The Cuban X-Giants were a professional Negro league baseball team that played from 1896 to 1906. Originally most of the players were former Cuban Giants, or ex-Giants. Like the Cuban Giants, the original players were not Cuban. In 1897 the X-Giants beat the Cuban Giants in a series 2 games to 1. With Frank Grant joining in 1898, the club continued to establish themselves as the new powerhouse in the east.
The Detroit Stars were an American baseball team in the Negro leagues and played at historic Mack Park. The Stars had winning seasons every year except two, but were never able to secure any championships. Among their best players was Baseball Hall of Famer Turkey Stearnes. Founded in 1919, the Detroit Stars immediately established themselves as one of the most powerful teams in the West.
The Detroit Wolves were a Negro league baseball club that played for the 1932 season only. In 1931 the Negro National League collapsed. It reformed in 1933, but in the interim Detroit was left without a Negro league team, as the Detroit Stars had been members of the NNL. In 1932, the city placed the Wolves in the new East-West League. They played in Hamtramck Stadium, where the Stars had played.
The team was owned by Cum Posey, who also owned the Homestead Grays and shuffled players between the two teams. Posey was the founder of the East-West League.
The Washington Black Senators were a Negro league baseball team based in Washington, DC. When the Washington Elite Giants moved to Baltimore, MD in 1938, the gap was filled in by the Black Senators. They were just 2–13 in the Negro National League. Managed by Ben Taylor, the club had two .300 hitters – 3B Henry Spearman (.340) and OF Buddy Burbage (.313).
The Washington Pilots were a Negro league baseball team in the East-West League, based in Washington, D.C., in 1932.
Baseball Hall of Famer Mule Suttles played for Washington in 1932. The Pilots became an independent team in 1934.
All Nations was a barnstorming professional baseball team that toured the Midwest from 1912 to 1918, and again in 1920 and 1921, and from 1923 to 1925. It derived its name from the fact that its team included players of several nationalities, including blacks and whites, Indians, Hawaiians, Japanese and Latin Americans. The team was founded by the Hopkins Brothers sporting goods stores. One day, however, the team’s manager absconded with the daily gate proceeds. J. L. Wilkinson, who played for the team, replaced him as manager, later becoming owner as well. The team was based out of Kansas City and Des Moines.
The Brooklyn Bushwicks were an independent, semi-professional baseball team that played its games almost totally in Dexter Park in Queens from 1913 to 1951. They were unique at their time for fielding multi-ethnic rosters. They played what amounts to exhibition games against barnstorming Negro league teams, minor league baseball teams, and other semi-pro teams. The Bushwicks were owned by Max Rosner, who hired many former major league players to play on his club, including Dazzy Vance and others. The Bushwicks played in the Serie Interamericana from 1946 to 1950, winning the tournament 4 times.
The House of David (formally The Israelite House of David) is a communal religious society co-founded by Benjamin and Mary Purnell in Benton Harbor, Michigan, in March 1903. Purnell was a sports enthusiast and encouraged the members of the Israelite Community to play sports, especially baseball, in order to build physical and spiritual discipline.
In 1913, the Israelite House of David began to play competitive baseball, eventually
becoming famous as a barnstorming baseball team which toured rural America from the 1920s through the 1950s, playing amateur and semi-pro teams in exhibition games. They were motivated by the need to make money for their families and colony back home and by the opportunity to share their beliefs. The team members wore long hair and beards as they played.
The Lincoln Giants were a Negro league baseball team based in New York City from 1911 through 1930. the Lincoln Giants were founded as the first colored professional team in the west.
With their powerful lineup, the Lincolns were the dominant team in African-American baseball in 1911, 1912 and 1913, winning the unofficial eastern championship each of those years. In 1913, with second baseman Grant Johnson joining the club, the Lincolns defeated Rube Foster’s Chicago American Giants for the national black championship.
The St. Paul Colored Gophers was a small club of black baseball players formed in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1907. They were not a formal Negro league team, as the commonly referred-to “Negro leagues” were not created until 1920. However, like other barnstorming teams of the time, they put considerable pressure on the desegregation of baseball.
The club lasted several seasons, also playing under the name Twin City Gophers and Minneapolis Gophers. In 1909, the Colored Gophers defeated what was considered to be the most powerful Negro baseball team, the Leland Giants.
The White Elephants were the longest lasting African-American semi-pro team in Denver from 1915-1935. The team – one of the best in Colorado – was sponsored by a businessman named A.H.W. Ross, who ran The Rossonian hotel in Denver’s historically black Five Points neighborhood. The White Elephants played mainly against white teams – something very unusual elsewhere in the U.S.
