and high quality Negro Leagues memorabilia pieces are hard to find regardless. While the museum has a few great items (such as the flag that flew over the Captiol in honor of Satchel Paige), the NLBM will never be able to match Cooperstown in that aspect. Secondly, the NLBM has wisely decided to not induct players, feeling that if Negro Leaguers have "a hall of their own," Cooperstown will be less inclined to induct worthy players; instead there is a nice section highlighting players who have been honored.

The displays end with a ballpark with statues of ten of the greatest Negro League players. I'm of mixed mind on this segment. It seems like a poor use of space, and some of the position assignments are off (Cool Papa Bell in left?). Also due to the Museum's no camera policy, people can't do the natural thing, which is to take a photo of junior standing next to Josh Gibson. On the other hand, the statues are well crafted, and perhaps I just don't know enough about art and how to plan a museum to understand how to use empty space well.

Currently sharing space with the NLBM and the American Jazz Museum is the "Shades of Greatness" exhibit, a collection of art inspired by the Negro Leagues. There is some stunning work on display. I think I would go to art museums more often if they would display paintings and sculptures like this, rather than "the monkey threw yellow paint on the wall." Reading through the artists' biographies, I was absolutely shocked to learn that one of my favorite pieces was created by a young woman just out of high school. After an afternoon of me shaking my head at our country's sad prejudices, I was slapped in the face by some of my own. Museums are about exploration. Some can delve into history, culture or science. The best help individuals explore their own hearts and minds. This time around the Negro League Baseball Museum passes with high honors.

The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum is located at 1616 18th Street in the historic 18th and Vine area of Kansas City. The Negro National League was founded a block away in the Paseo YMCA building in 1920. Their phone number is (816) 221-1920.
The Paseo YMCA, Kansas City, birthplace of the Negro National League, 1920.

Click on Photos to Enlarge

Apocrypha in Pittsburgh

By David Marasco

Baseball is about legends. The high point of the 1996 season was not Albert Belle's fifty homeruns or Greg Maddux's pitching prowess, but Cal Ripken breaking Lou Gehrig's famed streak. This appeal to myth was even more so behind the color line. One tall-tale has Josh Gibson hitting a ball out of Forbes Field only to be called out when it was caught the next day in Philadelphia. Not surprisingly, Satchel Paige as the Negro League's most famous player also stars in many such stories. One of these is recounted in his autobiography, "Maybe I'll Pitch Forever,"

    One day I pitched a no-hitter for the Crawfords against the Homestead Grays. That was on July 4. I remember because somebody kept shooting off firecrackers every time I got another batter out. Those firecrackers still were popping when I ran out of the park, hopped into my car, and drove all night to Chicago. I got there in time to beat Jim Trent and the Chicago American Giants one to nothing in twelve innings.

This seems more than a little unbelievable. A full nine innings followed by an all-night drive to be topped with a twelve-inning shutout? Even if one does believe in Paige's pitching abilities, his memory might not be trusted. His autobiography was written in 1962, and while that was only one year removed from his pitching for AAA Portland, it was nearly 30 years after the fact. Also to be considered is that the only Trent that played for the Chicago American Giants was Ted Trent. This calls for a little digging. Fortunately both Chicago and Pittsburgh had very active press corps in their African-American communities, so many pieces of this puzzle could be found.

The Pittsburgh Courier splashed the banner headline "Paige Hurls No-Hit Classic" across the top of their July 7th 1934 weekly edition. So the first part of Paige's story is true. This was a game for all time. Paige struck out 17 batters, and but for a walk and an error would have had a perfect game. Only four balls left the infield, one of them a low line drive by Harry Williams that was snagged on a diving catch by Vic Harris. The Crawfords were a loaded team, and they played like it that day. Cool Papa Bell lead off their half of the first with a ball to left that was played into a speed-induced triple. He was plated by Josh Gibson's sacrifice fly. In the fifth Leroy Morney doubled, but when Paige sacrificed him over nobody covered third. Morney took a wide turn and Buck Leonard, playing first, threw high to the man backing up the play. Morney scored on the error. In the seventh the Crawfords chased the Homestead's starter and scored two more runs. All that was left was for Paige to complete the no-hitter. Despite pinch-hitting for the two last batters, the Grays could not stop Paige. To understand his dominance that day, observe his strikeout totals inning by inning: 3,2,3 2,1,1 1,2,2. According to the plot Paige was now to drive to Chicago, this is the next part to verify.

The most popular newspaper of the Chicago African- American community was the Chicago Defender. However, when the paper is surveyed for Paige's victory over Trent no record can be found. It is well known that records from that era are spotty at best, but a Trent-Paige showdown should have received some press. Ted Trent was having a marvelous year in 1934, and would go on to start in the Negro League's East-West All Star Game at Comiskey Park. Paige was so well known at the time that he many times appeared simply as "Satchell" in boxscores. He would win the East-West game that year. Given their fame, a twelve-inning duel between the two would be quite newsworthy. The only twelve inning game involving Trent was a match he won on the road at Nashville on the 24th of June. That game was a Herculean effort. As recounted in the Defender,

    One of the finest efforts of Trent was his twelve inning win over Nashville last week, played under a blazing southern sun. Trent was suffering from cramps from the first frame to the final, and yet continuing through to win. At the conclusion of the game and with the arrival of victory, Trent collapsed and had to be removed to the club house on the shoulders of his mates.

This does not resolve the mystery of the Trent-Paige showdown. The next week's edition of the Defender reveals some clues. A large picture of Satchel Paige was featured on the sports page with the title "Twirls No Hit Game," below the picture are details of his July 4 feat against the Grays. Also included is an account of Willie Cornelius' near no hitter. Cornelius and Paige matched up for a pitcher's duel on the 8th of July. The two put up zeros across the board for the first nine, but it was Cornelius who was the more effective. While Paige had allowed 6 runners on 5 hits and a walk, Cornelius had given up no hits, allowing only walks to Bell and Gibson, with Bell reaching a second time via an error. However, in the tenth the Cornelius fell apart, giving up five hits and three runs. Paige then shut down the American Giants in the bottom of the tenth to take the victory.

At this point Paige's actions in Pittsburgh on the 4th should be more closely examined. As it turns out, the Grays and the Crawfords actually played a double header that day. After Paige had won the first game, the stadium was cleared and another game was played. With the Crawfords enjoying a 2-1 lead in the seventh, the Grays put two men on base. The Crawfords responded by bringing in from the bullpen Satchel Paige! After striking out the first man he faced, Satchel gave up a double to the pitcher to plate two runs. Paige could not stop the bleeding and another run scored. While he recorded three more strikeouts for a day's total of 20, he was responsible a blown save in the second game loss. With Paige pitching twice on Wednesday, what were Trent's activities? After his twelve-inning effort the week before, Trent pitched on Saturday the 31st. He then came in and pitched three innings of relief on Monday the 2nd. Finally he had a complete game against the Crawfords on the 7th.

So the according to Paige, after he pitched his no-hitter he drove all night to Chicago and then beat Trent in a twelve-inning game. The reported facts support Trent pitching a twelve inning game the week before in Nashville, and then Paige beating Cornelius in ten innings four days after his no-hitter. For Paige's version to be true, Trent must have achieved the following tasks: Sunday the week previous he had to pitch a twelve-inning game where he was carried from the field. The following Saturday he started in a game against the Cleveland Red Sox, and then came in as relief on Monday night. According to Paige, on Thursday he was to have competed in yet another twelve inning game, and then started yet again on Saturday. All but the twelve-inning game against Paige have been documented. In addition to Trent's efforts, Paige must have pitched a nine-inning no-hitter, a part of the second game in the double header, a twelve inning shutout and a ten-inning shutout over the span of five days. All of this and no reporting of the Trent-Paige twelve-inning affair. The historical truth is that after pitching his famed no-hitter Paige blew a game the same day. Four days later he would beat Cornelius, and after almost thirty years he would confuse not only the chronology of the events, but Cornelius with the far better Trent.

Another nail in the coffin comes from a comment in the July 14th edition of the Chicago Defender. It mentions the fact that Paige's victory over Cornelius was his third shutout over the Chicago American Giants that year. A quick search of that year's Defenders reveals the other two. On their opening weekend, Satchel and the Crawfords visited the American Giants and defeated Trent 7-0. A month later Paige would return to Chicago and this time weave a one-hitter to once again triumph 7-0. With the three shutouts verified, Satchel could not have posted a 1-0 victory over Trent and the Giants on 5th of July.
If Paige did not pitch against Trent, then what were his activities between his no-hitter and his start against Chicago? These facts are revealed in the November 17th edition of the Pittsburgh Courier. According to an article that reviewed Satchel's season, after pitching on the 4th Satchel left with Crawfords owner Gus Greenlee and arrived in Marion, North Carolina on the night of the 5th. Leaving North Carolina on the night of the 6th, Greenlee and Paige drove 1000 miles to Chicago, arriving on the 8th just forty-five minutes before the start of Satchel's game. So as it turns out, this legend is seemingly false. While this is regretful, it does not detract from the fact that in a little over two weeks Ted Trent had a 12 inning victory, Paige pitched a no-hitter and Cornelius and Paige faced each other for ten innings with a near no hitter. While Satchel may not have had all of the facts straight, the greatness of these men is by no means exaggerated.

Satchel Paige's Pitching Lines - 1948

By David Marasco
Date     Team     IP     H     BB     SO
Jul 9     St. Louis     2     2     0     1
Jul 15     Philadelphia     3.1     3     0     2
Jul 18     Washington     1     0     1     2
Jul 19     Washington     2     3     2     1
Jul 21     New York     1     0     0     1
Jul 22     New York     2     1     0     2
Jul 25     Boston     2     1     2     0
Jul 30     Boston     4.2     4     1     1
Aug 3     Washington     7     7     4     6
Aug 8     New York     1.2     2     0     0
Aug 11     St. Louis     2.2     1     1     3
Aug 13     Chicago     9     5     0     1
Aug 20     Chicago     9     3     1     5
Aug 24     Boston     2.1     5     0     2
Aug 27     New York     1     0     0     1
Aug 30     Washington     9     7     1     5
Sep 4     St. Louis     4.1     9     0     2
Sep 8     Detroit     1     0     4     1
Sep 9     Detroit     1.2     3     2     1
Sep 12     St. Louis     4     5     2     6
Sep 14     New York     2     0     1     0
    Totals     72.2     61     22     43

These pitching lines were taken from box scores printed in 1948. In the 40's box scores did not give pitching lines as they do today. Instead they would list how many walks, strikeouts, innings pitched and hits were recorded. However, each was listed under a separate category, that is, all strikeouts were listed by pitcher, then all walks, Etc. This made it harder to organize each pitcher's achievement. It also lead to a mistake that I believe has gone unnoticed for almost 50 years. Observe Satchel Paige's official 1948 totals:
IP     W     L     H     R     ER     BB     SO
72.2     6     1     61     21     20     25     45

Close inspection will reveal that my totals have Satchel Paige credited with three fewer walks and two fewer strikeouts. After I double-checked my math I went over the box scores with a fine-tooth comb. Then I discovered that in the August 8 game hosting the New York Yankees, Satchel pitched against a man named Joe Page. In that game Page is credited with three walks and two strikeouts, the exact difference between Paige's official and actual season performances. What must have happened is that the person who originally totalled Paige's numbers for 1948 must have seen Page in the box score and mistaken it for Paige. I have seen many accounts of "Satchell Page" in my readings of 1930's newspapers, so it comes as no surprise that somebody would make that mistake. In any case, Satchel's line from 1948 should read 22 walks and 43 strikeouts.

I would like to thank both Pete Palmer (of Total Baseball) and Lyle Spatz (Society for American Baseball Research - Baseball Records Committee) for going the extra yard after I had brought this to their attention. Pete checked the official game reports from Cooperstown and discovered that in these reports both Paige and Page had been given credit for two strikeouts and three walks. He then added up the season totals for the two pitchers, finding Joe Page's official numbers to be correct and Satchel's to be wrong. He then went on to point out that the 1948 pitching totals for the American League were off by 2 strikeouts and 2 walks. With the Paige error accounted for, the strikeouts now match, and the walks are off by one (in the other direction of course). Lyle also checked the Cooperstown sheets and saw that both pitchers were given credit for similar events. He went to the microfilm and found a play-by-play account from a 1948 Cleveland Plain Dealer. The article confirms what I had gleaned from a less detailed New York Times report, that it was Page who should be credited with the walks and strikeouts, not Paige.
The newest edition of Total Baseball, Major League Baseball's official encyclopedia, has updated Satchel Paige's pitching stats to reflect my findings.


Jackie Goes to Wrigley

By David Marasco

All of baseball is celebrating 1997 as the Golden Anniversary of Jackie Robinson crossing the color barrier. Fifty years ago this May Jackie and the Dodgers visited Wrigley Field. Reports from the conservative Chicago Tribune and the African American based Chicago Defender offer interesting perspectives on the event.

A look at the attendance charts shows when this game was played. May 18, 1947 featured the largest paid crowd for any single game in Wrigley Field history. The Chicago Tribune explains the gate of 46,572, "There was no doubt that the new paid record was set because Robinson, the much discussed Negro athlete, was making his first baseball appearance in Chicago, as a big leaguer." The only larger crowd was in 1930 when 51,556 saw the Cubs. However, there are two other facts to that game. First, over 30,000 of those fans were women who came in for free for Ladies Day. Second, that was back in the days when the fire department allowed management to let overflow crowds take the outfield. The Defender noted that over 20,000 were turned away, and then went on to toot its own horn. Quoting a Cubs official, the Defender claimed that the fans were "The most orderly large crowd in the history of Wrigley Field... We were pleased to note that the Negro fans behaved better than our average Sunday fans for which we thank the Defender for its part in this."

The Dodgers handed the Cubs a 4-2 loss, their fifth in a row. However, Jackie would see his 14-game hitting streak snapped when he went 0-4 in the second slot. As he did many times in 1947, Robinson played first base, committing his second error of the year. It would lead to no runs.

The Cubs had scored two runs in the fourth when they were able to bunch several base hits. In the seventh Peewee Reese led off with a walk, and Tom Brown, pinch hitting for Joe Hatten, singled off of Johnny Schmitz. Eddie Stanky then beat out a bunt to load the bases for Jackie. He managed to battle his way to a full count, but then watched a called strike three. Pete Reiser doubled to left, tying up the ballgame. Carl Furillo was given an intentional walk, but when Dixie Walker grounded to second the Dodgers put the go-ahead run on the scoreboard. Cookie Lavagetto was given a free pass, but then Bruce Edwards drew a walk, forcing in the fourth run. That was it for Schmitz, Hank Wyse came in to pitch. He was able to retire Reese to end the inning.

And that was it, an exciting ballgame for one of the largest crowds in Wrigley Field history. The newspaper accounts tell of only one reaction to racism. According to the Defender, "Other than Robinson [the fans] paid attention to one Dixie Walker who was the recipient of plenty of boos."

Josh Gibson and Yankee Stadium

By David Marasco

A popular legend has Josh Gibson hitting a home run out of Yankee Stadium. The Negro Leagues have always been filled with larger-than-life stories. Did this home run ever happen? I've searched through the Pittsburgh Courier, Chicago Defender and Baltimore Afro-American newspapers over Josh Gibson's 17 year career to find the answer. While I could not find Josh's home run, I found many great moments none the less.

When the Baltimore Black Sox visited the Lincoln Giants in Yankee Stadium on July 5th, 1930, it was the first time that Negro League teams had ever played in Yankee Stadium. Yankee owner Col. Jacob Ruppert had agreed to allow the ballyard to be used for a double-header to benefit the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. 18,000 fans paid to see the Sox and the Giants split. The legend of Josh's home run may go back all the way to this original series. Even though Josh was still playing for the semi-pro Crawford Colored Giants of Pittsburgh, the Sox and the Giants had still brought some clout. In the first inning of the first game Rap Dixon went deep for Sox, and would do so again in the first and third innings of the second game. Chino Smith of the Giants sent out two of his own in the first game. Longball hitting and the Negro Leagues have Yankee Stadium tradition going back to the very beginning.

Negro League legend has it that Josh Gibson got his first start when the starting catcher of the Homestead Grays split a finger in a night game. While Major League Baseball would not see the light until 1935, the Kansas City Monarchs began experimenting with a travelling lighting system in 1929. With this information, a box score in the August 2nd, 1930 edition of the Pittsburgh Courier takes on special significance. While the report that goes with it only talks of the novel night game between the Grays and the Monarchs, close inspection shows that Buck Ewing started the game at catcher, but had no put-outs. This suggests an early exit. He was replaced by a 19-year-old Josh Gibson. Given the typical time delay in printing game reports, it is most likely that Gibson first crouched behind the plate for the Homestead Grays on July 25, 1930.

At the end of the year, the class of baseball behind the Color Barrier was Homestead and Lincoln. They agreed to meet in a ten game series to decide the world title. It was during this series that Josh first visited Yankee Stadium. Already he was making waves, having hit one of the longest homers in Forbes Field history. The first two games of the series were played in Pittsburgh, and Josh showed his power with a triple and a homer. The games then shifted to New York. Josh did reasonably well in a Sunday double-header, going 1-4 and 1-3 in a Homestead sweep. With the series at 3-1 for the Grays, the two teams travelled to Philadelphia to split a pair, though reports of these matches are murky. The series then returned to Yankee Stadium for the final four games. In a double-header on Saturday, Josh blasted his first Yankee Stadium home run. It was a three run blast to left field that the Pittsburgh Courier claimed to have travelled 430 feet. The Chicago Defender went a little bit farther and labelled it a 460-foot blast, "...the longest home run that has ever been hit at the Yankee Stadium by any player." Once again, details become sketchy, but it would appear that his only other extra-base hit of the series was two-run double in the final contest to put the game out of reach. The Grays took the series 6 games to 4.

Between the years 1931 and 1933, Josh Gibson rose in status to the legend that he is today. He was lured away from the Homestead Grays to the cross-town Pittsburgh Crawfords in 1932. The Crawfords were a team on the rise. They had some of the very best talent in baseball, black or white. Gibson with fellow Hall-of-Famers Satchel Paige, "Cool Papa" Bell, Judy Johnson and Oscar Charleston formed the core of one of the most powerful teams in history. However, Yankee Stadium would not see this team until 1934.

Yankee Stadium did not belong to Gibson in 1934, but it instead belonged to Satchel Paige and Slim Jones. The House the Ruth Built saw Negro League baseball twice in 1934, but this time it had a special twist. These were the first of the famous four-team double-headers. The powers that be in the Negro National League arranged for four popular clubs to meet at Yankee Stadium September 9th. In the first game, the Chicago American Giants slipped by the New York Black Yankees by a score of 4-3. Ted Trent, having one of his best years for the Chicago club, out duelled the Yankee's Bill Holland. However, it was the second game that sent the 27,000 fans home talking. Satchel Paige and the Pittsburgh Crawfords faced Slim Jones and the Philadelphia Stars. Satchel started slowly and after one inning was down by a score of 1-0. The 20-year-old Jones was on fire, at one point striking out "Cool Papa" Bell, Perkins, Oscar Charleston and Josh Gibson, the first four in the Crawford's order. Going into the 7th inning Jones had a no-hitter brewing. At that point Judy Johnson laced a single to right, and Pittsburgh was able to manufacture a run. With the score tied and darkness approaching, Satchel retired White for the first out in the bottom of the ninth. Jud Wilson then hit a single, only to end up on third when the Crawford's defense went haywire. Satchel then walked the powerful Biz Mackey and when Casey (not that Casey) was sent to bat in place of Dunn, he too received a walk. With bases loaded and one out, Satchel went to work. On three pitches Paige fanned McDonald. Three more retired Brooks. With darkness falling, the game was declared a 1-1 tie. Jones had given up three hits with nine strikeouts, while Satchel had allowed five with twelve K's. Josh Gibson, and most of his teammates, was held hitless by Jones this night, going 0-4.

The games were seen as being such a success that a second double-header was arranged for September 30th. The second game saw the Black Yankees beat the American Giants 3-2, but the crowd of 30,000 came to see the first encounter. The fans were promised a rematch of the September 9th showdown, and they were pleased to see Satchel Paige once again face Slim Jones. This time it was Jones who would stumble out of the gate, giving up two unearned runs in the first. Paige, on the other hand, was perfect through the first four, with strikeouts accounting for half of the outs. The game would eventually turn to the Crawfords with a 3-1 final. Josh was 1-4 in this game, held to a single.

The end-of-the season four-team double-headers took root in New York City. In the following year, 1935, another was played. On September 22nd, the New York Cubans squared off with the Nashville Elite Giants, followed by the Crawfords and the Philadelphia Stars. In the first game the Cubans came up just short, pushing across two runs in the bottom of the ninth to finish 4-3. The second game was a massacre. Pittsburgh was up 12-1 after 5, and yielded but one more run to the hapless Stars. Gibson's actions in this game are muddled by history. According to an eyewitness account in the Pittsburgh Courier, Gibson hit a ball that landed roughly 450 feet from the plate on the warning track, and then bounced over the wall and landed behind Ruthville. In those days in the Negro Leagues a ball that bounced over the fence was a home run instead of a ground-rule double. The Chicago Defender reported that the man ahead of Gibson in the batting order hit a home run, to be followed by Gibson with a triple. In any event, Josh added to his status as a Yankee Stadium clout hitter.

