Negro Leagues
Negro Leagues
1860 through 1960

The Negro Leagues



Posted July 2022

Negro Leagues The Negro Leagues
The Negro Leagues 1920-1945
In 1920, an organized league structure was formed from a grouping of independent black baseball team owners and members of the black press. In a meeting held at the Paseo YMCA in Kansas City, Missouri, owners created a governing body and established the Negro National League. Andrew "Rube" Foster - a former player, manager, and owner of the Chicago American Giants, was tapped to be the league's president.

Rival leagues soon formed in Eastern and Southern states, bringing the thrills and innovative play of black baseball to major urban centers and rural countrysides in the US, Canada, and Latin America. The leagues maintained a high level of professional skill and became centerpieces for economic development in many black communities.

Negro Leagues Saint Louis Stars
Saint Louis Stars
Organized in 1909, the Stars, featuring greats suc has Willie Wells and James "Cool Papa" Bell, had their greatest seasons inthe lat 1020s.

Negro Leagues William Judy Johnson
William "Judy" Johnson
Judy Johnson was among the greatest infielders in the Negro Leagues. He played for a number of top caliber teams in the 1920s and 1930s, including Hilldale Homestead Grays, and Pittsburgh Crawfords.

Negro Leagues Detroit Stars
Detroit Stars
The Detroit Stars were charter members of the Negro National League in 1920 and featured stars Andy Cooper and Pete Hill.

Negro Leagues Detroit Stars

Negro Leagues Philadelphia Royal Giants
Philadelphia Royal Giants
This talented exhibition team was organized to tour California, Hawaii, and Japan. Here, team members pose after winning a competition in Hawaii.

Negro Leagues Willie Foster
William "Willie" Foster
Foster was a dominant left handed pitcher for the Chicago American Giants in the 1920s. He was also the half brother of Rube Foster.

Negro Leagues Homestead Grays
Homestead Grays
The Grays played in Homestead, PA, a suburb of Pittsburgh. Owner Cumberland Posey organized a well-respected team that included hitting star Josh Gibson.

Negro Leagues Buck Leonard
Buck Leonard
Leonard was the leader of the Homestead Grays powerhouse team of the 1930s and 1940s. His steady play at first base helped the team win several championships.

Negro Leagues Pittsburgh Crawfords
Pittsburgh Crawfords
Hand-picked by owner Gus Greenlee, this was, one of the Negro Leagues' most talented teams. It included five future Hall-of-Famers: Oscar Charleston, Judy Johnson Cool-Papa-Bell, Josh Gibson, and Satchel Paige.

Negro Leagues Pittsburgh Crawfords

Negro Leagues Ray Dandridge
Ray Dandridge
Dandridge was a star third baseman for the Negro Leagues and Latin Leagues. One of the best players for the Newark Eagles in the 1930s and 1940s, he also excelled in minor league baseball, but never got the chance to play in the Major Leagues.

Negro Leagues Memphis Red Sox
Memphis Red Sox
The Red Sox were a popular attraction in Memphis from 1923 through to 1950. They were owned by the Martin brothers, who built a stadium for the team.

Negro Leagues Memphis Red Sox

Negro Leagues Leon Day
Leon Day
Although he played many positions, Leon Day was the ace of the Newark Eagles pitching staff in the 1940s. He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1995.

Negro Leagues Washington Homestead Grays
Washington Homestead Grays
After relocating to Washington DC, the Grays began a very successful run of league championships, earning nine consecutive pennants from 1937-1945.

Negro Leagues Washington Homestead Grays

Negro Leagues Atlanta Black Crackers
Atlanta Black Crackers
The Black Crackers excelled in the Negro Southern Leagues in 1938, The White minor league team in Atlanta was called the "Crackers," so the black team called themselves the "Black Crackers."

Negro Leagues East All Stars
East All Stars
The East-West All-Star Classic was the highlight of most baseball seasons in the Negro Leaques. Beginning in 1933, fans flocked to Chicago's Comiskey Park to see the best players in black baseball. Fifty thousand fans would pack the stadium in most summers. Below is the powerful East team from the 1939 game, featuring Josh Gibson and Buck Leonard among others.

Negro Leagues East All Stars

Negro Leagues Leroy Satchel Paige
Leroy "Satchel" Paige
Paige is arguably the most famous Negro Leagues player in the Negro Leagues, having established a 20+ year career as the league's premier pitcher and personality. A perennial All-Star, Paige would eventually join the Major Leagues in the 1940s, well past the age of 40.

Negro Leagues Kansas City Monarchs 1945
Kansas City Monarchs 1924
The first Colored World Series pitted the Negro National League Champion Kansas City Monarchs and the Easter Colored League Champion Hillsdale Club of Pennsylvania. The Monarch's prevailed five games to four.

Negro Leagues Kansas City Monarchs 1930
  • 1924 Kansas City Monarchs:
    The first Colored World Series pitted the Negro National League Champion Kansas City Monarchs and the Easter Colored League Champion Hillsdale Club of Pennsylvania. The Monarchs prevailed five games to four.

Negro League Kansas City Monarchs 1930
  • Monarchs Manager:
    Frank Duncan stands next to the Monarch's Bus while on the road. Bus travel was the norm in the Negro Leagues and teams that had access to their own bus were the most successful at getting games, increasing popularity, and sustaining income.
  • Monarch Lighting Truck:
    A portable lighting system to illuminate night games, developed by Kansas City Monarch's owner JL Wilkinson, debuted in 1930, five years before the first official Major League Baseball night game.

Negro Leagues Newark Eagles
Newark Eagles
Led by owners Abe and Effa Manley, the Eagles were one of the best teams of the Negro Leagues in the 1940s. The team featured future Hall of Fame players Monte Irvin, Larry Doby, Leon Day, and Ray Dandridge.

Indianapolis Clowns
The Indianapolis Clowns were a popular attraction during the 1930s, but despite their clowning ways they were a legitimate ball club. The Clowns joined the Negro American League in 1943.