Negro League Baseball Museum; why history matters

Negro League Baseball Museum; why history matters

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Have you ever heard of the Negro Leagues? The NLBM is one of the associations of African American baseball teams active mainly in the 1920s and the late 1940s. This was when Black players were at last employed to play major and minor league baseball.

The principal Negro leagues were the Negro National League (1920–31, 1933–48), in addition to the Eastern Colored League (1923–28), and the Negro American League (1937–60). A "gentleman’s agreement" amongst the frontrunners of what was then named “Organized Baseball” (the major and minor leagues) created a color prohibition against Black players from the end of the 19th century till 1946. Even though these privileged hardly self-confessed their actuality.

This is why the Negro league baseball museum exists to keep this history alive. Let’s learn more!  

Early Negro leagues

There were two efforts to find leagues for Black teams in the initial years of the 20th century. The initial one was in 1906 when the International League of Independent Base Ball Clubs was created in the Philadelphia region. It had two white teams coupled with four Black.

The final game is set as rivals two Black teams against each other. And it enticed 10,000 fans to the ground of the Philadelphia (now Oakland) Athletics. The league ceased after its primary season.

The first sustainable Black league was shaped in 1920 under the management of Rube Foster, the Chicago American Giants manager. Foster had served as Negro baseball’s best pitcher in the initial years of the 20th century. And then became its most renowned manager and supporter. His whistle-stop American Giants were recognized all over the country through their wintertime tours to California and Florida. And they traveled big-league style in reserved train track cars.  

negro league baseball history

How popular were the Kansas City Monarchs?

So in style, Black Churches would change their Sunday service time back one hour so that fans could show up at the game. Supporters left the church, "Dressed to the Nines," and went straight to the ballpark to see their adored Monarchs play. In 2013, the NLBM grouped with a group of local Kansas City Royals baseball fans to re-form that spirit by donning their “Sunday Best” to see a Royals game. 

A fresh tradition, “Dressed to the Nines,” was created. The fashionable event is now balanced with the Royal's twelve-monthly “Salute to the Negro Leagues,”. And it has straightforwardly become the most up-to-the-minute day in baseball.  

Best Negro team

As wonderful as the Crawfords of the 1930s were, Pittsburgh had a better Negro League team! The Homestead Grays, led by Gibson, an over-the-top figure. The Grays set a personal best that has never been totaled by an expert team in any sport! They won nine successive league titles from 1937 to 1945.3, But the utmost Homestead Grays team wasn’t one of these nine!

Maximum historians of a previous generation would propose the 1927 New York Yankees as the ultimate team of all time. Later, peers might support the 1975 Cincinnati Reds. Among Negro League historians, one of the darlings (among numerous) is the 1931 Homestead Grays. 

In 2009, Kansas City baseball historian Phil S. Dixon printed a work in which he thoroughly investigated, collected, and organized every box score obtainable for the 1931 Grays. Rendering to Dixon’s research, they were done with a 143-29-2 record for a 0.828 winning normal. 

Gibson batted a projected 0.390 with a winning 40 home runs. Charleston batted an assessed 0.346 with 58 doubles, 19 home runs, and a predictable 26 triples. Third-baseman Jud Wilson batted a predictable 0.486, and outfielder (and later leader) Vic Harris batted a likely 0.403. Lefty Williams accomplished 23 games and was added to the 20-win club by George "Chippy” Britt, Willie Foster, and Smokey Joe Williams.  

Finest Negro players

1. Starting pitcher: Joe "Smokey" Williams

Satchel Paige might be the most popular Negro Leagues pitcher. But throughout a career that covered more than two decades, Williams had a career that matched any pitcher of his peer group, Black or white.

In a 1-0 win against the Kansas City Monarchs in 1930, Williams flung a one-hitter and struck out 27. In displays against white major league teams, the right-hander beat imminent Hall of Famers Walter Johnson, Grover Cleveland Alexander, Rube Marquart, and Waite Hoyt. Ty Cobb, one of the ultimate players in big-league antiquity, said Williams would have been an unquestionable 30-game winner had he participated in the majors.

In a 1952 census by the Pittsburgh Courier, one of the prominent Black newspapers in the USA, Williams was termed the best pitcher in Negro League history. In 1999, nearly 50 years after he died, Williams was added to the Hall of Fame.

2. Catcher: Josh Gibson

Gibson got into the Hall of Fame in 1972. He was called the “Black Babe Ruth.” He might have hit in excess of 800 home runs during a career regularly expended with the Homestead Grays and Pittsburgh Crawfords.

The tales that Gibson hit home runs that flew out of old Yankee Stadium are challenging to determine. Mickey Mantle, one of the best power hitters to exist, was barely missed in 1963. But there’s no uncertainty that Gibson had marvelous command.

Buck Leonard, his prior colleague, alleged that "Not one person hit the ball as distant as Gibson,”. “I didn't see the one he is known to have hit out of Yankee Stadium. But I saw him hit a ball one evening in the Polo Grounds that went amid the upper deck and lower deck and straight out of the stadium. Later the night guard came in and asked, 'Who hit the ball out there?' He said it went on the El. It must have flung at least 600 feet."  

negro league baseball history

The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum 

The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (NLBM) is the world’s only academy devoted to conserving and celebrating the rich antiquity of African-American baseball and its influence on the social progression of America. The confidentially funded organization was made in 1990 and is in the core of Kansas City, Missouri’s Historic 18th & Vine Jazz District. 

Looking for some relevant attire to visit? Check out the Negro leagues t-shirts available at ‘Team Brown Apparel’.

Shop our Negro League shirts today, or see our fan favorite teams for Black Yankees Jerseys, KC Monarchs Jerseys, or Pittsburgh Crawfords shirts.