In 1936 Josh did not play in Yankee Stadium. However, by that time the politics that had closed the city of New York to the Crawfords had been resolved. A very early date that year saw the Pittsburgh team visit the New York Cuban's Dyckman Oval for a double-header. The Crawfords were able to pull a sweep based upon the prowess of Paige and Gibson. In the first game Satchel faced Chet Brewer, and beat him 8-4 with 12 strikeouts. Gibson contributed with a home run. In the second game Sam Streeter faced the Cuban's Johnny Taylor. Once again Pittsburgh pitching would have the help of Josh's bat, this time with two clouts. Eye-witnesses have one of the home runs towering over the centerfield fence, seemingly destined for an NYU building a quarter of a mile away. Obviously the ball did not make it that far. A double-header was played in Yankee Stadium that year, but it did not involve the Crawfords, so in some respects the denizens of New York were cheated. It is doubtful that many of the fans felt that way. While the first game was a sloppy 15 to 7 victory by Philadelphia over Newark, the second game was a gem. In a battle of New York teams, the Black Yankees edged out the Cubans by a score of 2-1.

The following year was one of turmoil for the Negro Leagues. The political situation in the Dominican Republic caused the local ruler to assemble a baseball team. He did this by raiding the best Negro teams in the country. Josh Gibson, now with the Homestead Grays, could not turn down the enormous amount of money that was offered to him. He spent a good portion of the Summer in the Caribbean, but was banned by the owners from playing in the annual East-West All-Star Game. Many of the other players who had left for the Dominican Republic found that they came back to very angry owners. Their response was to form a barnstorming team. As Josh had the grudging permission of his owner, he was able to return to the Grays rather than barnstorm.

For the third straight year, Josh Gibson did not play in Yankee Stadium. The double-headers moved back to Yankee Stadium for 1938, and the teams that were invited were the Philadelphia Stars, Baltimore Elites, Pittsburgh Crawfords and New York Black Yankees. The Stars defeated the Elites 8-7 and the Crawfords downed the Yankees 5-3. The Negro Leagues had planned for a second East-West game at Yankee Stadium that year, but rain forced scheduling changes and it was held at the Polo Grounds instead.

In the first 9 years of Josh's career, he had played in Yankee Stadium only 9 times. In 1939 things would change. That year the Yankees announced that they would allow five double-headers to be played in Yankee Stadium, and that they would award the Jacob Ruppert Memorial Cup to the winner of tournament.

The first of these double headers featured the New York teams playing East Coast powers. In early June the Baltimore Elite Giants faced the Cubans and the Philadelphia Stars took on the Black Yankees. In the first game the Elites came back from 3 runs down to beat the Cubans by a score of 7-3. Luis Tiant Sr. took the loss for the Cubans. In the second game the Black Yankees took the Stars 5-4, scoring the winning run in the bottom of the 8th. The second double header took place in early July. This time the Newark Eagles bested the Philadelphia Stars by a score of 8-1, and the Baltimore Elite Giants shutout the Black Yankees 4-0.

Josh Gibson finally got to Yankee Stadium in the end of July for what would be the third double-header. However, his reputation had preceded him. While his line would read no hits in two at bats with one run scored, the true story goes a little deeper. The Philadelphia Stars had so much respect for Gibson that they intentionally walked Gibson on four pitches three times, once even when behind 8-2. The final score would read Grays 11, Stars 2. In the second game the Black Yankees beat their crosstown rivals the Cubans 4-0.

In mid-August the Negro Leagues once again descended upon Yankee Stadium. In the opener, the Cubans faced the Elite Giants. Tiant was lit up for 11 runs and the Cubans suffered an inglorious 11-1 defeat. In the second game The Grays faced the Black Yankees. The Grays pushed 11 runs across the plate, but Gibson could do no better than a single in his 5 at bats. Buck Leonard, the Gehrig to Gibson's Ruth, hit the only home run in Homestead's 11-5 victory.

Yankee Stadium took a break from the double-headers in order to host the second 1939 East-West game. In a 10-2 drubbing, the East crushed the West. Gibson's line reads one hit in three at bats. While it was only one hit, it was a big one. In the 8th the East was up by a score of 6-2. The bases were loaded as Josh strode to the plate, and they were empty when he cruised into third. He would then score the final run to put the game completely out of reach.

The first four double-headers had set the stage for the championship game. Baltimore with three wins would play Homestead with two. Lefty Gaines started for Baltimore, while Roy Partlow twirled for the Grays. Both pitchers shut down the opposition for the first six innings. In the bottom of the seventh, Moore roped a one-out double. The Gray's third-sacker then was slow on a bunt, allowing both the runner to move up and the batter to reach first. On the next play to third the fielder bobbled the ball and Moore scored. After a walk to the next batter, Roy Campenella came to the plate and brought in a second run with a single. Partlow then settled down, but it was too late. Although Gaines was dominant that day, he ran out of steam with two outs in the 8th. With a man on first he walked Josh Gibson and Buck Leonard, prompting the Giants to bring Willie Hubert in from the bullpen. Hubert was able to coax a popout out of Tom Parker to end the threat. The Giants would win by a score of 2-0 and claim the Ruppert Cup. Gibson would end the contest 0 for 2. To complete the double header, an amalgam of the two teams would play a minor league all-star team. In this second game the minor leaguers were able to tie the combined team by a score of 1-1 in seven innings. In this second game, Josh went 0-3.

In 1939 Josh had played a total of 5 games in Yankee Stadium, more than half the output of the first 9 years of his career. However, he was by no means stellar. He accounted for two hits in 15 at bats, with three runs scored and no home runs. That would be the last that Josh would see of Yankee Stadium for quite a while. In 1940 he once again jumped from the Negro Leagues, this time to Venezuela. That league collapsed mid-season, so Josh found his way to Veracruz of the Mexican League. Josh returned to Mexico the following year to win the homerun and RBI crowns. However, after two years south of the border, health and legal problems drew Gibson back to the States. By playing the 1941 season in Veracruz, Josh had breached a contract with the Grays. Management went to court and had a $10,000 lien placed upon Josh's house. In exchange for dropping the claim, the owners got Gibson's name on a two-year contract.

Nearly three years after his last appearance, Josh Gibson once again visited Yankee Stadium in 1942. World War II acted in two ways to make this possible much more often. With African-Americans dying on distant shores for freedom abroad, racism in this country was scrutinized even more than it was before. A more cynical reason is that with the best white talent in the military, the Yankees had to find alternative sources of income, and that the Negro Leagues provided much-needed cash. In any case, Josh made his first appearance in a double-header in late May. The Yankees and the Grays split, with the outstanding play of the day being "Chin" Green's catch of Gibson's drive to the flagpole in center, followed by a quick throw to the infield for a double play. Josh would combine for 1 for 6 on the day with no home runs.

In June the Grays would play the Philadelphia Stars in Yankee Stadium in the front half of a four team double-header. In this game Gibson hit a home run off of Barney Brown, but no details of this shot are given. The Grays would win 3-2, while in the second game the Elite Giants would bow to the Cuban Stars 3-2.

The Negro World Series would be played in Yankee Stadium in 1942, after an absence of many years. The Kansas City Monarchs would face the Homestead Grays. In front of many notables, including Mayor LaGuardia, the Monarch took apart the Grays. After taking the first two games in Washington DC and Pittsburgh, the Monarchs defeated the Grays 9-3 in Yankee Stadium. The Grays scored two quick runs off of Satchel Paige, but then the Monarchs exploded offensively to put the game out of reach. After a disputed fourth game, the Monarchs won the fifth game to "sweep" the series 4-0. Josh hit .200 with no home runs in the World Series, and even then was beginning to suffer frequent headaches. They were portents of the brain tumor that would eventually kill him.

During the off-season between 1942 and 1943 Josh Gibson gave an interview where he listed his greatest thrills in his baseball career. Interestingly, he listed his winning the MVP trophy in the 1941 Puerto Rican league as his greatest moment. It has been suggested that this is because the Negro Leagues never had any types of awards other than the East-West game, and that this was one of the few times that Josh was given official recognition. Also in the article, Josh discussed some of his long home runs. Yankee Stadium is not mentioned. It would be hard to imagine Josh Gibson surpassing Ruth and Gehrig by hitting a ball out, and yet not mentioning it amongst his other great home runs.

Josh would not play in Yankee Stadium in 1943, and in 1944 played but two dates. The first was in early May, one of the first games of the season. The Gray's opponents were the New York Black Yankees, a team descended from the old Lincoln Giants, who had hosted the Grays in Gibson's first visits. Terris McDuffie pitched for the Yankees, and gave up a homer to Buck Leonard and four singles to Josh. The Grays won by a score of 15 to 3. In the second game of the double-header, Dolly King came in for Gibson at catcher, and had three doubles. The Grays blanked the Yankees by the score of 6-0. After the Negro League World Series, the Birmingham Black Barons and Grays met for a double-header in Yankee Stadium. The first game featured a four-hitter by the Baron's Johnny Huber. One of the 4 hits was a three-run homer by Josh in the 6th, giving them the victory. They also took the second game by a score of 8-4, but Josh's contributions are unknown.

In 1945 the Grays played twice in Yankee Stadium, once in May and once in June. In the May game rain played a big part, but Josh was able to hit a 430-foot homer in the first inning. The Grays would get credit for a 4-1 win. The June encounter featured a split between the Black Yankees and the Grays. Here Josh also showed some clout; according to the Chicago Defender, "In the first game Josh Gibson of the Grays poled one of the longest homers ever hit in the Stadium, the ball travelling 430 feet into the center field bleachers."

Just before the 1946 season, Homestead owner Cum Posey died. Homestead's level of play dropped. That fact, combined with Jackie Robinson's arrival in Montreal, made the Grays a rarity in the sports pages. Gibson's last year is by far his least documented. The only Yankee Stadium game mention in the Baltimore Afro-American was a May matchup. Neither the Chicago Defender nor the Pittsburgh Courier has Josh in New York that year. It looks like Josh wanted to go out with a bang. "Josh Gibson clouted a 440-foot homer in the first game of the attraction... Gibson's blow, which scored Dan Wilson, was hailed as one of the longest ever hit in Yankee Stadium, the ball going into the far-away centerfield stands." The Afro-American goes on to state that three days earlier he had hit one to straight-away center in Forbes Field, a 457-foot blast.

A Black Eye on America

By David Marasco

In June of 1945 Satchel Paige and the Kansas City Monarchs came to the nation's capital and lost a doubleheader before one of the largest Griffith Stadium crowds of the year. In those two games Kansas City's rookie shortstop banged out seven consecutive hits. Just another bit of history in the Jackie Robinson story. With his bat and his heart Jackie Robinson would change race in America. But as Satchel Paige would learn, the road ahead was more than a little bumpy.

In late August of the same year Satchel came back to Washington D.C. The Birmingham Black Barons had rented his arm for three innings for a tilt against the Homestead Grays. As promised he pitched his three innings. He struck out six of the nine men he faced and collected his fee - a cool grand. After the game he hopped into his maroon Cadillac and headed for places unknown.

He made it exactly one block. Wearing badge number 1106 was Robert Lewis, the officer in charge of directing baseball traffic at the intersection of 8th Street and Florida Avenue. Paige turned left onto Florida, passing a little too close to Officer Lewis. The policeman commanded Paige to halt the car. As Paige attempted to explain his driving the officer called him a '...smart black b-----." and socked Paige in the eye. The stunned Satchel was struck a second time before Lewis turned his attention back to the traffic.

Unfortunately for Lewis some of the large crowd that had just paid to see Satchel had also witnessed the officer's actions. Lewis was then informed who he had just assaulted. "I didn't know it was Paige!" claimed the policeman (I'm sure that Rodney King wishes that he was Michael Jordan). This only incited the crowd. Three police cars were needed to restore order.

In the aftermath Paige went to the precinct headquarters and filed a complaint. The officer then booked Paige on a $5 traffic charge which Paige paid on the spot. The next day Paige changed his mind and decided to fight the charge. The case wasn't heard because the traffic ticket was marked as forfeit. Satchel was left with nothing but a lacerated eye and assorted facial bruises.

At this point many readers are probably shaking their heads, remembering that this country lived under the horrors of segregation not so long ago. Even today there are enough Detective Furhmans lurking in uniform that Tiger Woods should sweat hard every time he gets pulled over. But it was even worse than that. Robert Lewis wasn't a redneck Jim Clark wanna-be, but an African American. That's how twisted race was in this country.

Looking at the long history of humanity it is not shocking when when a member of the majority oppresses a member of the minority. In some cases the prejudice becomes so ingrained into the society that even members of the minority are willing to buy into the stereotypes. A person lashing out at somebody different is sadly not uncommon, but when a person goes against one of his own it shows how deep the sickness runs. A white policeman beating a black motorist is a shameful comment on the country we call the Land of the Free. But an environment where a black cop does the same hopefully can be relegated to history. Thank you Jackie Robinson.
Integration and the Splendid Splinter
By David Marasco

This week Barry Bonds swiped second base in the bottom of the eleventh. In the little picture it meant that he was in scoring position and helped the Giants to a victory against their arch-rival, the Dodgers. In the big picture this was career steal #500 for Bonds, making him a member of the 500/500 club. He was the only member of the 400/400 club, and is joined by his father, Bobby Bonds, his godfather, Willie Mays, and Andre Dawson in the 300/300 club. Yet another milestone for the amazing Bonds. It seems like every time a big number rolls past for Bonds these days his position amongst the all-time greats is debated. In left field he's long eclipsed Stan Musial and Ricky Henderson. The big question is how Bonds stacks up against the once-great and now-Popsicle Ted Williams. There are two big fudge factors here. The first is the time Williams spent in World War II and the Korean conflict. That has been well covered elsewhere. The second is the integration factor. While the National League integrated quickly, the American League followed at a more leisurely pace. Here we look at the question "how many games did Ted Williams play against integrated competition?"

The proper way to do this would be to get a set of baseball cards covering Williams' era and then go to http://www.retrosheet.org/ and count up every last game where he did face such a player. That would be a large amount of work, so perhaps a quick-and-dirty approximation is a better method. Looking at the number of games Williams played in each year and the date of integration of each American League team we can estimate the percentage of Ted's career which was integrated.

In 19 seasons The Kid played in 2292 games. Prior to 1947 the Color Barrier covered "Organized Baseball", and Williams played 736 games against all-white competition. That covers 32% of his career. In 1947 both Cleveland and St. Louis integrated in July. Give them credit for a half-season each, so Williams faced integrated squads in one out of every seven of the 156 games he played. That leaves 134 games against whites-only. This method is carried out in the following chart:

Year
   

Games
   

Integration

Ratio
   

White Games
   

Notes

1939
   

149
   

0
   

149
     

1940
   

144
   

0
   

144
     

1941
   

143
   

0
   

143
     

1942
   

150
   

0
   

150
     

1946
   

150
   

0
   

150
     

1947
   

156
   

1/7
   

134
   

Indians and Browns integrate in July

1948
   

137
   

2/7
   

98
     

1949
   

155
   

2/7
   

111
     

1950
   

89
   

2/7
   

64
     

1951
   

148
   

3/7
   

85
   

White Sox integrate in May

1952
   

6
   

3/7
   

3
     

1953
   

37
   

3/7
   

21
   

Athletics integrate in late September

1954
   

117
   

4/7
   

50
   

Senators integrate in September

1955
   

98
   

6/7
   

14
   

Yankees integrate in May

1956
   

136
   

6/7
   

19
     

1957
   

132
   

6/7
   

19
     

1958
   

129
   

6.5/7
   

9
   

Tigers integrate in June

1959
   

103
   

7/7
   

0
     

1960
   

113
   

7/7
   

0
     

Totaling things up, Ted played roughly 1363 games against all-white competition. That's about 60% of his career. Note that this is back-of-the-envelope calculation, and doesn't take into account the fact that while the teams that Williams faced might have had one or two black players, this was an era of "token integration", when race still played a huge role in roster management.

The Red Sox were the last team to integrate, Pumpsie Green joined the Red Sox on July 21, 1959. Ted played for a season and a half on an integrated team. Not that any of this was under Ted's control. His feelings about the Negro Leagues were made clear when he advocated for the inclusion of these forgotten players in his Hall of Fame speech.

The Giants and the Color Barrier

By David Marasco

"Get that nigger off the field!" With that statement Cap Anson set down the Color Barrier that would last for 60 years. Anson was one of the most popular baseball players of the 1800's, and he was also quite a bigot. His infamous statement was uttered in 1887 when he found that the International League team he was facing in an exhibition featured George Stovey and Fleet Walker, two black men. Stovey and Walker were removed from play, and that same day the owners of the International League decided not to hire any more black players. This "Gentleman's Agreement" spread throughout white organized baseball. While African- Americans could not play in either the major or minor leagues, they still played baseball. The relationship between the New York Giants and the Negro Leagues has a very interesting history. It involves the Giants' greatest manager, riots, no-hitters and Hall of Famers.

For thirty years at the start of this century the words John McGraw and New York Giants were synonymous. He led them from 1902 until 1932, winning ten pennants and three world titles. He was one of the first to try to break the Color Barrier. He did this not as a member of the Giants, but as manager of the Baltimore Orioles in 1901. Charlie Grant was a light-skinned second baseman. He worked as a bellboy and played baseball at the Eastland Hotel. McGraw, seeing Grant's talent, hatched a plan where Grant would be known as "Chief Tokahoma" and be passed off as a Native American. The plot soon failed, as Grant had played with the Columbia Giants in Chicago in 1900. Because of this he was known to Charles Comiskey, owner of the White Sox. Grant returned to the Columbia Giants for the 1901 season. When John McGraw joined the New York Giants the next year he had Hall of Famers Christy Mathewson and Iron Man McGinnity in his rotation. In their first year under McGraw, they had 14 and 8 wins respectively. In the Spring of 1903 McGraw hired Rube Foster, the father of the Negro Leagues, to help out with his pitchers. Foster taught them his screwball, which Mathewson dubbed as his "fadeaway." In 1903 Mathewson won 34 and McGinnity 30.

One of the uglier incidents between the Giants and Negro Leaguers occurred in 1912. The headlines read quite ominously - "Giants Play Negro Team, Ends in Riot." The Giants sent several of their players to New Jersey to face a team known as the Smart Sets. When the Giants arrived they discovered that the Smart Sets were not a white team. Seeing as there was a crowd of 8,000, they felt it would be best to play the game. One thing to note is that this was just a small squad of players, and not the full team. Because of that, they were being managed by Wilbert Robinson rather than John McGraw, who may have had more control of the situation. The first problem came when the Giants' only pitcher refused to take the mound. According to the New York Times, "The only pitcher taken along was Louis Drucke, who comes from Texas. Drucke flatly refused to play against the colored team. All sorts of arguments were brought to bear, and Drucke finally consented to pitch if he was announced as 'Pitcher O'Brien' instead of Drucke." After that, things went smoothly until the 7th inning. Harry McCormick of the Giants disagreed with a call by the umpire, and it came to blows. A fellow Giants player by the name of Fletcher intervened, but McCormick refused to leave the field after he was tossed from the game. The Chief of Police had to come and remove him. With the game tied in the bottom of the ninth, the umpire handed Drucke a new ball. Drucke took some dirt and began to darken the ball, in order that the opposing players not be able to easily target a new white ball. Members of the Smart Set objected, and Drucke was forced to pitch with a new ball. The game progressed to the top of the tenth. McClellan of the Smart Sets took the mound to pitch, and instead of using the white ball, he used an older, darkened ball. Giants players Fletcher and Snodgrass (who would earn infamy later in the year) protested to the umpire, feeling that if the Smart Sets were able to bat against a pitcher with a clean ball, the Giants should have the same right. The umpire disagreed and the Giants left the field. The crowd degenerated into a mob and assailed the Giants bus with sticks and stones. The Chief of Police intervened and was able to get the Giants out of town, and they were happy to be gone. To put this incident into its proper historical perspective, this game occurred roughly a week after Ty Cobb went up into the stand to beat up a fan who had no hands. Cobb brutalized the man and was suspended by the American League. The Detroit Tigers went on a strike in support of Cobb and the American League lifted the suspension. The fan's sin? He had called Ty Cobb a "half-nigger."

