Negro Leagues DB Update: 1908 & 1909 Negro Leagues
The 1908 season saw the emergence of a national scene in black professional baseball. Two important eastern teams, the Philadelphia Giants and the Cuban Giants of New York, made trips to the Midwest, their most notable opponent being Rube Foster‘s new powerhouse, the Chicago Leland Giants. The Cuban Stars of Havana spent significant time in both the Midwest and the East. And for the second consecutive year the San Antonio Black Bronchos of the Texas Colored League hosted C. I. Taylor‘s Birmingham Giants in a series for the “Negro Championship of the South,” while several hundred miles north the St. Paul Gophers and Minneapolis Keystones fought it out for supremacy in the Twin Cities.
Along with 1908, we’ve added the 1909 Negro leagues season to the DB. The Leland Giants lost three important series that year—first to the St. Paul Gophers, who beat the Lelands 3 games to 2 in Minnesota in late July; then a month later the Kansas City (Ks.) Giants topped the Lelands 2 games to 1 in Kansas City; and finally in October the Chicago Cubs swept Foster’s team in three closely-contested games, the feature being Joe Green‘s unsuccessful attempt to score after breaking his leg sliding into third. Both the Gophers and the K.C. Giants subsequently claimed the championship of black baseball, claims that were vigorously disputed by Rube Foster.
Credit for our coverage of the Kansas City Giants goes to Patrick Rock, who thoroughly researched their 1909 games in Kansas City. And of course Todd Peterson remains the expert on black baseball in Minneapolis and St. Paul.
In coming months we’ll be adding the Negro leagues 1903 to 1907, more Cuban League seasons from the 1900s and 1910s, and the 1923 Eastern Colored League.