Negro Leagues Memorabilia

Negro Leagues Memorabilia

Many of you may know that the Negro League was established on February 13, 1920, at a YMCA in Kansas City, Missouri. Andrew “Rube” Foster, the man who organized the league, served as its president.

Allstars

Foster was known as “the father of Black baseball.” This first league was known as the Negro National League with member teams in the South and Midwest. The NNL operated successfully until 1931. With the help of Edward Bolden as it chair, on December 16, 1923 the Eastern Colored League was formed and in 1924 the very first Negro World Series was played between the ECL and the NNL champions. The ECL collapsed in the spring of 1928 but the member teams reemerged in 1929 as the American Negro League.

The depression brought difficult times for Black baseball. In 1932, the East-West League was formed, but folded before the season ended. The Negro Southern League was the only Black professional league to survive the 1932 season. The NSL was a minor league before and after the 1932 season.

Negro Leagues

In 1933, the Negro National League was formed again. This was the only Black professional league operating until 1937. The league included teams from the East and the Midwest through 1935. By 1936, the NNL was operating exclusively in the East. As in the white major leagues, the Negro Leagues had their own World Series. Over the years, eleven inter-league Black World Series were held. The NNL and ECL played from 1924 through 1927. Champions from the second NNL and the NAL competed from 1942 through 1948. Also in 1933, the Black teams began all-star game competition. The game was known as the East-West game and was played each summer at Chicago’s Comiskey Park. This game was considered more important than the World Series and annually attracted between 20,000 and 50,000 fans.

Below is a map of some of the most prominent Negro League teams and the states that they represented.
Map

female starsWhat wasn’t uncommon about baseball then was women took part in Negro League baseball, among them Toni Stone, Mamie Johnson and Connie Morgan. Stone played from 1949 until 1955 with such outfits as the New Orleans Creoles and the Indianapolis Clowns. Johnson (nicknamed “Peanut”) was the first woman to pitch in the Negro Leagues, and built an impressive record of 38 wins and only 8 losses for her career. Morgan started in an all-women’s league (where she had a .368 batting average) before joining the Clowns in 1954.

 

 

 

 

 

The Museum of Uncut Funk celebrates the players and history of the Negro Leagues.The Museum Of UnCut Funk Collection includes a complete set of original pins from the Negro Leagues. Below are a few pins from the collection.

Tennessee rats
Tennessee Rats

royal brooklyn giants
Royal Brooklyn Giants

ny cuban stars
NY Cuban Stars

KC Monarchs
KC Monarchs

KC Monarchs 2

KC Monarchs

harlem stars

Harlem Stars

ethiopian clowns

Ethiopian Clowns

Sources: Negro Leagues Ball Players Association, Black Baseball and The Negro League Museum

Negro League Map – Bill Turianski, www.billsportsmaps.com

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  1. Ron Knuppel
    March 2, 2016 at 6:08 pm

    I ran across your website and thought I would share with you I have a very unusual item that I acquired about 12 years ago from a well known baseball equipment dealer.

    The item is a baseball that was used in a game played on July 24th, 1871 between the Quicksteps and DeAfriques. After acquiring the ball, I spent sometime doing some
    research and was fortunate to find a microfiche newspaper article from the game from Bethlehem, PA library – the town where the game was played. According to the experts,
    the ball seems to be the earliest Negro baseball item every found. The ball will be auctioned in an upcoming auction in April. I can send you a copy of the catalog if you would like to follow the
    auction or I can provide more information if this is something that may be of interest to you or someone that you might know.
    I will be more than happy to email a picture of the ball and microfiche article.
    Take care!
    Ron Knuppel

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