Most exhibition games went much better than that. In fact, the Giants would play games against Negro League teams almost every year. They often played the Lincoln Giants, formerly of Nebraska, at the time based in Harlem. The influence of the New York Giants on baseball can be seen by the fact that many teams in the Negro Leagues were labeled as "Giants." The list includes: the Bacharach Giants, Chicago American Giants, Cuban X-Giants, Lincoln Giants, Philadelphia Giants, St. Louis Giants, Nashville Elite Giants and the Brooklyn Royal Giants. Of course, the most successful Japanese franchise is the Tokyo Giants. Negro Leaguer Buck O'Neil offers an explanation on why this was in his book "I Was Born Right On Time." After the success of early black teams such as the Lincoln Giants, Giants became a code word for black teams. Newspapers of the day wouldn't print pictures of black men, but if a reader saw a team named the Giants coming to town, then he or she would know that if was a black team. In any case, the natural team for the New York Giants to face was the Lincolns, and at the time the Lincoln Giants had Smoky Joe Williams, perhaps the greatest pitcher ever to take the mound. In 1912 Smoky Joe shutout the Giants twice, 2-0 and 6- 0. In 1914 the Giants and Williams faced off again, this time Rube Marquard and Smoky Joe tossed matching three-hitters, with a 1-1 tie resulting. Williams scored 12 strikeouts to Marquard's 14. The next year the Giants got the better of the Lincolns when big Jeff Tesreau whiffed 17 as he beat the Lincolns by a score of 4-2. The Giants were the National League champions in 1917 when Smoky Joe lost a 1-0 marathon. He pitched ten innings with 20 strikeouts, and threw a no-hitter despite losing the game. Eventually Commissioner Kennesaw Mountain Landis grew weary of seeing white teams getting beaten by their black competition. He ruled that when major leaguers played in exhibitions, no more than three players from one team may play. In this way black teams could not claim that they had defeated an intact major league franchise.

All of American, black and white, struggled through the Great Depression. For the Negro Leagues this meant the collapse of the original Negro National League and the rise of the second organization bearing that name. Insight to the economic troubles of the time might be drawn from the nickname of Carl Hubbell, New York's best pitcher. He was known as "The Giant's Meal Ticket." Both the Negro Leagues and the Major Leagues instituted All-Star games in order to generate interest. The Giants and the Negro Leagues entered a symbiotic relationship in New York. The Giants would rent out the Polo Grounds for big Negro League games, taking a cut of the gate. Both sides profitted, the Negro Leagues would be able to play in a larger venue and associate themselves with the major league tradition of the Polo Grounds. The Giants made a tidy sum of cash. The Yankees, who would do the same thing with the much more attractive Yankee Stadium, were making roughly $100,000 a year from such arrangements. In those times $100,000 could pay for several players, so the Negro Leagues were a good source of income for the owners of white baseball. However, in New York one team was being shut out. The Yankees for the most part dealt with the New York Black Yankees, and the Giants the New York Cubans. The Dodgers had no contracts with Negro League teams, and hence were at a competative disadvantage with both the Giants and the Yankees. Branch Rickey soon realized that there was an even better way to tap the wallets of the African-American baseball fan, but it would take courage that the rest of white baseball did not have. In 1947 Jackie Robinson donned the uniform of the Brooklyn Dodgers and baseball and America changed forever.

Integration came slowly to baseball. Outside of a short tryout of Hank Thompson and Willie Brown by St. Louis, only the maverick franchises of Brooklyn and Cleveland had signed African-American players. Jackie Robinson first played for Brooklyn in 1947, and it was not until 1949 that the Giants became the second team in the National League to integrate. The players picked were Thompson and Monte Irvin. In his book "Nice Guys Finish First," Irvin gives manager Leo Durocher credit for how well integration worked on the Giants,

    ...after everybody got dressed,
    [Durocher] called a meeting. Leo
    said, "About race, I'm going to say
    this. If you're green or purple or
    whatever color, you can play for
    me if I think you can help this ballclub.
    That's all I'm going to say about race."
    ...I know that Jackie had some trouble
    with the Dodgers, but we never had any
    problem on the Giants. I was happy about
    that and I think Leo Durocher was
    responsible because of the way he handled

The Giants and the Color Barrier

By David Marasco

"Get that nigger off the field!" With that statement Cap Anson set down the Color Barrier that would last for 60 years. Anson was one of the most popular baseball players of the 1800's, and he was also quite a bigot. His infamous statement was uttered in 1887 when he found that the International League team he was facing in an exhibition featured George Stovey and Fleet Walker, two black men. Stovey and Walker were removed from play, and that same day the owners of the International League decided not to hire any more black players. This "Gentleman's Agreement" spread throughout white organized baseball. While African- Americans could not play in either the major or minor leagues, they still played baseball. The relationship between the New York Giants and the Negro Leagues has a very interesting history. It involves the Giants' greatest manager, riots, no-hitters and Hall of Famers.

For thirty years at the start of this century the words John McGraw and New York Giants were synonymous. He led them from 1902 until 1932, winning ten pennants and three world titles. He was one of the first to try to break the Color Barrier. He did this not as a member of the Giants, but as manager of the Baltimore Orioles in 1901. Charlie Grant was a light-skinned second baseman. He worked as a bellboy and played baseball at the Eastland Hotel. McGraw, seeing Grant's talent, hatched a plan where Grant would be known as "Chief Tokahoma" and be passed off as a Native American. The plot soon failed, as Grant had played with the Columbia Giants in Chicago in 1900. Because of this he was known to Charles Comiskey, owner of the White Sox. Grant returned to the Columbia Giants for the 1901 season. When John McGraw joined the New York Giants the next year he had Hall of Famers Christy Mathewson and Iron Man McGinnity in his rotation. In their first year under McGraw, they had 14 and 8 wins respectively. In the Spring of 1903 McGraw hired Rube Foster, the father of the Negro Leagues, to help out with his pitchers. Foster taught them his screwball, which Mathewson dubbed as his "fadeaway." In 1903 Mathewson won 34 and McGinnity 30.

One of the uglier incidents between the Giants and Negro Leaguers occurred in 1912. The headlines read quite ominously - "Giants Play Negro Team, Ends in Riot." The Giants sent several of their players to New Jersey to face a team known as the Smart Sets. When the Giants arrived they discovered that the Smart Sets were not a white team. Seeing as there was a crowd of 8,000, they felt it would be best to play the game. One thing to note is that this was just a small squad of players, and not the full team. Because of that, they were being managed by Wilbert Robinson rather than John McGraw, who may have had more control of the situation. The first problem came when the Giants' only pitcher refused to take the mound. According to the New York Times, "The only pitcher taken along was Louis Drucke, who comes from Texas. Drucke flatly refused to play against the colored team. All sorts of arguments were brought to bear, and Drucke finally consented to pitch if he was announced as 'Pitcher O'Brien' instead of Drucke." After that, things went smoothly until the 7th inning. Harry McCormick of the Giants disagreed with a call by the umpire, and it came to blows. A fellow Giants player by the name of Fletcher intervened, but McCormick refused to leave the field after he was tossed from the game. The Chief of Police had to come and remove him. With the game tied in the bottom of the ninth, the umpire handed Drucke a new ball. Drucke took some dirt and began to darken the ball, in order that the opposing players not be able to easily target a new white ball. Members of the Smart Set objected, and Drucke was forced to pitch with a new ball. The game progressed to the top of the tenth. McClellan of the Smart Sets took the mound to pitch, and instead of using the white ball, he used an older, darkened ball. Giants players Fletcher and Snodgrass (who would earn infamy later in the year) protested to the umpire, feeling that if the Smart Sets were able to bat against a pitcher with a clean ball, the Giants should have the same right. The umpire disagreed and the Giants left the field. The crowd degenerated into a mob and assailed the Giants bus with sticks and stones. The Chief of Police intervened and was able to get the Giants out of town, and they were happy to be gone. To put this incident into its proper historical perspective, this game occurred roughly a week after Ty Cobb went up into the stand to beat up a fan who had no hands. Cobb brutalized the man and was suspended by the American League. The Detroit Tigers went on a strike in support of Cobb and the American League lifted the suspension. The fan's sin? He had called Ty Cobb a "half-nigger."

Most exhibition games went much better than that. In fact, the Giants would play games against Negro League teams almost every year. They often played the Lincoln Giants, formerly of Nebraska, at the time based in Harlem. The influence of the New York Giants on baseball can be seen by the fact that many teams in the Negro Leagues were labeled as "Giants." The list includes: the Bacharach Giants, Chicago American Giants, Cuban X-Giants, Lincoln Giants, Philadelphia Giants, St. Louis Giants, Nashville Elite Giants and the Brooklyn Royal Giants. Of course, the most successful Japanese franchise is the Tokyo Giants. Negro Leaguer Buck O'Neil offers an explanation on why this was in his book "I Was Born Right On Time." After the success of early black teams such as the Lincoln Giants, Giants became a code word for black teams. Newspapers of the day wouldn't print pictures of black men, but if a reader saw a team named the Giants coming to town, then he or she would know that if was a black team. In any case, the natural team for the New York Giants to face was the Lincolns, and at the time the Lincoln Giants had Smoky Joe Williams, perhaps the greatest pitcher ever to take the mound. In 1912 Smoky Joe shutout the Giants twice, 2-0 and 6- 0. In 1914 the Giants and Williams faced off again, this time Rube Marquard and Smoky Joe tossed matching three-hitters, with a 1-1 tie resulting. Williams scored 12 strikeouts to Marquard's 14. The next year the Giants got the better of the Lincolns when big Jeff Tesreau whiffed 17 as he beat the Lincolns by a score of 4-2. The Giants were the National League champions in 1917 when Smoky Joe lost a 1-0 marathon. He pitched ten innings with 20 strikeouts, and threw a no-hitter despite losing the game. Eventually Commissioner Kennesaw Mountain Landis grew weary of seeing white teams getting beaten by their black competition. He ruled that when major leaguers played in exhibitions, no more than three players from one team may play. In this way black teams could not claim that they had defeated an intact major league franchise.

All of American, black and white, struggled through the Great Depression. For the Negro Leagues this meant the collapse of the original Negro National League and the rise of the second organization bearing that name. Insight to the economic troubles of the time might be drawn from the nickname of Carl Hubbell, New York's best pitcher. He was known as "The Giant's Meal Ticket." Both the Negro Leagues and the Major Leagues instituted All-Star games in order to generate interest. The Giants and the Negro Leagues entered a symbiotic relationship in New York. The Giants would rent out the Polo Grounds for big Negro League games, taking a cut of the gate. Both sides profitted, the Negro Leagues would be able to play in a larger venue and associate themselves with the major league tradition of the Polo Grounds. The Giants made a tidy sum of cash. The Yankees, who would do the same thing with the much more attractive Yankee Stadium, were making roughly $100,000 a year from such arrangements. In those times $100,000 could pay for several players, so the Negro Leagues were a good source of income for the owners of white baseball. However, in New York one team was being shut out. The Yankees for the most part dealt with the New York Black Yankees, and the Giants the New York Cubans. The Dodgers had no contracts with Negro League teams, and hence were at a competative disadvantage with both the Giants and the Yankees. Branch Rickey soon realized that there was an even better way to tap the wallets of the African-American baseball fan, but it would take courage that the rest of white baseball did not have. In 1947 Jackie Robinson donned the uniform of the Brooklyn Dodgers and baseball and America changed forever.

Integration came slowly to baseball. Outside of a short tryout of Hank Thompson and Willie Brown by St. Louis, only the maverick franchises of Brooklyn and Cleveland had signed African-American players. Jackie Robinson first played for Brooklyn in 1947, and it was not until 1949 that the Giants became the second team in the National League to integrate. The players picked were Thompson and Monte Irvin. In his book "Nice Guys Finish First," Irvin gives manager Leo Durocher credit for how well integration worked on the Giants,
...after everybody got dressed, [Durocher] called a meeting. Leo said, "About race, I'm going to say this. If you're green or purple or whatever color, you can play for me if I think you can help this ballclub. That's all I'm going to say about race." ...I know that Jackie had some trouble with the Dodgers, but we never had any problem on the Giants. I was happy about that and I think Leo Durocher was responsible because of the way he handled it. With the addition of Willie Mays and a miracle at the end of the season, the Giants won the pennant in 1951. Due to an injury to Don Muller, Hank Thompson started in right field. Thompson, Mays and Irvin made up the first all-black outfield in the World Series. Meanwhile, Giants owner Horace Stoneham was doing business with his friend Alex Pompez. Pompez was at one time the Numbers King of Harlem, but by the 40's had "gone legit" and concentrated on his New York Cubans. Pompez could see the writing on the wall, and realized that the Negro Leagues had seen their best days. He arranged for his Cubans to be a farm club for the Giants, a relationship unique in the annals of Negro League baseball. Stoneham also tapped into Pompez's knowledge of the Caribbean, and was able to sign many Latin players such as Orlando Cepeda through Pompez. However, the Giants' record is not perfect. In 1949 they also signed Ray Dandridge, perhaps the greatest third baseman ever produced the Negro Leagues. He was sent to the Minneapolis farm team. Despite brilliant play and many many honors, the Giants refused to call up Dandridge. In addition to an unwritten quota on the number of African-Americans on the major league roster, it was felt that Dandridge was the main gate attraction in Minneapolis. He never played a game in the majors, but was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1987.

While African-Americans proved themselves on the field, they were not given many chances to prove themselves on the bench. This was changed in 1975 when Frank Robinson was named manager of the Cleveland Indians. He became manager of the San Francisco Giants in 1981, won manager of the year in 1982, and was fired in 1984. In 1993 Dusty Baker became the Giant's second African-American manager was later replaced by Felipe Alou, another man of African descent.

Rafael Trujillo

By David Marasco

One of the stranger episodes in the history of the Negro Leagues took place in the Summer of 1937 when some of the best talent was drawn to the Dominican Republic. The gospel has always been that the ruling power, a man named Rafael Trujillo, needed to sway an election and used good baseball to do this. After reflecting on this for a while, I felt that this was a poor explanation. If Trujillo had so much money to spend on recruiting baseball players, then probably an election would not be too hard to throw. And for that matter, how valid was this election? Most elections in this hemisphere at that time were not very clean. In my writing and in other's, Trujillo has been almost a cartoon character - the crazy Latin American dictator that bought himself a pennant. I began to wonder about the real story. When I started my readings on Trujillo I found that he was one of the true evil men of his times. It is my wish that the following biography be remembered every time that the Summer of 1937 surfaces in baseball history.

Baseball has deep roots in the Dominican Republic. Oleksak and Oleksak tell how baseball came to the Dominican Republic in their "Beisbol - Latin Americans and the Grand Old Game." Cubans, fleeing war in their own country, settled in the Dominican Republic and brought baseball with them. The history of politics in the Dominican Republic is also that of foreign influences. The Dominican Republic and Haiti share the island of Hispaniola, where Christopher Columbus first set foot in the Western Hemisphere. A territory of Spain for many years, the Dominican Republic eventually gained its independence. No fear, it didn't last for long. In 1905 the United States sent in the military to settle some debt payments. When things got ugly again, Woodrow Wilson sent in the US Marines in 1916, with an occupation that lasted until 1924. It was during this period that Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molinas began his rise to power.

Rafael Trujillo was born on October 24, 1891. Not much is known of his early years, however, one story tells much of his later rule. As a child he liked to collect bottlecaps, and as a result, acquired the nickname chapita, which in slang means bottlecap. Trujillo never liked this nickname, and as an adult solved this problem by banishing the word from the language. In early 1919 he joined the Dominican army and soon proven to be an effective soldier. In 1921 he was sent to officer's school and soon after graduation he reached the rank of Captain. His rise through the ranks was impressive. Captain in 1922, Captain and Inspector of the First District in 1923, Major Commander 1924, Lieutenant Colonel and chief of staff, national police 1924 and finally Colonel and commander of police in 1925. In 1927 the police were transformed into the national army, and Trujillo was awarded the rank of Brigadier General.

In February of 1930, a revolt against Dominican President Horacio Vasquez broke out in Santiago. On the surface it was being led by Rafael Estrella Urena, but was in fact being masterminded by Trujillo. The revolt caused the downfall of Vasquez, and the promise of free elections. One of the few restrictions on said election was that Trujillo was not to run. Five months later, Trujillo was elected President of the Dominican Republic. He had placed himself on the ballot and then used goon squads to terrorize the voting public. He played the same game that European leaders of the 1930's would play several years later. The 42nd was a group of thugs who would beat, burn and kill anything in their path. When the election was held in May of 1930, only 55% of the registered voters exercised their right. Of these, 99% voted for Trujillo. The thugs had done their job well. Late in 1930 Santo Domingo was levelled by a hurricane. This allowed among other things a suspension of the Constitution, something that in later years Trujillo would do at his whim. Also, many unidentified bodies were simply cremated at the time. This coincides with the vanishing of several political prisoners. When Santo Domingo was rebuilt, it was also renamed. The capital of the Dominican Republic was henceforth to be called Ciudad Trujillo.

In the next few years Trujillo would take control over every aspect of Dominican society. The judiciary was subverted by 1931. Slowly but surely Trujillo took over many industries. Jesus de Galindez listed Trujillo's monopolies one by one: salt, insurance, milk, beef, tobacco, the lottery, newspapers, and a large concern in the mighty sugar industry. Trujillo was not only the most powerful man in the Dominican Republic from a political point of view, but also from an economic standpoint. German E. Ornes estimated Trujillo's wealth to be $500,000,000 in 1958 dollars.

In 1937 came a great shock. Trujillo was running in the election that was to be held in 1938. Of course, this election was to be rigged, and as far as I can tell, the baseball was only a manifestation of Trujillo's megalomania. However, in late 1937 rumblings of a great scandal surfaced. 18,000 Haitians living in the Dominican Republic had been systematically executed. As a result, the Dominican Republic had to pay Haiti $750,000, and Trujillo withdrew from the election. A puppet named Peynado took his place, but the real power was still Trujillo.

Throughout Trujillo's regime freedom was squashed. In 1955 it became so extreme that disagreement with the writings of the Academy of History was a criminal offense. The chapita story has already been told. As in any dictatorship, people did not feel free to talk honestly to their friends, in fear of betrayal. There were no independent branches of the government to provide checks and balances. The press was controlled by Trujillo, as were the unions. The church posed no real opposition. For 31 years Trujillo ruled with an iron fist.

In 1961 Trujillo finally met his end. He was gunned down by assassins while out driving. The aftermath of Trujillo's assassination was a power vacuum. As Russell Fitzgibbon pointed out, a person who had just reached voting age when Trujillo came to power was now in his or her mid-fifties. Given the life span of a Dominican at that time, democracy had almost no hold on the nation. A socialist leader was elected, but quickly overthrown by the military. By 1965 the situation was deemed unstable by the US Ambassador and once again the US Marines paid a visit to the Dominican Republic. When the Americans left, elections took place once again. While the Dominican Republic has yet to become an economic powerhouse, politically it has been fairly stable. It has produced many great baseball players ranging from "The Dominican Dandy" Juan Marichal to the Chicago Cubs' own Sammy Sosa.

The All-Star Satchel Paige

By David Marasco

In his long career, Satchel Paige would pitch in a total of six All-Star games. The first five came while he was in the Negro Leagues in the form of the annual East-West game. The last came when he was at the age of 47, when he went as a representative of the St. Louis Browns.

The 1934 Negro National League season featured the second annual East-West game, and for the first time Satchel Paige took part. As he was playing for the Pittsburgh Crawfords, Satchel was on the Eastern squad. After five innings the game was still scoreless. The West's Willie Wells was able to start off the sixth with a double off of Harry Kincannon, and that brought Paige in from the bullpen. Paige threw only eleven pitches that inning. He managed to strike out Alex Radcliffe, and then both Turkey Stearns and Mule Suttles flew out to left. In the seventh Satchel retired the side in order. In the top of the eighth Satchel's teammate Cool Papa Bell led off with a walk. He stole second and then came home for the game's only run on a short blooper over second. This would be all that Satchel would need. The West was able to scratch out only two more hits against Satchel, in the eighth Willie Foster singled, but nothing came of it. In the ninth Mule Suttles sinlged, but Red Parnell then lined into a double play to end the game. The East took a gem by the score of one to nothing, with Satchel Paige picking up the win.

1936 saw the return of Satchel Paige to the East-West game. Satchel entered the game in the seventh inning, enjoying an eight to one lead. The press accounts of the time focussed on the prolific scoring of the Eastern squad, so not much can be reported of Satchel's performance. It is known that he gave up one run in three innings, and apparently that one run was the result of an outfielder overrunning a fly ball more than anything else. The East would win by a score of ten to two.

After an absence of five years, Satchel played in the East- West game again in 1941, this time for the West. While details of the situation are sketchy, Satchel is supposed to have pitched "against the advice of his physician." By the time he came into the game, the outcome was more or less certain, the East had an eight to one lead in the eighth. Satchel settled in and struck out Lennie Pearson and Pancho Coimbre. Bill Hoskins should have batted next, but he makes no appearance in the play-by-play account. The box score accounts for Satchel having given up a walk and a hit, but both of these are accounted for in the ninth. Either the East batted out of order by skipping Hoskins, or simply his achievements were not recorded properly. The next batter was Buck Leonard, one of the most powerful hitters in the Negro Leagues. Satchel was able to get him to pop out to second base. After the West had scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the eighth, Satchel went out to pitch the ninth. He got Monte Irvin to fly out to Jimmie Crutchfield in left, but then Roy Campanella beat out an infield hit to short. It would appear as if Campanella was later thrown out attempting to steal. Horacio Martinez walked, but Satchel was able to survive the ninth by getting Dick Seay to fly out to center. The East won that year by a final of eight to three.