The Atlanta Black Crackers (originally known as the Atlanta Cubs and later briefly the Indianapolis ABCs) were a professional Negro league baseball team which played during the early-to-mid-20th century. They were primarily a minor Negro league team; however in the brief period they played as a major Negro league team, they won the second half of the 1938 split-season but lost the play-off for the Pennant.
The Baltimore Black Sox were a professional Negro league baseball team active between 1913 and 1936, based in Baltimore, Maryland.
The Black Sox started as an independent team in 1913 by Howard Young. They were one of the original six teams to make up the Eastern Colored League in 1923.
The Baltimore Elite Giants were a professional baseball team that played in the Negro leagues from 1920 to 1950. The team was established by Thomas T. Wilson, in Nashville, Tennessee as the semi-pro Nashville Standard Giants on March 26, 1920. The team was renamed the Elite Giants in 1921, and moved to Baltimore, Maryland in 1938, where the team remained for the duration of their existence.
The Birmingham Black Barons played professional baseball in Birmingham, Alabama in the Negro leagues from 1920 to 1960. They alternated home stands with the Birmingham Barons in Birmingham’s Rickwood Field, usually drawing larger crowds and equal press.
The Brooklyn Royal Giants were a professional Negro league baseball team based in Brooklyn, New York. Formed in 1905 by John Wilson Connor, owner of the Brooklyn Royal Cafe, the team initially played against white semi-pro teams. They were one of the prominent independent teams prior to World War I before organized league play began.
The Chicago American Giants were a Chicago-based Negro league baseball team. From 1910 until the mid-1930s, the American Giants were the most dominant team in black baseball. Owned and managed from 1911 to 1926 by player-manager Andrew “Rube” Foster, they were charter members of Foster’s Negro National League. The American Giants won five pennants in that league, along with another pennant in the 1932 Negro Southern League and a second-half championship in Gus Greenlee’s Negro National League in 1934.
The Cleveland Buckeyes were a Negro league baseball team that played from 1942 to 1950 in the Negro American League. The Buckeyes played in two Negro World Series, defeating the Washington Homestead Grays in 1945, and losing to the New York Cubans in 1947. They were based in Cincinnati for their first season and Louisville for their second-to-last season.
While in Cleveland, the team achieved great success, including winning a pair of Negro American League championships (1945, 1947) and a Negro League World Series title in 1945.
The Hilldale Athletic Club (informally known as Darby Daisies) were an American professional Negro league baseball team based in Darby, Pennsylvania, west of Philadelphia.
Established as a boys team in 1910, the Hilldales were developed by their early manager, then owner Ed Bolden to be one of the powerhouse Negro league baseball teams. They won the first three Eastern Colored League pennants beginning in 1923 and in 1925 won the second Colored World Series. Hall of Fame player Judy Johnson was a Hilldale regular for most its professional era with 12 seasons in 15 years.
The Homestead Grays (also known as Washington Grays or Washington Homestead Grays) were a professional baseball team that played in the Negro leagues.
The team was formed in 1912 by Cumberland Posey, and remained in continuous operation for 38 seasons. The team was originally based in Homestead, Pennsylvania, adjacent to Pittsburgh. By the 1920s, with increasing popularity in the Pittsburgh region, the team retained the name “Homestead” but crossed the Monongahela River to play all home games in Pittsburgh, at the Pittsburgh Pirates’ home Forbes Field and the Pittsburgh Crawfords’ home Greenlee Field.
From 1940 until 1942, the Grays played half of their home games in Washington, D.C., while remaining in Pittsburgh for all other home stands. As attendance at their games in the nation’s capital grew, by 1943, the Grays were playing more than two-thirds of their home games in Washington.
The Indianapolis Clowns were a professional baseball team in the Negro American League. Tracing their origins back to the 1930s, the Clowns were the last of the Negro league teams to disband, continuing to play exhibition games into the 1980s. They began play as the independent Ethiopian Clowns, joined the Negro American League as the Cincinnati Clowns and, after a couple of years, relocated to Indianapolis. Hank Aaron was a Clown for a short period, and the Clowns were also one of the first professional baseball teams to hire a female player.
The Jacksonville Red Caps were a Negro league baseball team based primarily in Jacksonville, Florida. They played the Negro American League from 1938 until 1942.
The team was based in Jacksonville, Florida playing at Durkee Field in 1938. They moved to Cleveland in 1939 and became the Cleveland Bears, playing their home games at Hardware Field. They returned to Jacksonville as the Red Caps in 1941 for two seasons, dropping out of the NAL in July 1942. After the war, the Red Caps apparently continued as an unaffiliated Negro league team playing at Durkee Field.
