Phil Reid was not only a prominent member of St. Paul’s Black community, he was also an entrepreneur with strong ties to Rube Foster and others in Chicago.
Thru Foster's friendship, Reid got the idea to start his on baseball team - the St. Paul Gophers. The Gophers were one of the top teams, and in 1907 won 90 games out of 106 total played that year. They would follow that up with another 97 wins the next year.
The Gophers would field players such as Johnny Taylor, Candy Jim Taylor, Julius London, and Bobby Marshall. They would win the 1909 Black World Series over Rube Foster’s Chicago Leland Giants, three games to two.
Being a dominant team with the ability to travel, they would return to surrounding communities to watch them play. These barnstorming visits would expose those communities to the cultural differences of players of color, helping to establish a better understanding that went far beyond baseball.