In 1942 a good game was brewing at Comiskey Park. The East and West squads were tied at two a piece after six. In the break between innings, Satchel Paige came on the public address system. He claimed that he had been misquoted in a recent newspaper story as being against baseball integration. With that behind him, Satchel went out to pitch the seventh for the Western squad. The first man he faced was Lennie Pearson, batting for pitcher Dave Barnhill. Pearson lofted a fly ball to right that Ted Strong lost in the sun. The ball fell in for a double. The next hitter, Dan Wilson, laid down a perfect bunt to put runners at the corners. Sam Bankhead tallied the runner when he hit a sacrifice fly to center. After Satchel was able to get out of the inning, the West was able to get something going in the bottom half of the seventh. However, after Satchel himself got a hit, Leon Day came in to pitch for the East. He was able to stifle the bats of the West, allowing no hits over his tenure. The East added some insurance in the ninth when they picked up two more runs. Satchel would go down as the losing pitcher as the East beat the West by a score of 5-2.

Satchel's last East-West game came in 1943. Unlike the year before, this time Satchel was at the top of his game. He and Josh Gibson held out for bonus money. It wasn't until both received an extra $200 that they agreed to play. Satchel was given the start against the powerful East squad. He pitched the first three innings and allowed only a walk to the mighty Josh Gibson. He also tallied four strikeouts: Henry Kimbro, Buck Leonard, Sam Bankhead and Cool Papa Bell. He was so dominating that in his three innings only one ball left the infield, a short flyout by Lennie Pearson. When he was done with his arm, he used his bat, doubling to left in the third inning for what would turn out to be the West's only extra-base hit. At this point he was removed for a pitch runner. He was followed by Gread McKinnis, Theolic "Fire Ball" Smith and Porter Moss. This crew had managed to one-hit the powerful East squad until Smith gave up a home run to Leonard in the bottom of the ninth. Smith then allowed two more hits and with two outs West manager Frank Duncan put the game into the hands of Moss. Moss was able to induce a fly ball to centerfield from Vic Harris to end the game. With that victory, Satchel Paige became the only man to win East-West games for both the East and the West.

In 1944 Satchel declared that he wanted to have $10,000 from the East-West game donated to wounded World War II soldiers. He claims to have come up with this idea in the winter when he saw soldiers who were but "pieces of men" return from the war. Management stated that Satchel only brought up this idea when they refused him a percentage of the gate. In any case, many franchises in the Negro Leagues depended on a piece of the action from the East-West game for financial survival. A $10,000 donation was out of the question. Management stuck by their guns, and Satchel stuck by his. He boycotted the 1944 East-West game.

At his induction to the Baseball Hall of Fame, Ted Williams lobbied for the inclusion of Satchel Paige and other deserving Negro League players. However, in 1953, it was Captain Ted Williams of the U.S. Marine Corps who threw out the first pitch of the All-Star game in Cincinnati. Nearly 20 years after his first, Satchel would pitch in his last All-Star game. Satchel came in during the 8th inning, with his American League down by a score of three to nothing. The popular press reports that the crowd got a lot of laughs, indicating that Satchel was up to his old showboating tricks. However, whatever tricks he had as a pitcher did not work. After retiring Gil Hodges, Satchel faced another old Negro Leaguer, Roy Campanella. A dozen years earlier in the 1941 East-West game Campy had victimized Satchel for a hit. 1953 was no different as Campanella once again tallied off of Paige. Satchel was able to get Matthews to pop up for the second out, but then walked Duke Snider. Enos "Country" Slaughter, playing in his tenth All-Star game, singled to score Campanella. Murray Dickson, a pitcher, also singled to bring in another run. Going back to the top of the order, Paige was able to retire Pee Wee Reese for the last National League out. The Americans were able to score a run in the ninth, but lost the game by a score of five to three. No doubt that this was not Satchel's best performance, but he was at the time 47 years of age.

Cincinnati was the site of Satchel's last All-Star appearance. 1953 would also be the last year that Satchel would spend as a Major Leaguer. He bounced around baseball for another ten years, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1971.

1930

By David Marasco

    "The thing I want most of all is for the spirit of sportsmanship to be glorified by these young athletes. They are to participate in a baseball 'classic' and I want them to be worthy representatives of their group during every minute of every game. If everyone plays fair the better team will win, the fans will be satisfied and there will be no nasty aftermath of criticism from the jackals who glory in dishing the dirt" - W. Rollo Wilson

The event that had Wilson so excited in 1930 was the long-awaited showdown between the Homestead Grays and the Lincoln Giants. The two teams played out a series of ten games, and in the eyes of the public, the winner had the right to claim the title of "Negro Champions of the World." On top of the on-field activities, this series is of interest because it can be seen as a type of a watershed event. It matched the Lincoln Giants, a team dominant through the first three decades of the century, against the Homestead Grays, who would win many league titles in the 30's and 40's. It also had a collection of Negro baseball's old guard: Smokey Joe Williams, John Henry Lloyd and Oscar Charleston. Behind the plate for the Grays? A rookie catcher by the name of Josh Gibson.

The series opened on September the 20th in Forbes Field. While only 3000 people came to the double-header, the fact that they were there at all is impressive. This was the first Negro Championship Series to be held mainly in Major League ballparks. Prior to 1930 most games of the genre were held at the team's home fields or at neutral sites. Also significant is that the games were even staged at all. "World Series" were not held annually in the Negro Leagues. Even Major League teams had money problems in the Great Depression, and the Negro Leagues had it even worse. While a fan of black baseball might be able to scrape together enough entertainment money to see Satchel Paige the one time he came to town every year, to expect a fan to pay for 3 or 4 games over a ten day period just is not realistic. To get an idea of how tight money was, read the following bit from the Pittsburgh Courier; "Over seven dozen balls were used at the Stadium on Sunday. That crowd never allowed one to get back into play once it had been fouled into the stands." In other words, it was common operating procedure to recover fouled-off balls during normal league games.

The crowd at Forbes saw two that Saturday. The first game featured the Gray's Lefty Williams. Lefty, according to the press of the period, was 27-0 that year going into the Series. Williams shut down the bats of the Giants and won by the score of 9 to 1. Not many details remain of the second game. It went ten innings and the Grays' Oscar Owens won in relief 17-16. The impression is given that the umpiring in the second game was second-rate. Young Josh Gibson had a homer and a triple in these two games, and both are recounted as being "mighty wallops."

Upon completion of the double-header, both teams took a train to New York City. The hallowed grounds of Yankee Stadium would be the site of Sunday's twin-bill. The first match featured the pitching of Smokey Joe Williams and the Giants' Bill Holland. While both allowed but six hits a piece, the Giants got theirs in key situations and were able to take the contest by a final of 6-2. Old- timer John Henry Lloyd came through for Lincoln with a clutch triple to help his team's cause. The second game saw Britt for the Grays and Farrell for the Giants. The Grays drew first blood with a pair of runs in the second. It looked as if Britt would make these two runs stand, but in the 8th Lloyd and Brown singled. An error by Jake Stevens and a wild pitch tied up the score. The game was won in extra innings as the goat Stevens took a base on balls, swiped second, and then came home on an error by the pitcher. Britt finished off the game for a Grays victory. After the first weekend the Lincoln Giants were down in the series 3-1. However, John Henry Lloyd was quoted as being confident that the series would be even upon its return to Yankee Stadium the following weekend.

The series was then put on hold until the following Thursday. The details of what these teams did in the intervening three days have been lost to the sands of time. On the other hand, it is not too hard to guess what they were doing. Times were tough and baseball was a good way to earn money. As proof of that point, the Grays were scheduled to face a team of minor leaguers in Newark the night of the 28th. This would have been following the doubleheader played against the Lincoln Giants earlier that day. In any case, the teams split the games they played in Philadelphia. Both the Baltimore Afro-American and the Chicago Defender claim the two games consisted of a double-header held on Friday, but their report (they were the same, almost word for word) of the series have some serious flaws. The Pittsburgh Courier reports that Smokey Joe Williams won a game 11-3 on Thursday, but the Giants came back with a 6-4 win for Red Ryan. The two teams went back to Yankee Stadium with the series tipped 4-2 in Homestead's favor.

On Saturday the Grays looked like they were going to win the first game. They were on top of the Giants in the ninth by a score of 8-5, and their ace Lefty Williams was on the mound. Lefty lost his control and gave free passes to two men in a row. A double- play ball put a man on third, but reduced the Giants to their last out. However, Lefty unleashed walks to the next two men. Out went one Williams and in came another as Smokey Joe replaced Lefty. Smokey Joe's first pitch is one he must have wanted back; Julio Rojo stroked it into right field for a triple. Rojo was then batted in for the winning run. In the second game the Grays put 7 runs on the board in the first, punctuated by a long home run by Josh Gibson. Reports have it at either 430 or 460 feet, and it is claimed that it was the longest homer hit by any player in Yankee Stadium that year. The Grays would win by a score of 7-3 and with that win clinch at least a tie in the ten game series.

Sunday was Lincoln pitcher Bill Holland's day, hands down. He cruised through the first game, faltering only in the ninth when he gave up a pair of runs to spoil his shut out. John Henry Lloyd got three hits to support his pitcher and the Giants won by the score of 6-2 over Smokey Joe Williams. The Giants sent out Bill Holland to try to win the second game. An error in the the third allowed the Grays to push across a single run. In the fifth pitcher Britt put a ball into right and Chino Smith collided with Walter Cannady and was knocked cold. In the eighth Smith's replacement would allow both a two-base error and a three-base error for 4 runs. While the Giants would put two on the board in the eighth, it would not be enough. The came was called on account of darkness. The 1930 Homestead Grays took the series six games to four, and were titled Negro Champions of the World.

1930 would be the last year for the Lincoln Giants. They would later resurface as the New York Black Yankees. Some of the big stars showcased were nearing the ends of their careers. Smokey Joe Williams who had been playing since 1905 would last only two more years. He died in 1946 and despite being considered by many as the greatest pitcher every to play in the Negro Leagues, is on the outside looking in when it comes to enshrinement at Cooperstown. Lefty Williams, who started with the Grays in 1915, would last until 1934. John Henry Lloyd, who broke into baseball early enough to be considered as "the black Honus Wagner," played until 1932. He died in 1965, and was enshrined in 1977. Oscar Charleston, one of the greatest players to put on a uniform, played through 1941. He beat Lloyd into the Hall of Fame by one year. Sadly, Chino Smith was cut down down before the age of thirty by Yellow Fever. If he had been able to complete his career, he may have been in the inner circle of Negro Leagues greats. Josh Gibson, the other star of the series, was at the beginning of his career. But everyone knows how he turned out...

The Master Goes Twelve

By David Marasco

By 1952 Satchel Paige had already seen his best days. He had played in the American League, Negro Leagues and barnstormed across America for nearly a quarter of a century. His arm had gone dead in the late 30's, only to return as if by magic in the early 40's. When Satchel was signed by Cleveland's Bill Veeck in 1948, many thought it was just for publicity. Satchel proved them wrong by going 6-1 and helping the Indians to the pennant. When Veeck moved on to the St. Louis Browns, Satchel followed. During his barnstorming years Satchel would start almost every game. This was done in order to maximize attendance, and after a few innings Satchel would make way for Hilton Smith. This earned Satchel an unwanted reputation that he could no longer "go deep" into a game. This was simply not true, it was economics, not talent, that dictated Satchel's pitching appearances. Still, by the time the Color Barrier fell Satchel was an old man. The best evidence points to a 1906 birthdate for Satchel. This would make him 46 in 1952. That year he had been used mainly in relief, but on August 6 he was given his second start of the season.

The Detroit Tigers had come to town and a sparse gathering of slightly over 6000 came to see Satchel face Virgil "Fire" Trucks. The reason for the small crowd is this: both teams were playing bad ball. The Browns would finish the year in seventh place at 64- 90. As bad as this was, the Tigers finished dead last 45 games out with a record of 50-104. Still, it was a good pitching matchup. Paige, of course, was a legend. Trucks was having an odd year. Virgil would not end the season with a good record, but would pitch two no-hitters that year. The first would come on May the 15th as he blanked the Washington Senators 1-0. On August the 25th he would no-hit the mighty New York Yankees. Trucks would also record a one-hitter and a two-hitter in 1952.

The Browns threatened early. In the second inning they were able to load the bases with no outs. Facing Satchel, Trucks was able to get out of the jam. Paige bounced to Walt Dropo at first who fired home and took the return for a quick double play. Dropo was another player who had an interesting 1952. In July he had tied a Major League record by getting 12 straight hits. With two outs and men at second and third Virgil struck out Gordon Goldsberry to quell the would-be uprising.

Both pitchers put up zeros across the board. After nine innings the game was still scoreless. As the game went into extra innings Satchel ran into trouble. In the top of the tenth the Tigers were able to load the bases with no outs. Johnny Pesky was sent to the plate in the place of Trucks. Satchel threw as fast sinker to Pesky, and Johnny hit into a force play at the plate. Johnny Groth did the same with a low hard pitch. Neil Berry watched three straight "trouble balls" that were called strikes and Satchel was out of the inning.

With Hal White now pitching for the Tigers, neither team could score. The bottom of the twelvth saw Bobby Young record a lead-off single, who was then sacrificed to second. Al Zarilla, pinch hitting for Satchel, was intentionally walked. Goldberry then hit to the infield and was called out at first. Ray Coleman was given a free pass. With bases loaded, Bob Nieman singled to score Young and record a 1-0 victory for Paige.
Satchel had gone the full twelve innings for the win. It was his first complete game since 1949. He had given up seven hits and two walks. On the other side of the ledger Satchel struck out nine. Fans of old-time baseball will be pleased to note that the entire affair took but three hours and one minute.

The Traveling Man Goes to Portland

By David Marasco

The year was 1961. In that expansion year the baseball world watched as Mantle and Maris chased the Babe's record. But not all was good in baseball. In Portland, the Beavers of the Pacific Coast League were buried in the standings. While glory was well beyond their reach, on most days less than five games separated the eighth place team from the fourth place team. With a little push, they could climb their way through the ranks. However, there was a darker storm cloud above the Beaver's horizon. While finishing in last place the year before, they had drawn only 116,000 in paid attendance. This was a frightful number in a 154 game season, and in 1961 the figures were on only a slightly better pace. The management of the Beavers felt that a partial solution to these problems was a man in his mid-fifties, that man was the great Satchel Paige.

Satchel Paige had last pitched minor league baseball in 1958 with the Miami franchise of the International League. According to his autobiography, he spent 1959-61 barnstorming around the country. An article in the Oregonian confirms this and claims that Paige had just starred in a Negro League World Series in Yankee Stadium. A later article states that he had pitched in all 83 games that the Kansas City Monarchs had played that year. In any case, on August 22, 1961, Bill Sayles, the GM of the Beavers announced that Paige had agreed to join the team.

Paige first pitched for the Beavers in the second game of a double-header at Seattle on August 27. In this game, Paige started, but only went four innings before being lifted for a pinch- hitter. He was only scored upon in the first. After Paige had recorded two outs, the next batter reached on an error. A walk followed by a triple accounted for two unearned runs. Paige finished the day with three strikeouts to only two walks. While the Beavers were able to tie the score (and thus rescue Paige from a loss in his first outing), they lost the game by a score of 3-2.

The next opponents that Paige faced were the Spokane Indians. Paige started in the second game of a twin-bill at Spokane August 30, and once again pitched only four innings. He started off poorly, giving up a bloop double to start the game, and then threw away a comebacker for an error and an unearned run. He survived the inning, but was relieved after the fourth. By the fourth he had run out of gas, and had given up a single, followed by a walk and a pair of singles, all of which amounted to two more runs. When Paige did not come out for the fifth, his team was down 3-2. The Beavers would win the game 9-8, once again getting Paige off of the hook for a loss. In this game he vented his frustration with the umpires by throwing a resin bag 15 feet in the second inning. Paige went on record claiming that the umps were not giving him the corners. The umpires defended themselves by claiming that the calls he had gotten while barnstorming were not going to be the same as the ones he saw while pitching in the PCL. Also, they claimed that his hesitation pitch (which was banned by the American League) was fairly close to a balk.

Paige's third start came on the Vancouver Mounties' home closer. Paige gave up only two runs, one in the first by a triple and a sacrifice fly, and one in the third on a wild-pitch third strike followed by a triple. Paige pitched very well striking out 7 while giving up 4 hits and walking none. Satchel left after six with a 3-2 lead, but Frank Barnes could not hold the Mounties. Although the Beavers won 4-3 in ten, Paige was not awarded a win.

Paige finally pitched in Portland on September 7, facing Spokane. Paige left after 7 innings down by a score of 2-4 and would have been credited for a loss if not for some late-inning heroics that won the game for the Beavers 7-4. In the third with two on, Paige gave up his only home run of the season. In the fifth he was touched for a double and a single. The local report mentions that he used his hesitation pitch and that while his control was good (once again no walks), he was not fooling many batters (10 hits, two strikeouts). In the second inning Paige also got a single with the bases loaded. This amounted to one run as the second runner was cut down at the plate.

Paige's final appearance in organized baseball (outside of a 3 inning stint with Kansas City in 1965) was in the second game of a double header against Vancouver on September 10. This was the Beaver's final game of the season. Paige again struck in the second, with another single with bases loaded, this time plating two runs. In the fourth he gave up one run on three straight singles. At this point he left the game. Even though he would not have been given credit for a win, the Beavers once again could not hold Satchel's lead, but rallied to a 6-5 win in the end. Once again, he seemed like he was not fooling many batters with seven hits and only two strikeouts. It appears as if the second time a team met Satchel they had him figured out.

Sadly, there was a great matchup that never occurred. The Spokane Indians had former Dodger great Don Newcombe in their rotation. Newcombe, like Paige, was a pioneer. While the honor of being the first African-American to pitch in integrated baseball was earned by Dan Bankhead, Newcombe and Paige were the marquee African-American pitchers of their day. Newcombe won the Rookie of the Year, Cy Young and MVP at various times in a career that saw him help drive the Dodgers to many a World Series. On top of being a very good relief pitcher, Paige would draw large crowds whenever he came to town. Paige had looked forward to their meeting. "Don and I had a lot of dandy duels before we got into organized ball," Paige reported, "I sure will try to beat that man." However, in the August 31 double header that Paige pitched, Newcombe did not take the mound. After Paige had been sent to the showers, Newcombe, a career .271 hitter in the majors, struck out as a pinch hitter. Newcombe started and won the following night. In the September 7 game where Paige started, Newcombe did not enter the game. It wasn't his turn in the rotation, and he was not called upon as a pinch hitter. As a result, the last chance for a matchup between Newcombe and Paige faded into history. This was Newcombe's last year as a pitcher. The following year would find him playing in Japan, but only as a hitter.

How did Paige's presence help to solve the Beaver's problems? Well, as far as wins go, he ended the season at 0-0. Of his five starts, he left three behind in the score, although the Beavers were 4-1 in his games. His ERA was a very good 2.88. The rest of the team had an ERA of 4.42, and the low among pitchers with a large number of innings pitched was 3.66. They finished in fifth place, one game behind San Diego (but a miserable 26 behind champion Tacoma) and three ahead of Hawaii and Spokane. The attendance question seems to have been a more pressing concern. While he did not go very far in most of his games, this was probably by design. Note that he pitched on two days rest three times, and once on four days rest (while some may claim that this was not uncommon in the Negro Leagues, one must remember that Paige was 55 at the time). This seems to be more oriented towards putting fans into seats rather than winning ballgames. How much did Paige help at the gate? Satchel drew crowds of 4763, 4437, 4522, 3613 and 4574. However, these large numbers can be deceiving. The first three occurred on the road, so the added gate was not a great boon to Portland. Even then, each of these games should have had larger than normal attendance as the first two were doubleheaders and the last was a home closer. Of the final two numbers, the first was Paige's first appearance for his home crowd, and the second was a both a double-header and a home closer. While the first three numbers were without comment, the Portland numbers report total attendances, not paid. The Beavers ended the season with a paid attendance of 133,026.
After his time in Portland, Paige went back to barnstorming. He played in the aforementioned Kansas City game in 1965 (at the age of 59) and was enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1971. He died of a heart attack in 1982.


Hilton Smith

By David Marasco

In 1945 army lieutenant Hilton Smith went to his old boss J.L. Wilkinson. He told Wilkinson that the Kansas City Monarchs should sign a young player named Jackie Robinson. The rest, as they say, is history. However, Hilton Smith should be remembered as more than just the answer to an arcane trivia question. He was the anchor of the Kansas City pitching staff for many years, even with Satchel Paige on the team. He pitched in six East-West All-Star games, which is one more than either Satchel Paige or Bill Byrd, and tied with only Leon Day. He was also reputed as having one of the best curveballs in the league. While he may have not have had the flash of a Paige or a Smokey Joe Williams, he was one of the most effective pitchers of his day. According to the Negro Leagues Book, Hilton Smith either topped the Negro American League in wins or shared the title from 1938 through 1942.