The Kansas City Monarchs were the longest-running franchise in the history of baseball’s Negro leagues. Operating in Kansas City, Missouri and owned by J. L. Wilkinson, they were charter members of the Negro National League from 1920 to 1930. J. L. Wilkinson was the first Caucasian owner at the time of the establishment of the team. In 1930, the Monarchs became the first professional baseball team to use a portable lighting system which was transported from game to game in trucks to play games at night, five years before any major league team did. The Monarchs won ten league championships before integration, and triumphed in the first Negro League World Series in 1924. The Monarchs had only one season in which they did not have a winning record. The team produced more major league players than any other Negro league franchise.
The Memphis Red Sox were an American Negro league baseball team that was active from 1920 to 1959. Originally named the Barber College Baseball Club, the team was initially owned and operated by Arthur P. Martin, a local Memphis barber. In the late 1920s the Martin brothers, all three Memphis doctors and businessmen, purchased the Red Sox. J. B. Martin, W. S. Martin, and B. B. Martin, would retain control of the club till its dissolution in 1959. The Red Sox played as members, at various times, of the Negro Southern League, Negro National League, and Negro American League. The team was never a titan of the Negro leagues like wealthier teams in northern cities of the United States, but sound management lead to a continuous thirty-nine years of operation, a span that was exceeded by very few other teams. Following integration the team had five players that would eventually make the rosters of Major League Baseball teams and two players that were inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
The New Orleans Black Pelicans were a minor Negro League baseball team that played in the Negro Southern League. They were formed in 1926 to replace the New Orleans Ads in the league. They joined the Texas-Louisiana Negro League in 1930, and by 1935 they were an independent club. When the second Negro Southern League formed in 1945, the Black Pelicans were charter members, but did not affiliate with the league again until 1950. Their ace was Robert Pipkin who was also known as the Black Diamond.
The New York Black Yankees were a professional Negro league baseball team based in New York City; Paterson, New Jersey; and Rochester, New York, that played in the Negro National League from 1936 to 1948. The Black Yankees played in Paterson, New Jersey, from 1933 to 1937 and then from 1939 to 1945. The 1938 season saw the Black Yankees play at New York’s Triborough Stadium. Paterson’s strong fan support returned the Black Yankees to Paterson’s Hinchliffe Stadium.
The team was founded in Harlem as the Harlem Black Bombers in 1931 by financier James “Soldier Boy” Semler and dancer Bill “Bojangles” Robinson. By 1932 the team was named the Harlem Stars and by 1933 became the New York Black Yankees.
The New York Cubans were a Negro league baseball team that played during the 1930s and from 1939 to 1950. Despite playing in the Negro leagues, the team occasionally employed white-skinned Hispanic baseball players as well, because Hispanics in general were largely ignored by the major league baseball teams before Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball.
With a team that included such notables as Luis Tiant, Sr., Minnie Miñoso and Martín Dihigo, the New York Cubans won their only Negro League World Series title in 1947, defeating the Cleveland Buckeyes.
The Newark Eagles were a professional Negro league baseball team which played in the Negro National League from 1936 to 1948. They were owned by Abe and Effa Manley.
When team management was left to Effa, it made the Eagles the second professional baseball team owned and operated by a woman.
Under Effa Manley’s guidance, the 1946 team won the Negro World Series, upsetting the Kansas City Monarchs in a 7-game series.
The Philadelphia Stars were a Negro league baseball team from Philadelphia. The Stars were an independent ball club in 1933, a member of the Negro National League from 1934 until the League’s collapse following the 1948 season, and affiliated with the Negro American League from 1949 to 1952.
In 1934, led by 20-year-old left-hander Slim Jones, the Stars defeated the Chicago American Giants in a controversial playoff series, four games to three, for the Negro National League pennant. At their high point in mid-1930s, the team starred such greats as Biz Mackey, Jud Wilson, and Dick Lundy.
The Pittsburgh Crawfords, popularly known as the Craws, were a professional Negro league baseball team based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 1931 Gus Greenlee, an African-American businessman in Pittsburgh, bought the Crawfords. In 1933 he founded what is known as the second Negro National League, and built Greenlee Field as a ball park for his team. During the mid-1930s, the Crawfords were one of the strongest Negro league teams ever assembled.
The St. Louis Stars, originally the St. Louis Giants, were a Negro league baseball team that competed independently from as early as 1906 to 1919, and then joined the Negro National League (NNL) for the duration of their existence. They built one of the great dynasties in Negro league history, winning three pennants in four years from 1928 to 1931.