While there is no copper lady standing in the harbor, the port of Gavelston in Texas was one of the major gates to America. Immigrants from all parts of Europe and the Americas came to Texas to lead new lives. In a small German settlement named Giddings, Hilton Smith was born in 1912. As his father was a teacher, Smith valued education, and attended Prairie View A&M for two years. Here he started his career. At that time, the Texas Negro Leagues existed as a type of minor league system for the more established Negro League franchises. This league acted as did most minor leagues of the time. Today's farm system was pioneered by Branch Rickey during his tenure with the St. Louis Cardinals in the 30's. Prior to that minor league teams would develop talent in order that they could sell the contracts of their stars at a high premium. Selling a Babe Ruth or a Lefty Grove could bring large amounts of money to a team. In this case, Hilton Smith pitched for a team known as the Austin Black Senators. While Austin today is believed to be the largest American city without a professional baseball franchise, residents should be proud to know that their city does have some baseball heritage. Smith's breakthrough game came against the Chicago American Giants, he was able to beat them by a score of 4-3.

Following Smith through the Negro Leagues is a little hard at first, but once he hit his stride, he stayed with the Kansas City Monarchs. This time refering to the rosters section of the Negro Leagues Book, we can trace his way to Kansas City. In 1932 he is listed as a reserve pitcher for a team known as the Monroe Monarchs. The next year he became one of the starters for the New Orleans Crecent Stars, a good Southern team that would play the big Northern teams when they came down for Spring training. According to Donn Rogosin's text Invisible Men, Smith also barnstormed with the Austin Black Senators through Mexico and back. 1934 through 1936 find no Hilton Smith on any rosters, but James Riley has him pitching for the Monroe Monarchs, a team not covered in the Negro Leagues Book for those years. Both the New Orleans team and the Monroe (Louisiana) Monarchs were affiliated with the Negro Southern League, an organization that except for a year or two was of lesser quality than the more establised leagues and independent teams. Starting in 1937 Smith is listed as a frontline pitcher for the Kansas City Monarchs, although it appears as if he was barnstorming with them in 1936. Beginning in 1939 was the Monarch's dominance over the Negro American League. Hilton's arrival coincided with the 1937 NAL championship. After a second-place finish in 1938 the Monarchs would go on to win titles in 1939, 40, 41 and 42. An astute reader will remember that this overlaps the period where Smith lead the league in wins. In the 1942 series, he would see a reversal of the traditional roles played by himself and Satchel. In the second game, Hilton started and went five innings, leaving with a 5-0 lead. Satchel then came in to relieve him, and finished the game with a 8-4 victory. Hilton Smith himself recounts this tale in John Holway's Voices from the Great Black Baseball Leagues, "Hilton," started Satchel, " you've been relieving me all this year, let me relieve you, just to see what we can do."

In 1943 he suffered an injury, and would never be the same pitcher. As he was very good with the bat, he would play outfield and first. Still, he was at heart a pitcher. While at times he would seem to regain his old form, he would not return to the East-West game. He would stay with the Monarchs for more than a decade, retiring in 1948 from a game that now saw the daylight of integration. In Holway's text he explains why he didn't cross the color barrier. As it turns out he was making quite a bit of money as Satchel's relief. He knew that the Dodgers were a loaded team, and that he would have to spend several years in the minors. In order to play in "organized" ball, he would have to take a drastic pay cut. He felt that at his age it just wasn't worth it. He would go on to be a school teacher after his baseball days were done.

Since the multiple-game dynamic of a World Series was difficult for the average Negro League fan to support during the Great Depression, the highlight of the season was the East-West game. All of the stars would meet in Chicago's Comiskey Park once a year to show off their skills to the world. Hilton Smith pitched in his first East-West game in 1937. He would get tagged with the loss. On the other hand, he would return every year for the next 5 years, a testament to his ability as most pitchers made only one or two appearances. While he would give up the starting role to Ted Trent in 37, Willie Cornelius in 38, Theolic "Fireball" Smith in 39 and Gene Brummer in 40, Smith would start in both 41 and 42. Very few men have started two East-West games. Between 1933 and 1945, only three did so back to back: Slim Jones 34-5, Hilton Smith 41-2 and Verdell Mathis 44-5.

The fact that he relieved many a great pitcher in the East-West games was nothing new for Hilton Smith. If he is not remembered as the one who got Jackie Robinson into the Negro Leagues, then he is recalled as Satchel Paige's finisher. At the time, Satchel was pitching every day in order to maximize the draw at the gate. After Satchel would go through the first three or four innings, Smith would come in and pitch the rest of the game. Many opponents of that era commented that Smith was the better of the two. Rogosin has teammate Buck O'Neil claiming that "Hilton Smith was probably the greatest pitcher in the world in 1942." Riley's tome has Bob Feller making a similar remark in October of 1941.

In the end, while Hilton Smith may not have had the name appeal of many of his contemporaries, he was one of the great pitchers of the Negro Leagues. He was a solid member of a rotation that led the Monarchs through a pre-war dynasty, leading the league in wins and making the East-West game almost every year in that 5 year span. Upon retirement, Riley quotes a record of 161-32 in league contests. Although his name has been overshadowed by Jackie Robinson and Satchel Paige, their careers intertwined in an intricate fashion. He should not remembered as second hand talent scout for Branch Rickey or as a faceless reliever who came to the mound when Satchel's arm tired, but as one of the best pitchers of his time.


Strange Brew: Smoke, Lights and Josh Gibson

By David Marasco

On August 2, 1930, Chet Brewer and Smokey Joe Williams faced one another in what has to be one of the greatest pitching duels the Negro Leagues ever saw. The game would go 12 innings, and the two men would combine for an amazing 46 strikeouts. There were four special ingredients in this game: the Kansas City Monarch's revolutionary lighting system, Chet Brewer, Smokey Joe and a young kid behind the plate known as Josh Gibson.

The Cincinnati Reds are credited with playing the first night game in Major League history. This was in 1935. However, as early as 1930 the Kansas City Monarchs were experimenting with night baseball. According to reports of the time, the Monarchs moved their system around the country on 12 trucks, including the ones to carry the Monarchs themselves. A 250 horsepower generator powered the setup, and the Monarchs were careful to balance keeping the lights far enough away not to interfere, but at the same to keep the field well-lit. Today night games are seen as being good for the gate simply because most people can't see games during weekdays. George F. Will once went so far as to describe the Wrigley bleachers as being made up of "... the people privileged enough to skip work in the afternoon." But in 1930 the idea of playing baseball at night was a spectacle in itself large enough to draw crowds. The Monarchs toured the country with their lights that Summer, but by the beginning of August they had come back to Kansas City to face the powerful Homestead Grays.

Chet Brewer was a contemporary of Satchel Paige. While he was a year younger than Satchel, he broke in in 1925 at the age of 18. It would be another 3 years before Paige would enter the Negro Leagues. On the other end of the spectrum, when Satchel left to join the Cleveland Indians in 1948. Brewer was still alive and kicking. He was to appear in that year's East-West game, but his name is not found in any box score from that game. In between the beginning and the end was a career that should merit Hall of Fame consideration. After spending most of his first ten years in the Negro Leagues as a member of the Kansas City Monarchs, Chet jumped to the Bismarck semi-pro team. Here he paired with Satchel Paige to form a powerhouse that would go 97- 5 in 1935. In 1937 political rivalries enticed the different ruling factions of the Dominican Republic to field baseball teams. The idea was that the party that fielded the better team would take the election (don't you wish more elections were run this way?). The ruling dictator brought in Satchel Paige as his ace. The opposition brought in Brewer. During that Summer he was able to no-hit Satchel's squad. The voters got what they wanted as the teams were so evenly matched that the season came down to one final match. Late in the game Brewer gave up a home run to Sam Bankhead with Cool Papa Bell on base, and would go on to lose by a score of 4-3. The next year would find Brewer pitching in the Mexican League. He would have 18 wins in 1938 and 16 in 1939. After that he returned to the United States, and his performance did not suffer any drop. He in fact led the Negro American League in wins in 1943 and in 1947, the year before he retired. As did Satchel, Brewer pitched in the white minor leagues after his prime. In 1952 at the age of 45, he went 7-9 in the Southwest International League and the California League. This would mark the end of a fine career.

Smokey Joe Williams was considered to be the greatest pitcher that the Negro Leagues ever produced. Period. According to John Holway's Blackball Stars, Smokey Joe beat Grover Cleveland Alexander, Walter Johnson, and Waite Hoyt. He also had multiple victories over Chief Bender, Rube Marquard and Satchel Paige. He could compete against any pitcher, black or white, and consistently beat Major Leaguers when given the chance. Like Rube Foster and Hilton Smith, Joe came out of the Lone Star State. While he would lie about his age (a gimmick that would later be adopted by Paige), the best birthdate that can be found is April 1, 1886. Starting around 1905, Williams pitched for both the San Antonio and Austin teams. In 1910 Rube Foster found this gem and moved him north. By 1912, he had moved over to the Lincoln Giants. He and Cannonball Redding then formed perhaps the greatest one-two punch the baseball world has ever seen. Imagine J.R Richards and Nolan Ryan, but with both having excellent control. That's what Lincoln's opponents had to face. Joe would stay with the Lincoln Giants until their star began to fade. He then signed up to pitch for the Homestead Grays. With Homestead, he continued to do the things that made him the best pitcher behind the color barrier. Smokey Joe was to the Negro Leagues in the teens and twenties what Satchel Paige would be in the thirties and forties. But he wasn't exactly washed up at the end either. On one Summer night in 1930, he and Chet Brewer got together for a very special game.

On August the second, Chet Brewer toed the mound for the Monarchs against the Grays. This was a game under the lights, and according to the Pittsburgh Courier, "The opposing pitchers were cheating without the question of a doubt. An emery ball in daylight is very deceptive but at night it is about as east to see as an insect in the sky." Brewer was an accomplished emeryball pitcher, and against the great Smokey Joe Williams, he was starting early. Holway repeats Vic Harris' tale: the Grays raised a stink in the first, but once they realized that the umpires weren't going to call anything they sent the owner of the team to the nearest store to buy sandpaper. It worked. "Smokey Joe had everything except a blacksmith's file," stated the Courier. The pitchers dominated. Over twelve innings, there was only one fielding chance in the outfield. The outfielders stood with their hands in their pockets. Williams had a no-hitter until the Monarchs scored their only hit off him in the eighth. Brewer was be no means a slouch either. In the seventh he would strike out the side in order. He would repeat the trick in the eighth and ninth. When he struck out the first man in the tenth it would be his tenth straight K. The Grays would win in the twelfth as Oscar Charleston marked a lead-off walk. Brewer quickly retired the next two men, but a Chaney White double would score Charleston to win the game. So the curtain fell on the 12 inning 1-0 affair. Brewer would finish the game giving up 4 hits to 19 strikeouts. Smokey Joe would give up but one hit to balance 27 K's.

Behind the plate for the Homestead Grays that night was a 18-year-old by the name of Josh Gibson. According to legend, Josh broke into the Negro Leagues when he came in to replace an injured catcher. The story has Josh sitting in the stands when the normal catcher split a finger because he is not used to games under the lights. Some sources have this placed in 1929, but close study of the Pittsburgh Courier from 1929 and 1930 shows Josh Gibson as the catcher for the Pittsburgh Crawfords (a lesser team that would later be turned into a powerhouse in the mid-thirties). However, in a July 25, 1930 game against the Kansas City Monarchs, the box score shows Buck Ewing being replaced with Josh Gibson. While the game report makes no mention of either Ewing or Gibson, it does mention that it was a night game. With very little doubt, I believe this to be Josh Gibson's first game in big-time Negro League baseball. What makes this so incredible is that in less than two weeks time Josh would be acting as catcher in one of the greatest games ever thrown.

Lifting the Lid at Greenlee

By David Marasco

By 1932 Gus Greenlee had put together a very powerful team with his Pittsburgh Crawfords. With players such as Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson and Oscar Charleston, he had a first class franchise. However, race relations at the times forced many indignities on these men. Among others, they were often not allowed to dress or otherwise use the locker room facilities at either Forbes Field or Ammon Field, Pittsburgh's venues for baseball. Gus Greenlee, while a bit on the shady side with his numbers operation, saw himself as a positive force in his community. The 1932 season would be different for the ballplayers. Over the Winter Greenlee had opened his wallet and built his team a ballpark.

Various reports have the cost of Greenlee Field totaling somewhere between $60,000-100,000. It was designed by an architect named Bellinger. Situated at 2500 Bedford Avenue, it sat 7500 in its uncovered grandstands. In later years a tarp would be used to give the fans some relief from the sun. It was a steel and concrete structure with a high brick wall. The Pittsburgh Courier declared it to be a "mecca of the Hill district." And of course, it had very nice dressing rooms.

On Opening Day the Pittsburgh Crawfords dedicated their new park with much pomp and circumstance. Before the game, both teams wearing their best marched with a band to the flagpole in center field. With the band playing the Stars Spangled Banner, a large American flag was raised. After honoring our country, the Crawfords gave the spotlight to Robert L. Vann, who was the editor of The Pittsburgh Courier. Vann welcomed at crowd and asked them to thank Greenlee for providing Pittsburgh with a place for its Negro League teams to play. Greenlee received a standing ovation. Newspaper accounts tell of a capacity crowd of 4,000 people. This may indicate that some of the seating for Greenlee Field may not have been completed.

The game played that day was one for the history books. The Crawfords sent the great Satchel Paige to the mound to face the New York Black Yankee's Mountain Jesse Hubbard. Both pitchers were at the top of their games. Zeros were put on the scoreboard inning after inning. In the sixth inning Fats Jenkins singled with two outs and then stole second. Satchel let him die out in the field. Ted Page got a single against the Crawfords in the seventh, was sacrificed to second, but was thrown out trying to steal third. Going into the ninth, these were the only times than Satchel had to handle men in scoring position. Hubbard was pitching an even better game. He had allowed but three hits and also still had his shutout.

With one out in the ninth, Orville Riggins singled to center. He was forced at second when Ted Page hit a come-backer to Satchel Paige. It was only Page's blazing speed that kept him out of a double-play. This speed came into play again when Page attempted to steal second. Bill Perkins' throw sailed into center field (Josh Gibson was not behind the plate, but playing in left that day), allowing Page to scamper to third. Clint Thomas plated the run when he blooped a hit to right. Satchel was able to pick Thomas off of first, but the damage had been done.

This brought the Crawfords to the bottom of the ninth down by one. Harry Williams led off the home-half by grounding out to short. Oscar Charleston hit a long fly ball to left that was corralled by the Yankees. This brought to the plate young Josh Gibson. The account given by the Pittsburgh Courier goes as follows:

    At this point the crowd stood on its hind legs pleading for Josh Gibson to do something for the home cause. Josh is well-known for his Babe Ruthian clouts at such a time as this. But Hubbard was to be reckoned with before Josh could break through. The mighty Gibson sent a terrific clout to deep center field that looked for an instant like an extra base hit, but the fleet footed Thomas was away with the crack of the bat and gathered in the speeding pellet and the first pitcher's battle was over.

With that the books were closed on the first Negro League game in Greenlee Field. Satchel Paige had thrown a six-hitter with ten strikeouts, but fell to Hubbard 1-0 on a three-hitter.

Greenlee Field would house many great Crawfords teams through the mid-thirties. In 1933 permanent lights were installed at Greenlee Field. As the Cincinnati Reds didn't do this until 1935, and the Kansas City Monarchs used a travelling system, this is believed by some to be the first permanent lighting system in a ballpark. However, the glory of the Crawfords and Greenlee Field could not last forever. The Crawfords declined in the latter part of the decade. Greenlee Field was demolished in December of 1938. It is gone but not forgotten.

The Jacob Ruppert Memorial Cup

By David Marasco

New York Yankees owner Col. Jacob Ruppert first opened up The House That Ruth Built to the Negro Leagues in 1930 in order to show his support for the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. In the years that followed, black baseball was allowed to play in Yankee Stadium from time to time, most often in the form of four- team double-headers. In the Winter previous to the start of the 1939 season, Col. Ruppert met his demise. In his memory, Yankee President Edward Barrow helped to organize a Negro League tournament that would be played in Yankee Stadium. The format would consist of five double-headers, with the best team to be awarded a $500 golden trophy, the Jacob Ruppert Memorial Cup. While cynics will cry out that the Yankees no doubt benefitted from the arrangement, it did allow black baseball to showcase some of its best talent in a very prominent manner.

The first double-header took place on the 4th of June. In the first game the Baltimore Elite Giants sent Sam Byrd to face Luis Tiant Sr. of the Cuban Stars. It was the Cubans who came fast out of the gates, scoring a run in the 2nd, and pushing across two more in the 3rd. However, this would be all of the Cubans scoring for the night. While the final outcome of the game is not in question, the details are very muddled. As an illustration of the difficulties faced by a Negro League researcher, three accounts will follow. The New York Times relegated this game to deep in its sports section. It was placed after the major league game reports, with minor league baseball, the French amateur golf title and a St. Louis Browns - Washington Senators double-header. While some press was given to the second game, only a line score was given for the Elites - Cubans match up. The information presented was that the Elites scored two in the 4th, three in the 6th, and 2 in the 8th to triumph by a score of 7-3. The Pittsburgh Courier claimed that three runs were scored in the 8th, followed by two in the 9th. However, the Courier then prints the same line score as did the New York Times. The Chicago Defender reported that the Elites had a three-run 7th followed by a two-run 8th. While the timing of the runs is questionable, the fact that they occurred is not. The three-run inning featured Snow doubling, followed by a Wright single (the Defender claims that it was Biz Mackey), a Hoskins double and a West single. The last two runs came on home runs by Henry Kimbro and Sam Byrd as he helped his own cause. Bill Hoskins, the Elite's right fielder, had four hits on the day including a pair of doubles and a 405 foot triple to left.

The New York Black Yankees edged the Philadelphia Stars 5- 4 in the second tilt of the day. The Yanks sent Terris McDuffie against Webster "Submarine" McDonald. Once again the line scores do not match the published game reports. In the third the Yankees scored three runs off of Goose Curry's bases-loaded double. In the fifth (or the second if you go with the line score) McDuffie drew a walk, and then came home to score when Philadelphia's right fielder muffed a fly ball. The Yankee's 4-0 lead was halved in the 6th when Gene Benson hit a two-run shot to right, and then the game was tied up in the 8th when McDonald hit a two-run homer of his own (the second pitcher of the night to reach the stands). The Yankees were able to tally a lone run in their half of the 8th. Curry reached on an error, and scored when Washington lined a base hit to right. Bill Holland then came in and retired the Stars in order to complete the victory.

The second of July saw the second Negro League double- header of 1939. The first game matched Effa Manley's Newark Eagles against the Philadelphia Stars. The Eagles entered the day leading the Negro National League and didn't do themselves any harm as they blew out the the Stars 8-1. Newark got two runs on the board in the bottom of the first with a home run by "Mule" Suttles. In the fourth Stone and Wilson both hit home runs in an inning that would see four runs score. Leon Day was the recipient of much run support, and did his job by holding the Stars to a lone run in the third. Not much is known about the second game. The Black Yankees were shut out by the Elite Giants by a score of 4-0. McDuffie was the starter and loser for the Yankees, while Jonas Gaines was credited with the shutout for the Elites.

The third double-header brought the powerful Homestead Grays to Yankee Stadium on July the 23rd. Homestead was in year three of a nine year run that saw them win a 1st or 2nd half title every year. They faced the hapless Philadelphia Stars in the first game. Homestead hitting got runs across the plate right away. With two down in the bottom of the initial frame, Brown touched Wellmaker for a double. Setting a trend, Wellmaker then walked Josh Gibson on four pitches. After the runners moved up on a wild pitch, both scored on a double by Buck Leonard. Spearman brought home Leonard to complete the scoring at three. In the fourth, Cooper drew a walk for the Stars. Harris moved him to third on a single, and Dunn plated him with a single of his own. Benson brought in Harris with yet another single. The Stars brought in two runs, but the only effect was to make the Grays mad. In their half of the fourth the Grays combined two hits and two errors for three runs. The fifth saw three hits and an error produce three more runs. The opportunistic Grays used a hit and an error for their last two runs in the sixth. After the game the Stars were criticized in the press for walking Josh Gibson intentionally three times, once even when the Stars were down by a score of 8-2. It was felt that the fans had been cheated of their well-earned money when the Stars took the bat out of Gibson's hands.

In the second game the New York Black Yankees faced the Cuban Stars and defeated them by a score of 4 to 0. The game started with excitement as Terris McDuffie, hero of other Yankee Stadium matches, took the mound for the Black Yankees. He gave up three walks, but also chalked up three strikeouts, and left the inning unscathed. David Campbell took the first pitch that the Black Yankees saw and placed it in the right field seats to give the Yankees a lead that they would never lose. McDuffie would pitch a gem, two-hitting the Cubans.

August the 13th would see the return of the Negro National League four-team double-header to Yankee Stadium. The first game saw the Cuban Stars host the powerful Baltimore Elite Giants. Once again the reporting for these games is scant and contradictory. The Pittsburgh Courier ran no account of the games, the New York Times gave two paragraphs and line scores, and the Chicago Defender gave a short piece plus box scores. However, not all of the facts agree. Both accounts give the score of the first game as Elites 11, Cubans 1. Ruez started for the Cubans, but was relieved first by Tiant and then by Faber. The Elites would score all of their runs in the first six innings, probably making use of the Cuban's six errors. The two teams headed in opposite directions; the Elites would take their 3-0 record in the double- headers to a showdown with the Homestead Grays for the Ruppert Cup. The Cubans would go 0-3, a reflection on their 5-22 Negro National League performance for 1939. The second game of the double-header has a definite winner, the Homestead Grays, but it is unclear if that is by an 11-5 score or a 10-5 score. The linescores for the Times and Defender match until the 8th inning, where the Defender has four runs to the Time's 3. Buck Leonard hit a home run in that stanza, but the details there are fuzzy. The Times claims that it was a three run blast, but the Defender credits Sam Bankhead with a triple in that inning, and Bankhead bat right before Leonard in the lineup. It would appear as if more digging must be done to resolve this mystery.

On September the 24 the Homestead Grays and the Baltimore Elite Giants faced for the Ruppert Cup. The Grays had won the first half of the Negro National League season, and the Elites dominated the league for the second half. It was decided that the Yankee Stadium game should decide not only the Ruppert Cup, but also the 1939 Negro National League title. To complete the double-header, an amalgam of the two teams would face an all-star team of white minor leaguers assembled from the American Association, International League and Eastern League.

Before the title game Baltimore's second baseman, Sammy Hughes, would collapse in the dugout. He was replaced in the lineup by Felton Snow. Lefty Gaines started for Baltimore, while Roy Partlow twirled for the Grays. Both pitchers shut down the opposition for the first six innings. In the bottom of the seventh, Moore roped a one-out double. The Gray's third-sacker then was slow on a bunt, allowing both the runner to move up and the batter to reach first. On the next play to third the fielder bobbled the ball and Moore scored. After a walk to the next batter, Roy Campanella came to the plate and brought in a second run with a single. Partlow then settled down, but it was too late, the damage had been done. Although Gaines was dominant that day, he ran out of steam with two outs in the 8th. With a man on first, he walked Josh Gibson and Buck Leonard, prompting the Elites to bring Willie Hubert in from the bullpen. Hubert was able to coax a popup out of Tom Parker to end the threat. The Elites would win by a score of 2-0 and claim the Ruppert Cup and the Negro National League crown. In the second game of the double header the Negro Leagues played an All-Star squad of minor leaguers. In this game the minor leaguers were able to tie the combined team by a score of 1-1 when the game was called in the seventh inning. The coming of night ended Negro League baseball for 1939.

Satchel Gets Schooled

By David Marasco

In the Summer of 1937 trouble was brewing in the Dominican Republic. Strongman Rafael Trujillo was faced with growing opposition, and to solidify his position he decided to assemble a champion-caliber baseball team. His opponents saw his ploy and did the same. This led to a bidding war for the best talent of the Caribbean and Negro Leagues. In the end, Trujillo put together a team with such starpower that even a person with but casual knowledge of the Negro Leagues would recognize as being formidable. Players included such as Bill Perkins, Cool Papa Bell, Josh Gibson, Satchel Paige, Leroy Matlock, Sam Bankhead and Perucho Cepeda. This team would go on to win the island's championship. However, most of those players got to the Dominican Republic by jumping contracts they had signed with Negro League franchises. The Pittsburgh Crawfords in particular were stripped, losing their finest to the island. When the players came back to the United States, many found that they were unwelcome. Seeing as they had to eat, they formed a barnstorming team that they dubbed the Dominican Stars. September 18 they faced "Schoolboy" Johnny Taylor at the Polo Grounds. That day would go down in history as Taylor would weave a no-hitter against some of the best players in the Negro League.

Schoolboy Taylor was a good but not great pitcher who starred for the New York Cubans in the mid-thirties. He would bounce around during the late-thirties until he found employment in the Mexican League in the early-forties. The Chicago Defender's account of this game makes the claim that this was Taylor's first week in the majors, which certainly is not true as Taylor pitched with the New York Cubans as far back as 1935. This might refer to the fact that Taylor had hurt his arm while playing semi-pro ball in 1937, and this was one of his first games back from his injury. Facing Taylor was the immortal Satchel Paige. By this time in his career he was already being referred to as "the old master." He was still more than ten years away from breaking into the bigs with Cleveland. On this night however, it would be Taylor, not Paige, who would be the master.

In the top of the first Cool Papa Bell walked to lead off the game. Taylor quickly induced Parnell to ground to shortstop, setting into motion a double-play that would erase both men. In the second, Harry Williams would also draw a walk. This time Catcher Biz Mackey would rise to the occasion and nail the very fast Williams trying to steal second. In the sixth Cool Papa Bell would again walk, and Mackey would toss him out at second also. Taylor was so effective that he would face but 29 batters and not a man would make it to second base.

Satchel was also in good form that night. He was facing an amalgam of players who did not go to the Dominican Republic. While they were given the title of the League All-Stars, they did have all of the best players that had remained in the league. Josh Gibson, who unlike most of the players was welcomed back, played for neither side that night. As he had left for the Dominican Republic with the good graces of his employers the Homestead Grays, when he returned he simply put on the tools of ignorance for Homestead. While he wasn't allowing runs to score, Paige was getting in and out of trouble for most of the night. He was in jams in the first, third and sixth. In each occasion he had men at second and third with one out, and each time he struck out the remaining batters to escape. In the eighth things were looking good for Satchel. He had retired the first two men when Henry Kimbro's grounder took a bad hop past Sam Bankhead. But then Jim West put one of Satchel's pitches into the short Polo Grounds left field stands. That would be all of the runs that Taylor would need. The game ended with a score of 2-0.
Two weeks later Satchel and Taylor would face each other in Yankee Stadium. This time Paige would get the better half of a 9-5 score. Taylor was knocked out in the fifth. Probably due to the results of the last showdown, 30,000 paid to see this game as opposed to the 15,000 that had witnessed the first. After the year of limbo, most of the Dominican Stars found jobs in the Negro Leagues. Schoolboy Taylor made use of his new fame to sign a good contract with the New York Cubans, although he later jumped to the Pittsburgh Crawfords. He was also able to secure a spot in the East-West game for 1938. Satchel never looked back. He pitched in the Negro Leagues until 1948, the American League through 1953, and then barnstormed and played in the minors until 1961.

Just the Facts

By David Marasco

It's been a while since a Before Jackie column has been seen in the pages of The Diamond Angle. Why? Because Negro Leagues research is very hard. Recently my time has become restricted, and while I might be able to spare an hour or two to write about baseball in general, the Negro Leagues need a bigger magnifying glass. The mysteries are bigger, the sources poorer, and hence more time is needed to do the job right.

Take for example Martin Dihigo and Johnny Mize. Jerry Grillo asked me about their playing days together, so I hit the books. In The Negro Leagues Book Mize is quoted as follows: "The greatest player I ever saw was a black man. He's in the Hall of Fame, although not a lot of people have heard of him. His name is Martin Dihigo. I played with him in Santo Domingo in winter ball in 1943. He was the manager... I thought I was havin' a pretty good year myself down there and they were walkin' him to get to me." This is followed up in The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues. The Encyclopedia states: "Hall of Famer Johnny Mize called [Dihigo] the best player he ever saw and remembered that when they were teammates in the Dominican Republic, opponents would intentionally walk Dihigo to pitch to him."

There's a problem here. Professional baseball collapsed in the Dominican Republic after the 1937 season. After the dictator Trujillo raided the Negro Leagues in 1937 to give the Dominican people some of the best baseball on the planet, the scene went belly-up. A fan remembers the time in Klein's Sugarball, "The 1937 championship stopped baseball. All our money was gone. We were exhausted financially and in enthusiam also." Baseball at a professional level would not return to the Dominican Republic until 1951. Mize and Dihigo could not have been teammates in the Dominican Republic in 1943, the league needed to support superstars of their caliber did not exist.

So now we have a who-done-it. What is the story behind Mize and Dihigo? If not the Dominican Republic in 1943, then where and when? The first thing to do is take the Dominican Republic completely out of the story. The only time Dihigo played there was in the summer of 1937, when Trujillo put together teams made up of the best talent in the Negro Leagues and the Caribbean. He did very well both on the mound and at the plate. According to the Biographical Encyclopedia Dihigo finished second in the league to Satchel Paige for wins, tied for the home run lead, and finished third in batting with a .351 average. Where was Johnny Mize? He was batting .364 as an All-Star for the St. Louis Cardinals. So Mize and Dihigo never overlapped in the Dominican Republic in organized play.

If not in Santo Domingo, then where? Mize claims a winter ball setting, and given that he was a full-time major leaguer, that's the only possible setting. According to Bjarkman's Baseball with a Latin Beat, Dihigo played all of his winter baseball in Cuba. Mize claims a 1943 date. In the 1942-3 season Dihigo hit .267 and went 8-3. OK, but not world-beating. In 1943-4 Dihigo hit .253 and went 8-1. But Mize probably didn't see Dihigo in the winter season of 1943-4, his playing career stops in 1942 and doesn't pick up until 1946. In the winter of 1943-4 Mize was serving his country. It is also unlikely that Mize played in the winter of 1942-3, even if he wasn't already in the service, it would be hard to believe that he would go to Cuba rather than spend his last few moments in America. Another key here is that Mize claimed that he was managed by Dihigo. In both 1942-3 and 1943-4 Dihigo was playing for Havana, managed by Mike Gonzalez.

So this meeting did not occur in the Dominican Republic, nor did it occur in 1943. So what did happen? A close inspection of Dihigo's career shows that he managed Santa Clara to a Cuban League pennant in 1935-6. That year Dihigo hit .358 and went 11-2 on the mound. That was enough to lead the league in both hitting and victories. And it would also impress a young Johnny Mize, who at that point would be getting ready for his rookie year in the bigs.

Is that the proper scenario? Dihigo was inducted in 1977, and Mize died in 1993. Sometime in between Mize gave the quotation at the beginning of this story. Even an early date would place 30 or 40 years between the events and the rememberace. We know they never played together in Santo Domingo, could it have been Santa Clara? Dihigo spent most of his winter career playing for Havana, where he was not the manager. To be consistent with Mize's recollection as Dihigo as manager, Santa Clara makes sense, along with Marianao in the late 1930's. The timing also favors a Santa Clara overlap. Mize was more likely to be getting seasoning in winter ball as a soon-to-be rookie rather than a war-bound vet, and Dihigo's Santa Clara days were much more impressive than his early-40's Havana performances.

What is the real story? I'd lean to to 1935-6 in Santa Clara. Is it for sure? Not at all. That's life when you study the Negro Leagues.

Our Giants in Havana

By David Marasco

In 1907 the defending world champions the Chicago White Sox spent spring training in Mexico City. They had more problems with the trains than they did with the training. The local opposition didn't give any competition to the Sox. The defending National League champions, the New York Giants, would find quite a different state of affairs when they trained in Havana in 1937.

They arrived to spring training as did many teams, out of shape and rusty. Their manager, Bill Terry, spent a few more days in the states due to illness. The local teams had just finished their winter season and were in good form. After five days in Cuba the Giants played their first game. It was February 24, Cuban Independence Day, and 7000 saw the match. The Giants sent out Tom de la Cruz to face a team that supposedly represented the Cuban Armed Forces. It was, in fact, a picked nine. While the Giants put up a run in the first the Cuban team managed four runs off of de la Cruz with the help of some New York errors. Juan Eckelson, the Armed Forces starter, limited the Giants to but four runs. The key to the game was the eighth, when the great Dolf Luque came into pitch for New York. The proud Cuban crowd gave their hero a huge ovation. While the fans knew what to do with their hands, the Giants didn't. Two errors opened the doors for three runs, and the final was 7-3 for the locals. A naive sportswriter commented "It being Cuba's foremost holiday, the natives played inspired ball and perhaps infinitely better than their custom." The next day Bill Terry took advantage of a rainstorm to break out the chalkboard and illustrate some of the finer points of the game. The Giants had shown that they needed some refreshing.

On February 27 the Giants collided with the Havana club in front of a crowd of 8000. Once again, the New Yorkers would draw first blood. Lou Chiozza led off the game with a single and the Giants would manufacture a run. It was the only time they would cross the plate against Basilo Rosell (described as a "swarthy native"). The Giants sent out Clyde Castleman, and he did not allow a hit over his three innings. Bill Benne replaced him in the fourth and Havana jumped all over him. A single and two walks put ducks on the pond for Silvio Garcia, who responded with a bases-clearing double. Benne settled down, but the game was already lost. Cliff Melton pitched the last three innings for the Giants, giving up eight hits and six more runs. The final was a humiliating 9-1. The writer covering the game was willing to admit that the Giants play was "...no match today for the superbly trained Cubans..."

The next day the Giants spent the morning watching cock fights. They spent the afternoon losing to Almendares. A crowd of 7000 assembled for the game. It featured the hitting and pitching of Ramon Bragana. Bill Terry would later marvel over Bragana's selection, "He had speed, a wonderful assortment of curves and perfect control." If Terry had been tempted to sign Bragana, he would have run into trouble. It was 10 years before Jackie Robinson and the star pitcher was black. In any case, the Giants once again started out on the right foot, with a solo run in the second. While Almendares was baffled by Frank Gabler, John Meketi presented no mystery. Bragana himself tripled to tie up the game, and the Cubans loaded up the bases in the 7th. Terry went to his bullpen for Harry Gumbert, but he gave up a pair of runs and then three more in the ninth. The final would be 6-1. "Fears that the absence of major league competition would cause the Giants to suffer during the fore part of this bizarre training trip seem to have been well founded. Only the Giants are not suffering from any lack of competition. Rather it's a case of too much."

After a few days off the Giants were back to work. They split up into four teams and played intrasquad games. With Pancho Snyder pitching for both teams the Freddy Fitzsimmons boys bested the Carl Hubbells by a final of 7-3. Bill Terry took the mound for the second match and the Mel Otts triumphed over the Gus Mancusos 10-2. The entire affair took a little over three hours, and after most took a nap.

Since they weren't doing very well against the pros, the Giants arranged to play a game against Fortuna Sporting Club, a local amateur squad. Here they finally hit stride. They launched into Agapito Mayor for seven runs. The big blow was Dick Bartell's homer to center. Seeing as the fence was 525 feet from the plate, this was an inside-the-park job. The fans tossed boxes of cigars to Bartell to honor him. Tom Ferrick gave up three hits in his three innings, and Bill Yarewick gave up only one in three. The last three frames belonged to John Hubbell. John was a right hander, so nobody got him confused with his more famous lefthanded brother. He gave up a pair of runs in the ninth to make the final 7-2. Unlike Henry Mathewson, John never saw the majors.

The next day would see some more intrasquad play. To make things interesting each player bet his opposite member fifty cents on the outcome (ask some old timer what half a buck could buy back in the depression). Bill Benne started for the Mel Otts and Tom de la Cruz for the Gus Mancusos. Both went the distance and the game wasn't decided until the tenth. The Otts won 7-5.

March 6 saw a rematch against Almendares. While the Cubans could only manage three hits, the Giants could tally but four. Rodolfo Fernandez was on the mound for the Cubans and he started the third with a double. Hal Schumacher spun out of control, walking the next three batters, forcing in a run. A sacrifice fly brought across another man and an ill-advised pickoff accounted for runs three and four. Fernandez would yield no runs. It is noted that Jose Capablanca, Chess master of Cuba, was in attendance. Capablanca played ball at Columbia in the early years of the century, and was a fast friend of John McGraw.

With four losses and no wins against the Cuban professionals, the Giants went to their meal ticket, Carl Hubbell. He delivered. He got a thunderous welcome from the crowd of 7000, and they cheered even more when he gave up a run in the first. The game turned into a pitchers duel in the early goings with Hubbell matching Luis Tiant Sr. In the fifth inning American League President William Harridge arrived at the ballpark. As if on cue, the Giants turned it on. When the dust settled they had scored seven runs, knocking Tiant out of the box in the process. Harry Danning's inside-the-park home run was the clutch hit in the frame. The Giants would take a victory, 7-3.

In intrasquad action a game played by the pitchers was won by the Fitzsimmons 9-6 over the Hubbells. With the stakes now at a dollar, the Mancusos shut out the Otts 3-0.

On March 11 the New Yorkers took on an All-Star team of islanders. Once again, the Giants scored a run off of Bragana in the first inning. This would be their only run. However, unlike previous games, their pitching did not implode. Al Smith threw three perfect innings, and Dick Coffman blanked the natives for his set. It was in the eighth that Tom Ferrick faltered. He gave up a walk which turned into a run when it was followed by a single and a sacrifice fly. The two teams would call it a day after twelve. In their six games against professionals, the Giants won one, tied one and lost four. Bragana would have to be awarded the MVP, holding the Giants to two runs over 21 innings. He would toil for years in the Negro and Mexican Leagues, never crossing the color barrier.

A crowd of 10,000 came on March 13 to see the Cardinals visit Havana to face the Giants. Poor play on the part of the New Yorkers gave the Redbirds a pair of runs in the first. The Giants came back for a pair of their own on the force of a Mel Ott double. Ott struck again in the fifth with a run scoring single. The game was decided in the seventh. A walk and a Dick Bartell error put two men on for Frankie Frisch. He took the first pitch he saw to centerfield for a two-run single. Bill McGee held down the Giants for the remainder and won by a final of 4-3.

Saturday's game was just the warmup for the Sunday encounter. Carl Hubbell would start against Paul Dean (Dizzy was holding out). 20,000 came to see the two teams. The Giants got a run off of Dean, and when the starters were pulled after three the score stood at 1-0. But Fat Freddy Fitzsimmons was an open book for the Cardinals. They got a run in the fourth, another in the fifth and two more in the sixth. In the seventh the the Giants got one back. They went into the bottom of the ninth down 4-2, but they went on a rampage against Bob Weiland, scoring a pair and loading the bases with none out. This brought in Nathan Andrews to the mound and his fine pitching extended the game to extra innings. But he did not have it in the tenth. He gave up a walk, blew a sacrifice, and then surrendered a single before giving up a sacrifice fly to lose the game 5-4. The Giants soon set sail for Miami, where they could take a step down and face major league competition.

Josh and Buck Take the Field

By David Marasco

If you flip through SABR's home run encyclopedia you will find that the Washington Senators hit only one home run at home in 1945. While this is a little bit surprising, it isn't shocking. Outside of a handful of seasons the Senators were the doormat of the American League, and with the war going on the talent level was even lower. With that knowledge one might expect that the rest of the league lit up the Senator's pitchers. But at Griffith Park this wasn't the story. The other teams in the American League hit only six home runs in DC. Granted, Griffith was a monster of a ballyard, but an entire league hitting only seven homers there in a year? It's true, it is there in black and white.

But baseball was not there in black and white. At least not at the same time. 1945 predated Jackie Robinson. However, the Senators did share their stadium with the Homestead Grays of the Negro National League. The heart of their order consisted of Josh Gibson and Buck Leonard, the Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig of colored baseball. With the American League belting only seven in 1945, how did these sluggers stack up? Armed with microflim and patience I decided to find out.

Researching the Negro Leagues is notoriously difficult. If you want to know what Christy Mathewson did on a certain day in 1905 this is not a problem. With Satchel Paige it is a different story. The African American press operated on a weekly basis, and often road contests and games later in the week were not reported. In this case there is a cause for hope. Of the larger race papers, two of them had reason to give the Grays special treatment. The Baltimore Afro-American obviously saw the Grays as a home team. On top of that, the Pittsburgh Courier also gave the Grays close coverage. Homestead was a locality near Pittsburgh, so the Grays started out as a Pittsburgh team. Although they relocated to Washington DC in the late 1930's, the Grays still played a handful of "home games" in the Steel City each year. In the end I used four sources in an attempt to reconstruct the Gray's 1945 season and search for Negro League home runs in Griffith stadium: the Baltimore Afro-American, the Chicago Defender, the New York Amsterdam News and the Pittsburgh Courier.

The first homer discovered took place in a game against the New York Cubans in late May. The Afro-American described it as "a lusty 415 foot homerun into the left field stands by Josh Gibson." It was hit off Carranza Howard in a 5-0 Homestead victory. The longball took a rest until mid-June when the Newark Eagles came to town, "A crowd of 8,367 fans saw Buck Leonard's towering clout over the right field wall jar Lefty Hill loose from his magic which, until that moment, had been sufficient to retire 12 Grays in a row for the first four frames." The Grays solved the mystery of Hill and took the day 7-2. Several weeks later both Josh and Buck got into the action. The Baltimore Elite Giants came down the road for a double header. In the first Bill Byrd was victimized, "The feature blow of the game was Josh Gibson's 430-foot 2-run homer in the first inning." Buck had a homer of his own in the nightcap, a 368-foot line drive shot off Tom Glover. There was a power shortage in August, the next home run being in early September by Johnny Davis of the Newark Eagles. It was the only one by a visitor in the Negro Leagues. Later in the month Josh Gibson closed out the slugging with a "420 foot homer in the fifth inning," one of fourteen hits the Grays had on the day against Baltimore.

Josh and Buck combined to hit five home runs in Griffith, and adding Johnny Davis pushes the total to six. A closer examination shows that the Senator's only Griffith home run was an inside-the-park job. This means that the Negro National League hit out as many baseballs as did the American League. Equal power? Not even. Due to a tie, the American League played 78 games in Griffith that year. The six home runs hit by the Negro Leaguers were combed from 21 game descriptions. Four other games are known only by their final scores. Without doubt a few more games are completely lost to time. What would Gibson and Leonard done in the majors? We can only guess...

A Reconstruction of the 1945 Homestead Grays Season
Week     Opponent     Site     Score
May 12     NY Black Yankees     Yankee Stadium     13-3
May 19     NY Black Yankees     Griffith     4-2
    NY Black Yankees     Griffith     2-1
    NY Black Yankees     Pittsburgh(?)     4-5
May 26     NY Cubans     Griffith     5-0
    NY Cubans     Griffith     3-2
June 2     NY Cubans     Polo Grounds     8-2
    Philly Stars     ???     7-1
June 9     NY Cubans     Polo Grounds     14-11
    NY Cubans     Polo Grounds     8-7
    Balt. Elite Giants     Baltimore     6-3
    Balt. Elite Giants     Detroit     1-0
    Balt. Elite Giants     Detroit     5-0
June 16     Newark Eagles     Griffith     7-2
    Newark Eagles     Griffith     3-2
    Balt. Elite Giants     Pittsburgh     4-6
June 23     Newark Eagles     Newark     11-3
    Newark Eagles     Newark     1-10
    Philly Stars     Griffith     1-9
    Philly Stars     Griffith     9-0
June 30     KC Monarchs     Griffith     12-3
    KC Monarchs     Griffith     10-6
July 7     Balt. Elite Giants     Griffith     8-7
    Balt. Elite Giants     Griffith     3-9
    Philly Stars     Griffith(?)     7-3
July 14     Philly Stars     Griffith     8-0
    Philly Stars     Griffith     7-4
    NY Cubans     Pittsburgh     4-5
    NY Cubans     Pittsburgh     2-8
July 21     NY Cubans     Pittsburgh     8-2
    NY Cubans     Harrisburg     11-2
July 28
August 4     Balt. Elite Giants     Baltimore     4-3
    Philly Stars     Griffith     2-3
August 11     NY Cubans     Cleveland     2-3
    NY Cubans     Cleveland     1-2
August 18     Balt. Elite Giants     Baltimore     3-5
    Philly Stars     Philadelphia     6-7
    Chicago Am. Giants     Griffith     4-3
    Chicago Am. Giants     Griffith     7-0
    Birm. Black Barons     Griffith(?)     13-7
August 25     Balt. Elite Giants     Griffith     8-7
    NY Cubans     Griffith     2-1
    Newark Eagles     Newark     6-26
Sept 1     Newark Eagles     Griffith     3-2
    Newark Eagles     Griffith     3-2
Sept 8     Newark Eagles     Pittsburgh     4-3
    Newark Eagles     Pittsburgh     5-2
    Balt. Elite Giants     Griffith     5-3
    Balt. Elite Giants     Griffith     3-2
    NY Cubans     Polo Grounds     6-3
Sept 15     Birm Black Barons     Polo Grounds     4-9
    Cleveland Buckeyes     Cleveland     1-2
    Cleveland Buckeyes     Cleveland     2-4
    Cleveland Buckeyes     Griffith     0-4
    Cleveland Buckeyes     Philadelphia     0-5
Notes: Week refers to the date of the paper that reported the game. If two papers ran coverage on different dates, then the earlier is given. Only games with finals are listed. Games scheduled but not verified as played are ignored. Contests against Kansas City, Birmingham and Chicago are against Negro American League teams and should perhaps be judged as exhibitions. No games were reported the week of July 28 due to East-West (All Star) Game coverage.

It's a Long Way from Mobile to Cleveland

By David Marasco

On July 9, 1948, baseball's oldest rookie took the mound for the Cleveland Indians. After twenty years behind the color barrier, Satchel Paige had arrived in the major leagues. Bob Lemon had started the game against the St. Louis Browns, but had proved ineffective. At the top of the fifth, trailing by a score of 4 to 1, manager Lou Boudreau went to his bullpen for the Master.

A storybook would have Paige strike out the first batter with but three pitches. History is a little less dramatic. After taking the first pitch for a ball, Chuck Stevens singled to left. Gerald Priddy bunted Stevens over to second, bringing Whitey Platt to the plate. Satchel started him out with a changeup, fooling Platt so badly that his bat went flying down the third base line. A foul ball and an outside pitch ran the count to 1 and 2. Paige then zipped in a sidearm fastball and Platt took a mighty rip. At the age of forty- two Satchel Paige had just recorded his first major league strikeout. The next batter, Al Zarilla, flew out to right to end the inning. In the dugout afterwards, Satchel had a chance to talk with his catcher Jim Hegan. As it turns out, the Indians had been using two fingers down to call for a fastball, and one for a curve. Satchel had been assuming the opposite. Somehow it makes sense that after all of those years Paige and Organized Baseball would have their signals crossed. It didn't matter to Satchel, he just kept pitching.

And keep pitching he did. That night in July he went two innings, allowed two hits, no walks and no runs. He was the first African-American to toe the rubber in the American League. After the game, Browns manager Zack Taylor complained that Paige's infamous hesitation pitch was illegal. At the peak of his career, Satchel's hesitation pitch was so effective that batters would swing before the ball had even left Satchel's hand. In response, Satchel defended himself by claiming that the pitch had been legal when he had started pitching. The American League came down on the side of St. Louis. The hesitation pitch was banned. Once again, Satchel was calm. In his autobiography, he claimed "I figured that I'd just have to get out there and confuse those kids with ordinary stuff."

Several days later, Satchel was called in to face the Brooklyn Dodgers during an exhibition game in Cleveland. The game featured Paige, Larry Doby, Jackie Robinson and Roy Campanella, the only four African-Americans in the majors at that time. The game was witnessed by nearly 65,000 fans. Cleveland's African- American population at the time was an estimated 125,000 people. Of those, 25,000 were at the stadium that night. Relieving Don Black, Satchel struck out the side in the seventh needing only twelve pitches. He claimed Hodges, Palica and Brown as his victims. After setting down the side in order in the eighth, Satchel singled in the bottom-half of the inning before leaving the game. The Indians would go on to win in the eleventh.

July 15, the day after the exhibition, Satchel was called in to pitch against the Philadelphia Athletics. In the second game of a double-header, Bob Lemon was all set to give up a 4 to 2 lead. After letting in a man to run the score to 4 to 3, Lemon was replaced by Satchel. After pitching his way out of a jam, Satchel received some support and was enjoying a 5 to 3 lead. But in the seventh he gave up a two-out double to Ferris Fain, and then Hank Majeski hit a long home run. The Indians and the A's were tied. The Tribe struck back right away on the strength of a Ken Keltner home run. With a one-run lead in the bottom of the eighth Satchel shut down the A's. When the Indians put two more runs on the board in their half of the ninth, this was the signal for Satchel to cruise. He retired the A's in the ninth and won his first major league victory.

Satchel would pitch relief for the remainder of July, but was given the nod to start in the beginning of August. His first start was on August the 2nd against the Washington Senators. A record 72,434 people came to see Satchel. It was the most ever for a night game in Cleveland. Satchel would break the new record later in the season. As in his major league debut, things began a little rocky. After the first man lined out to left, Paige gave up walks to the next two men he faced. They came in to score when the clean-up hitter tripled to left-center. Paige was able to stop the bleeding and strand the runner at third. The Senators tallied against Satchel again in the fifth when they manufactured a run off of an Early Wynn double. However, the Tribe would go on to win the game by a score of 5 to 3. Satchel would go seven innings deep, giving up seven hits to six strikeouts. With that victory, the Indians climbed back into first place in the American League.

After his first appearance in the rotation, Satchel spent more time in the Indian's bullpen. On August the 8th he came into a game against the New York Yankees. He recorded no walks or stirkeouts. However, the Yankees' Joe Page had three walks and two strikeouts. In a moment of confusion, the person responsible for reporting statistics credited both Paige and Page each with three walks and two strikeouts. These extra data points were added to Satchel's 1948 season numbers, and of course to his career totals. This error was uncovered only this year, nearly 50 years after the fact.

Satchel's second start took place on the 13th of August, this time at Chicago. Satchel was no stranger to Comiskey Park, as that was where the Negro Leagues held their annual East-West game. On this night 51,013 paid to see him, once again setting a park record for a night game. An estimated 15,000 additional fans were turned away. That night Satchel gave the people in the seats a show. The game was close until the end. Neither team scored in the first four innings, and after five Satchel had to guard a slim 1 to 0 advantage. In the eighth the Indians scored another run, and then broke the game open in the ninth with three more. Satchel went the distance, shutting out the White Sox by a score of 5 to 0. He allowed only five hits and no walks over his nine innings. He was so masterful that Umpire Art Passarella commented, "That old boy's around the plate all the time and calling balls and strikes for him's a breeze. I was behind the plate in that shutout he worked in Chicago and I never had an easier game in my life." Once again, Paige's victory lifted the Cleveland Indians back into first place.

Satchel's best game of the season came on August the 20th, again against the Chicago White Sox. He drew the largest night crowd in baseball history with 78,382 fans. As he had throughout the 30's and 40's, Satchel rose to the occasion. While his teammates could score for him but one run, that was all he would need. He went the full nine and did not allow a single runner to third. He threw 92 pitches, retiring the White Sox in order six of nine times. His five strikeouts outnumbered his four baserunners (three hits, one walk). Not only that, but he placed the Cleveland staff into the history books. The previous three outings by the Indians had all been shutouts. By blanking Chicago, it was the fourth consecutive shutout, a feat that had been accomplished in the American League by only the 1903 Indians and the 1932 Yankees.

The Cleveland Indians would go on to win the American League pennant and also the World Series in that Summer of 1948. But the race was a close one, so close that the season ended in a tie. The Tribe went to the Series only after beating the Boston Red Sox in a one-game play-off. In such a close heat, pitching was at a premium. Satchel no doubt made his presence known by posting a record of six wins to but one defeat and excellent work in relief. As a display of how his team felt about his contribution, he was voted a full World Series share, despite joining the club at the half-way mark. As valuable as he was to his teammates, he valuable in another manner to owner Bill Veeck. Satchel pulled in the fans. The Indians drew a record 2.6 million in attendance, more than any other team ever at the time. This number was boosted in no small way by the large crowds that were generated any time Satchel started; he had drawn over 200,000 in his first three starts alone. Satchel had finally reached the top. And when he did, he broke his own rule about not looking back -- "It's a long way from Mobile to Cleveland."

John McGraw and the Negro Leagues

By David Marasco

"The other day Willie Mays hit his five hundred and twenty-second home run. He has gone past me, and he's pushing, and I say to him 'go get'em Willie.' Baseball gives every American boy a chance to excel. Not just to be as good as anybody else, but to be better. This is the nature of man and the name of the game. I hope some day Satchel Paige and Josh Gibson will be voted into the Hall of Fame as symbols of the great Negro players who are not here only because they weren't given the chance." - Ted Williams, Hall of Fame acceptance speech, 1966.

Sooner or later the doors to Cooperstown would have swung open to the legends of the Negro Leagues. The changes in American society that took place in the 1950's and 60's combined with with rise in interest in black culture by people of all colors meant that the likes of Paige and Gibson would not have forever stood on the outside looking in. Yet undoubtably one of the reasons that we can claim sooner rather than later is because Ted Williams went to bat for these men in 1966. The history of the Negro Leagues often focusses on the Cap Ansons of the world. Without argument, the landscape of baseball and race has had many ugly characters. But to discuss only the villains would be to turn a blind eye to many good men. Men like DIzzy Dean and Bob Feller travelled uncountable miles with Negro Leaguers on popular barnstorming tours. Jimmie Foxx and the Waner brothers would often add their names to the playbill of talent that would criss-cross the nation, putting money in their pockets and the Negro Leaguer's pockets. Many many players were willing to look past race and see only baseball players, worthy opponents who played the same game on different terms. Yet from the early parts of this century one name seems to loom out of the darkness like no other. That name is John McGraw.

It really shouldn't come as a surprise that McGraw's imprint is found here. John McGraw was almost synonymous with baseball for the first thirty years of the 1900's. Over that span he won ten pennants and almost never finished in the second division. The Giants have more players in the Hall of Fame than any other franchise, a fact based mainly on the weight of McGraw's excellent teams.

McGraw was a man ahead of his time. He tried to sneak a man past baseball's Color Barrier nearly fifty years before Branch Rickey. In 1901 as a manager of the old Baltimore Oriole McGraw brought second baseman Charlie Grant to training camp. Claiming that Grant was actually "Chief Tokohama," a Native American, McGraw hoped to use Grant's talents in the coming year's pennant chase. The problem with this was that Grant was by no means a Native American. He had played the previous year for the Columbia Giants, a Negro Leagues outfit. Charles Comiskey caught wind of this and the hammer came down. That season Charlie Grant again played for the Columbia Giants.

As the manager of the New York Giants McGraw arranged many exhibitions between his squad and Negro League teams. This would provide a share of the gate for the Negro Leaguers, but perhaps just as important, it would gave them a good deal of prestige. This was especially true when they would beat the Giants, something that happened on a fairly common basis. It was one thing when Joe Williams dominated another Negro League team, but when he no-hit the Giants with 20 strikeouts in ten innings, that turned people's heads. A lot of the data we use for comparisons between major leaguers and black teams before the 1920's comes from these Giant games.

McGraw was a friend to the Negro Leagues even when his prospects for making money or winning the pennant were not involved. He attended Negro League games when he had the chance. From time to time you'll find accounts of Negro League games in the papers that mention that John McGraw was in the stands taking in the goings on. Maybe he just liked watching baseball at a high level, or perhaps he was trying to pick up a thing or two.

As it now seems, one of those tricks that McGraw was supposed to have imported from the Negro Leagues wasn't. According to legend Christy Mathewson learned his famous "Fadeaway" pitch from Rube Foster when McGraw brought in the Negro League Renaissence Man as an unofficial pitching coach. The current thinking holds that this is just a myth. Another legend that may or may not be true is that when McGraw died his wife found a list amongst his possesions - the list was made up of Negro Leaguers that McGraw had wanted to sign. Whether or not these stories are true, they do point towards an attitude held in the Negro Leagues towards McGraw. He was seen as a man who could hire Rube Foster, who would contemplate putting together a team of forbidden fruit. From a certain time period, it seems as if every Negro Leaguer was worth several tens of thousands dollars. Always this market value is justified by "according to John McGraw." One forms the picture of McGraw as a later-day Johnny Appleseed, travelling the country assigning a dollar value to black talent.

John McGraw was a man who could see past the prejudices of his day. At times one is tempted to condemn the people who instead simply stood by. It is important to remember that these men and women lived in a very different world that ours. As an example, look to an account of a Sam Crawford homerun on a 1913 barnstorming contest: "Wahoo Sam slammed the ball over the rightfield fence, far over the heads of the crowds, the automobiles, and the darkies." Today the proper thing to do would be to castigate the writer for using an unthinkable racial slur. But look at the context. Not only were the blacks not allowed in the stadium, they were also banned from the parking lot. Cars had a better view of the game than they did. That was the way things worked in those times, and one needs to remember that context when judging the attitudes of the players of that era. The writer who used the offensive phrase? Our good friend John McGraw.

The Good Old Days

By David Marasco

Every once in a while somebody suggests that all the records prior to Jackie Robinson get a Maris-type asterisk next to them, after all, these feats were accomplished under much different circumstances than today. They were set before the color barrier was lifted. While this argument carries some merit, it seems unfair to denigrate the Ruths and Mathewsons for events that were beyond their control. But the playing field was very different. Let's look at one of the more exciting events in recent baseball history, the homerun chase of 1998.

Here's a list of all the players who finished 1998 with 35 or more home runs:
Mark McGwire 70
Sammy Sosa 66
Ken Griffey Jr 56
Greg Vaughn 50
Albert Belle 49
Vinny Castilla 46
Jose Canseco 46
Manny Ramirez 45
Juan Gonzalez 45
Andres Galarraga44
Rafael Palmeiro 43
Alex Rodriguez 42
Mo Vaughn 40
Moises Alou 38
Jeromy Burnitz 38
Carlos Delgado 38
V. Guerrero 38
Barry Bonds 37
N. Garciaparra 35
Shawn Green 35

Now let's imagine that we are playing in the 1930's. Take all of the African-Americans and segregate them to the Negro Leagues. Take all the Caribbean-born players and shuttle them off to the leagues in Latin America. Historically you would probably see some mixing between the Negro Leagues and the Caribbean players, and perhaps you might see some light-skinned Caribbean players in the majors. But just going by the book the home run hitters would be divided like this:

Major League Baseball
Mark McGwire 70
Jeromy Burnitz 38
N. Garciaparra 35
Shawn Green 35

Caribbean Leagues
Sammy Sosa 66
Vinny Castilla 46
Jose Canseco 46
Manny Ramirez 45
Juan Gonzalez 45
Andres Galarraga44
Rafael Palmeiro 43
Carlos Delgado 38
V. Guerrero 38

Negro Leagues
Ken Griffey Jr 56
Greg Vaughn 50
Albert Belle 49
Alex Rodriguez 42
Mo Vaughn 40
Moises Alou 38
Barry Bonds 37

In the majors it would be a dull time, McGwire would crush all of the competition, out hitting his nearest competitors by a factor of nearly two- to-one. Meanwhile, in the Caribbean Leagues Sammy would walk away with the title but quite a battle would be held for second place. In the Negro Leagues a good race would be run, but Junior would take the crown in the end.

One key thing to notice is the huge lead that McGwire has over his competition. Think of some of the seasons Ruth had where he towered over the rest of the league. Would he have looked as impressive if he had to face the talent pool that McGwire has to face today? Perhaps he would, perhaps not, but this is an important consideration to make when somebody trots out the "they don't make them like they did in the old days" argument.

This is a simple sorting exercise, it doesn't take into account variables such as the fact that Sosa wouldn't have to face Maddux and that Pedro Martinez would not see Major League hitters. To make things even more realistic, only the Major League totals would be reported. The Negro Leagues would have stats for maybe half of their games, and their league season would be a bit shorter. On the other hand, many newspapers would toss in home runs that the players hit against "all levels of competition," swelling their numbers with dingers hit against barn-storming foes. The Caribbean homeruns would simply disappear with the sands of time, nobody writing them down.

Now if you do believe that an asterisk should be placed alongside the records of the old-timers, an important question needs to be asked. When exactly do you make the cut-off? For the first decade of integration it was a token affair. Major League teams didn't take the older Negro League players, and also revised their "Gentleman's Agreement" to two African-Americans per team. Even then, that's ignoring the Latin influence. Scouting and development in that region didn't really hit stride until the 1960's. Suppose the current crop of players from Asia opens the floodgates and a large number of Asians start showing up on the Major League leader boards, do we stick an asterisk next to today's records? Hard questions. In the end perhaps we should just be happy that McGwire, Sosa and Junior are all in the same division, not three different leagues.
THE YOUNG JACKIE ROBINSON
by Bob Brigham

How far is it from Narrows, Georgia, where Ty Cobb was born, to the birthplace of Jackie Robinson in downstate Cairo? And how many years separated the birth of one from the other? Don't bother to look it up or do the math. We are talking cosmic differences here. Cobb lived to see Robinson play, but he never accepted the legitimacy of the younger man's place in major league baseball. Most people today believe that he and others of his race should never have been denied because of their color.

Twelve dollars a month. That's what Jerry Robinson got from Jim Sasser, working the land of the Velvet Corridor in southern Georgia. It is called share cropping. Some share. When Jerry and Mallie's fifth child, Jack Roosevelt Robinson, was born, his mother told his dad $12 wasn't enough, working as hard as Jerry had to.

"Ask the man for more money," she said. "He just pays you in chits anyhow. Only place we can spend them is in his store.''

Even Sasser saw the truth of the matter. Jerry graduated from a share cropper to a half-cropper, meaning that he got to keep half of what he produced and sell it on the open market.

One wonders how long it took working at this exhalted level to save enough for the life-changing trip that Jerry was planning. Shortly after Jackie was born, he took off for Florida and was never heard from again.

Mallie must have saved up some herself working as a domestic. Soon after Jerry disappeared, she shook the red dust of south Georgia from her shoes, gathered her brood about her and climbed aboard a Jim Crow train. Mallie, her five kids, her sister and brother-in-law with their two youngsters and three friends who were not part of the family did not get off until they reached Pasadena, California.

Two decades before Jackie made history as the first black man to break the color barrier, he was to get a lesson in barrier breaking right here in Pasadena. Mallie and her children, her sister Cora Wade and her husband Sam plus the two Wade children were a family and they all shared a small home on Gloriena Street. When they got a chance to purchase a larger place on Pepper Street, they took it. One problem: They were the only black family in the neighborhood. The vandalism and verbal abuse the Robinson-Wade clan to had put up with during their initial weeks in their new home must have served Jackie well in 1947.

It would be difficult to overstate the extent to which Mallie was the rock to which the rest of the family clung during those years in the '20s and '30s. Up before dawn six days a week, she spent a full day cleaning other people's houses. She would come home tired but with enough energy to pull her own family together, helping them to face not only the day-to-day business of survival in an austere economy, but also the hostility of a community that was about as receptive to ethnic diversity as Dixie Walker was when he first confronted the black rookie in the spring of '47.

When Jackie was of Little League age there was no Little League. Kids growing up between the two World Wars did not experience much in the way of organized sports. Activities like dodge ball dominated the school yard. At Cleveland Elementary no one could play that game like the youngest member of the school's only black family. Picture the most fearsome baserunner of his era taunting opposing pitchers like Robin Roberts and Warren Spahn, dancing off third base and stealing home. That is the picture twenty years later of the brash little black kid in the hand-me-down clothes caning a few steps this way, feinting that way---the one nobody could hit with the ball.

There is a temptation to sanitize an icon's image, but to do so in Robinson's case would be to leave out an important aspect of his growing up. The Pepper Street gang, of which Jackie was the acknowledged leader, was not a gang of drug-selling hoods. There were no AK-47s in their arsenal. They did even have an arsenal, unless you want to count the rocks they threw at passing motorists or the firecrackers that Jackie liked to hurl at any convenient target. If they could somehow be found, there would be enough facsimiles of his autograph on the Pasadena police blotter to bring six figures at a sports memorabilia show. But the Pepper Street gang was absolutely the most integrated social structure the future Hall of Famer encountered during what can charitably be called a troubled youth. Jackie was no Boy Scout, and neither were any of the Japanese, Hispanic, black and white kids that made up the gang. But this motley bunch formed a bond of inter-ethnic acceptance that their elders would have done well to emulate.

This story would not be compete without mention of Mack Robinson - Jackie's older brother and a great athlete in his own right. Their sister, Willa Mae, has said. "If there was one person Jack idolized growing up it was Mack." It boggles the mind to ponder the athletic genes in the Robinson gene pool. Mack might have been a better athlete than little brother, Jackie's legendary exploits not withstanding. A heart murmur detected in Mack at Washington Junior High caused school officials to ban him from sports. Realizing how little else her boys had going for them. Mack's mother gave in to his pleading and asked the school to let him play. She had to sign a waiver, and contact sports were barred. The "other" Robinson went on to be an Olympic sprint medalist but has had to live out his life wondering what might have been if he had been able to display the full range of his athletic talents.

As this is being written, those who know and care are waiting out the final days of the octogenarian stroke victim whose once magnificent body is confined to a bed and a wheelchair. Several years ago, I suggested in a letter to the mayor of Pasadena that he would be a fitting Grand Marshall of the Rose Parade. I have since learned that Mack had lost favor even among friends and admirers because he had returned from the 1936 Berlin Olympics a literally changed man, embittered that his highest achievement at the Games was a silver medal in thc 200 meters, getting nipped at the tape by Jesse Owens, he of the four Golds. With Jackie's climb to the heights of celebrity and heroics, the passage of time cast Mack in the role of perennial second place finisher. Getting fired by the city for poor job performance (he had been a street sweeper) did nothing for his self esteem. Maybe the mayor was right in passing on the Grand Marshall suggestion. Several of Jackie's grand nieces and nephews rode in the most recent parade on a float depicting their famous uncle in one of his patented thefts of home.

Jackie excelled at every game he ever tried. There is probably not a game invented that he could have mastered.

One of the Pepper Street Gang's activities was to sneak onto local golf courses to steal balls and sell them back to the golfers. One duffer, wise to the racket, challenged Jackie to finish out the hole with him. "Look, punk, I know you are trying to sell me back my own ball. Here, take this club and ball. You give me my ball. If you can get down if fewer strokes than me, you can keep the ball and I'll give you an extra buck. If I beat you, I get my ball back." He handed Jackie a putter and selected a seven iron for himself. Jackie, swinging a golf club for the first time in his life, nearly holed out and ended up winning the wager.

At Muir Technical High School, the mediocre football, basketball, baseball and track teams on which he played became outstanding simply because he was on them. He made the All-California Interscholastic Federation team as a catcher. A catcher setting base stealing records? Only Jackie could have done it.

My favorite Jackie story is of the time he won a track meet and a baseball game for Pasadena Jr. College on the same day. The track meet was in Pomona, the baseball games 40 miles away in Glendale. Jackie had some friends drive him to Pomona in an old Studebaker. On the way they blew a tire. Along came the Dean of Students. Jackie and friends, with no spare, needed some luck and they got it when the dean produced his and it fit the Studebaker. But the delay had cost Jackie his warm up time. Plunging right into the long jump competition, he got off a leap of 25' 6 1/2", enough to win and set a school record.

Next came a Clark Kent act, with Jackie changing into his baseball uniform in the back seat while the old Studebaker lumbered down the highway to Glendale. The game was already in progress, but the man who was later to alter the course of baseball history--make that the course of history, period-got to contribute two hits and a stolen base to seal the victory and a conference championship. The stolen base was vintage Jackie. On a windblown field he danced off of first base. Between pitches he picked up handfuls of dirt, which the wind carried from first to third, right into the pitcher's eyes. Then, as later, it was hard enough to hold Jackie on base under the best of conditions. With the dust on the runner's side, the pitcher was truly overmatched. As Dodger opponents were to learn later, Robinson would invariably find a way to beat you.

In the summer of 1939 the gifted athlete and less-than-committed student made the transition from Pasadena JC to UCLA. The recruiting wars had been intense. Mack encouraged the University of Oregon, where he was going, to bring his younger brother to Eugene, but there was little interest on the part of either the university or the athlete. Frank, the oldest of the Robinson siblings, had by this time supplanted Mack as Jackie's closest advisor. UCLA was so determined to keep Jackie out of the clutches of other four year schools in California that they were willing to pay his way to an out-of-state college if they could not get him. Bill Spaulding, the director of athletics at UCLA, had only one reservation: Jackie was so good at all sports that the Bruin coaches might end up fighting over his services. Not to worry. He played all four of the so called major sports and was the star in each one. Each, that is, except baseball. Ironically, baseball was the sport that was to make him immortal, but at UCLA it had to share him with track, basketball and football.

His decision to become a Bruin ultimately depended upon a family tragedy. Frank had been killed in a motorcycle accident. Jackie wanted to stay as close to his mother and Frank's widow and two small children as he could.

UCLA, perhaps as much as any other American university, perpetuates the campus-as-melting-pot illusion. There was an undergraduate student body of several thousand when Jackie arrived. He was one of about 30 black students, many of them athletes. The fans saw black athletes in the school's blue and gold uniforms and assumed there was a corresponding representation of African American on the campus. It wasn't true then, and is not true today.

I have several personal recollections of Jackie as a Bruin star. As a 12-year-old in 1939, I remember my dad taking me to UCLA football and basketball games. When UCLA and USC had their annual encounter in the Coliseum, the place would be packed with 100,000 fans. Robinson played wing back in a single wing formation with the great Kenny Washington at tail back. Robinson on a reverse was a play that kept the defense honest, making Washington's strong side runs off tackle and around end more effective. The SC defensive end on the weak side had apparently been told to "stay home" and rack Jackie every time he came his way whether he had the ball or not. After perhaps the third fake reverse Jackie held up his open palms for the Trojan to see, as if to say, "Hey man, I don't have the ball." A fan said "Look at that Robinson! What a chicken!" I remember my father admonishing the person who made the chicken statement to watch what he said because there were many black spectators seated all around us.

Another recollection of Robinson the football hero is of a night game against Southern Methodist. Jackie dropped back to receive a punt, but the ball had good hang time and he chose to let it bounce. As it was coming to rest several SMU players gathered around it. Jackie, never at rest, swooped in like a second baseman charging a slow roller. In a flash he was downfield with the ball, leaving the dumbfounded Mustangs wondering what had happened.

The Bruin basketball teams played their home games at the old Pan Pacific Auditorium in West L.A. One night Dad and I went to see them play Cal Berkeley. I can say I once saw Jackie Robinson play basketball. I still play the tape in my mind, a one-of-a-kind athlete who was all over the floor, making his adversaries, all good college players, look foolish.

I never saw him play college baseball, but I do remember a Pacific Coast Conference track meet in 1940 in which he won the long jump. Track and field was big at that time, and the PCC meet, which did not fill the Coliseum like the football games, drew about 40,000. I fancied myself a long jumper in those days, setting the record at my school. Most of my attention at the PCC meet was focused on the long jump pit. I left the meet vowing to emulate the conference champion, the multi-sport phenom from Pasadena, Jackie Robinson. Surprise, I had neither the style nor the distance.

When Jackie arrived at UCLA, he had to share the spotlight with Kenny Washington, also an athlete for all seasons. As a single wing tailback Washington carried the total burden of the Bruin passing attack and most of the running. He was a senior when Jackie arrived for his junior season. Kenny was well liked and highly respected. Jackie was seen as the problem child from the mean streets.

A Rip Van Winkle who had attended UCLA during the Robinson-Washington era, knowing nothing of Jackie's unique contribution to American culture, would be amazed to awaken today and see Robinson's statue in front of the campus baseball stadium that bears his name. "Why didn't they honor Kenny?" he would ask.

Ironically, there are those who say that Washington would have been a very logical choice for the man to break baseball's color barrier. He hit .454 on the Bruin baseball team. But the NFL beat baseball to it. He signed with the L.A. Rams upon mustering out of the service in 1946.

Even with all the reservations that have been expressed about the moody kid from Pasadena, no observer has ever passed up the opportunity to point out that here was an athlete totally focused on winning. Individual achievement meant nothing to him except as it contributed to team victory. This has been repeated about him over and ever since his canonization as MLB's first black player. As one reads about the less-than-popular-super jock who put UCLA on the sports map just before WWII, it is important to remember that key element of his personality never changed.

Interracial dating is not that big a deal today, although it will still turn some heads. During Jackie's collegiate days it was a big deal. Rumor had it that he had an eye for the white ladies. Rumor, as often is the case, was wrong. For all his hell-raising as the leader of the Pepper Street gang, Jackie was shy and diffident with the opposite sex. Although pursued by both black and white women at UCLA, he confined himself to an occasional black coed.

With two years of junior college behind him, Jackie's second year at UCLA was also his last. He was but one of many stars on the 1939 team, but in 1940 he was the only star. They were 1-10 compared to the undefeated squad of the previous year. But several of the 10 losses were close simply because Jackie made them so. He took over the departed Washington's passing chores, played great defense and led the nation in punt returns.

Basketball was more of the same. Robinson and a cast of guys named Joe. As in football, Jackie's brilliance kept the Bruins in games they would have otherwise lost by large margins. And sometimes he even gave them a victory.

His greatest win was not on an athletic field, however. During the 1940-41 academic year he met Rachel Isum, a freshman at UCLA. She was to become Mrs. Jackie Robinson, the mother of his three children and today the keeper of the flame. If you are looking for some kind of a saint in this story, don't look to Jackie. He would be the first to nominate Rachel.

When basketball season ended, so did training table meals. Spring sports athletes did not get this perk. For Jackie the one good meal a day had been important. Never a serious student, he saw little point in sticking out the remaining weeks until graduation. Another baseball season? What was the point? It was his weakest sport. Against his mother's wishes, he decided to quit school and look for a job.

In today's market he would have been a Deion Sanders. In 1941 he felt lucky to land a job with the National Youth Administration, one of many New Deal programs of the day. For the first time in his life he left home. He was assigned to a camp in Atascadero, about 200 miles north of L.A. His job there was to play on the camp baseball team, which played against other agency semipro teams of the area for the entertainment of the campers. Between games he would work with youth groups.

It turned out the NYA was on its last legs. Jackie, who had looked forward to a steady if modest paycheck soon found there were no paychecks at all. When he quit UCLA, he was referred to in the newspapers as "one of the greatest athletes ever." Now he was unemployed. But even in those pre-megabuck days, exceptional athletic talent could be a meal ticket. He was invited to play in the College All Star Game against the Chicago Bears. A good showing got him a contract not in the NFL, which was as segregated as baseball at the time, but with the L.A. Bulldogs, a pro team a notch below the NFL.

Several months ago I interviewed Mickey Colmer, generally regarded as the athlete of the century in the South Bay area of Los Angeles. "Did you ever play with Jackie Robinson?" I asked him. He told me that he not only played with him on that L.A. Bulldog team, he and Jackie became close friends, "He used to come down to the beach and we would surf together." Jackie Robinson surfing? "Hey, he was good!" Of course he was. Should we have expected otherwise? Not bad timing, either. The Bulldog franchise was soon moved to Honolulu.

The team, now known as the Bears, ended its season in early December, and by December fifth Jackie was on the SS Lurline bound for the mainland. Two days out of Honolulu the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.

Pro basketball, then in its infancy, had a number of barnstorming teams, and Robinson signed with one called the Los Angeles Red Devils. By now the country was at war, and his draft status was in question. He was his mother's primary, if not sole, support, and an old ankle injury from football cast a shadow on his ability to pass an army physical. But he did not want to bear the stigma of the super athlete too physically impaired to serve his country. He determined that if the draft called, he would answer.

In March, 1942 it did. On April 3 he was inducted into the army. What he didn't know was that his biggest battle was five years away.

An Encounter With The Great Satchel Paige
by Wally Berger and George Snyder

The Philadelphia Colored Giants came out to LA to live for the winter. It was like barnstorming. They’d pick up extra money. They had a terrific team. A number of them could have played in the big leagues, but no one was scouting or hiring black ball players. Organized Baseball "drew the color line." That was the expression. There were no black players in the major leagues until after World War II when the Brooklyn Dodgers signed Jackie Robinson.

One of their great players was Mule Suttles. He was called the black Babe Ruth. He was a giant of a man standing about 6’4" and weighing probably 220 or 230 pounds. In one winter season of no more than fifteen or sixteen games, he hit thirteen home runs. And he hit them like Ruth-high and far.

At short they had a very good player named Willie Wells. He had played with the St. Louis black club. Rap Dixon, a right fielder, had an arm that would put most outfielders of today to shame. He threw line drives to the plate. Their catcher, Biz Mackey, had a big grin like Gabby Hartnett, and he reminded me of Hartnett. He was a fair hitter, a good receiver and he had a good arm. Foster, a good pitcher and a good man, I remember especially because he came to see me at the club house in Chicago when we were playing the Cubs.

There were a number of others who were good, but whose names I can’t remember. That was over fifty years ago.

In 1934 I played in another game against the Royal Giants with the Dizzy Dean All Stars. The great Satchel Paige pitched for the Giants; Dizzy for the All Stars. The game was played at [LA's] Wrigley Field before a crowd of 18,000.

Paige could fire the ball. He and Dean were about the same size, and they both pitched the same way with about the same speed - about 95 MPH. I saved the clipping on that game because I got the only hits off Satchel - a double and a triple. I was real proud. I’d hit a famous pitcher, teed off on the ball. The reason I got a double and a triple off him was that I thought he might have a curve ball. So I looked for the curve. I wasn’t going to try to kill the ball. So I cut down on my swing and waited to see how he was going to pitch me.

First he pitched me high, then he raised it, then he brought it down. No curves. He finally got one down a little too low and I hit it off the center field fence. When I hit the double, he followed me around for a second, looked at me and said, "How’d you hit that one?" I got a kick out of that. Satchel went back to the mound and struck out the next three batters in the order, Camilli, Demaree and Lillard. In the fourth inning I got a triple and he did the same thing. He followed me with his eyes to third. He struck out seven in four innings, and then left the game to save his arm for a game against the White Kings on Sunday, or so the reporters said.

Dizzy Dean struck out seven in seven innings and left the game with the score 3-2 in favor of the All Stars. The All Stars won in the ninth 5-4, getting a run off Chet Brewer. He was the pitcher for the Royal Giants the day I hit three home runs and got into trouble with Judge Landis.

[Editor's Note: Wally Berger is one of the overlooked stars from the 1930s. His rookie home run mark stood until it was tied by Frank Robinson in 1956, and then broken by Mark McGwire in 1987.]

Ted "Double Duty" Radcliffe: 36 Years of Pitching & Catching in Baseball's Negro Leagues

A Book Review by James Floto

Double Duty Radcliffe's 36 year pro baseball career commenced with the semi-pro, strictly segregated Illinois Giants in 1920 and concluded with fully integrated, semipro tournaments in Canada in the mid-'50s. In between, be played with some of the greatest Negro League assemblages, including the Homestead Grays, Pittsburgh Crawfords, and Kansas City Monarchs.

Born in Mobile, in 1902 he grew up playing ragball (for lack of cash, they would tape up a rag) with Satchel Paige. Ted and his brother Alec (who figures prominently in the story) hitchhiked north in their teens, and in 1920 Radcliffe signed on with the Illinois Giants. He played there until he landed his first job in the Negro National League in 1928, with the Detroit Stars.

By 1932, Radcliffe was playing for the legendary Crawfords, a club that had future Hall of Famers Paige, Josh Gibson, and Oscar Charleston, as well as stars like Radcliffe and Jimmy Crutchfield. Damon Runyon, the famed New York journalist, attended a Crawford's double header, one in which Radcliffe caught the first game and pitched the second one. Thus, Runyon dubbed him Double Duty, "a player worth the price of two admissions".

Duty put on such a show that he may have been worth the admissions, for he kept fans and players loose with his humor and spirit. Still, he was all business when it came time to come up with the clutch hit or block some so-and-so sliding into the plate with his spikes high. His gnarled old fingers are splayed from being smashed and broken, yet he had to play, for there was always another hungry ballplayer eager to take his place.

Kyle McNary, author and publisher of this volume, became interested in the Negro Leagues early in the '90s and read everything he could get his hands on. One article discussed Satchel's season with a top semipro club in Bismark, ND, in 1935, a team that included Quincy Trouppe, Hilton Smith - and Radcliffe, who was (and is) still alive. McNary got Radcliffe's address, wrote a letter and (to his amazement) Duty not only responded, but also suggested that they do a book on his life.

It is a joy to read. Kyle weaves the lively narrative, with Duty's spicy comments interspersed. As McNary says, with obvious reverence, "He loved to tell old baseball stories, but he wasn't living in the past. He was obviously well-read, with a great understanding of most subjects."

Radcliffe played with and against virtually all the outstanding Negro Leaguers, and knew the great black entertainers of the day. Many black singers, like Louis Armstrong and Cab Calloway owned black clubs, and in the hermetic world of black American life in those days, the ballplayers and entertainers hung out at the same clubs and stayed at the same hotels. In a career that took him all over the U.S., as well as Canada, and Latin America, Duty says his best friend was promoter Abe Saperstein, of Globetrotter fame, who arranged baseball games and was one of the few promoters, black or white, who could always be trusted.

It's a roller coaster of a book, with Duty's called shot homer, his career as manager (he was hard, but fair), love of travel, readiness to leave when the money looked better, his love of the ladies, his longevity (he didn't drink), his love of the game and life.

Like all raconteurs, Double Duty is not beyond embroidering a story and occasionally, young McNary is taken in, as when Radcliffe claims he saw Castro at the ball park, cigar in hand, when he played Cuban winter ball in 1940. Castro "got communist and started rampaging...We had to get out of there in '41 when the Communists were coming in." They actually came in during 1959, Castro took to the hills in '56-and was 14 years old in 1940. So, while the book suffers here and there from lack of scholarship (including some horrendous mathematical errors when McNary pointlessly tries to extrapolate Radcliffe's stats over an entire major league season), the story is well told. Discount part of what Double Duty says as exaggeration and you still have a hell of a book.

Radcliffe is an amazing character, who entertained, was an All Star pitcher and catcher, manager of championship teams, a scout, and a legend who likely belongs in the Hall of Fame, a few plaques down from another star of the 1930's who could pitch (but not catch) and tell tall tales into the night, the equally loveable Dizzy Dean.

With the addition of Willie Mays and a miracle at the end of the season, the Giants won the pennant in 1951. Due to an injury to Don Muller, Hank Thompson started in right field. Thompson, Mays and Irvin made up the first all-black outfield in the World Series. Meanwhile, Giants owner Horace Stoneham was doing business with his friend Alex Pompez. Pompez was at one time the Numbers King of Harlem, but by the 40's had "gone legit" and concentrated on his New York Cubans. Pompez could see the writing on the wall, and realized that the Negro Leagues had seen their best days. He arranged for his Cubans to be a farm club for the Giants, a relationship unique in the annals of Negro League baseball. Stoneham also tapped into Pompez's knowledge of the Caribbean, and was able to sign many Latin players such as Orlando Cepeda through Pompez. However, the Giants' record is not perfect. In 1949 they also signed Ray Dandridge, perhaps the greatest third baseman ever produced the Negro Leagues. He was sent to the Minneapolis farm team. Despite brilliant play and many many honors, the Giants refused to call up Dandridge. In addition to an unwritten quota on the number of African-Americans on the major league roster, it was felt that Dandridge was the main gate attraction in Minneapolis. He never played a game in the majors, but was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1987.

While African-Americans proved themselves on the field, they were not given many chances to prove themselves on the bench. This was changed in 1975 when Frank Robinson was named manager of the Cleveland Indians. He became manager of the San Francisco Giants in 1981, won manager of the year in 1982, and was fired in 1984. In 1993 Dusty Baker became the Giant's second African-American manager was later replaced by Felipe Alou, another man of African descent.