December 12, 2019

Negro Leagues DB Update: 1931 NNL + 1922 Eastern Independent Teams

July 21, 2019 by · 2 Comments 

We’re happy to announce the latest update to the Seamheads Negro Leagues DB, one of the largest updates we’ve ever made. It includes:

1) The 1931 Negro National League (plus inter-regional games between NNL and eastern independent teams). This was the last year of the original NNL. Its death knell sounded when the Kansas City Monarchs decided they would drop out of the league. Having pioneered night baseball with a portable light system in 1930, owner J. L. Wilkinson decided that taking his team (and lights) on the road for long stretches of the season would be more profitable than playing weekday league games. Another longtime powerhouse, the Chicago American Giants, also dropped out (though they were replaced midseason by Dave Malarcher’s Columbia Giants), leaving the defending champion St. Louis Stars as the dominant team in the league by a wide margin.

2) Greatly expanded coverage of eastern independent clubs in 1922, thanks to the hard work of Scott Simkus. The new teams include the Original Bacharach Giants, a Dick Lundy-led outfit split off from the Connor/Wilkins Bacharach Giants (which had moved to New York), as well as the unheralded Richmond Giants, managed by Bill Pettus. Although thought of as a second-tier team, Richmond more than held their own against established clubs, going 4-2 against Hilldale and 3-2-1 against the Lincoln Giants, and dominating the Baltimore Black Sox with an 11-4 record. One of Richmond’s star pitchers, Webster McDonald, later told John Holway: “We were mostly all rookies and we raised hell with the league, just like the Mets. We upset the apple cart.” (Voices from the Great Black Baseball Leagues, p. 75.) McDonald would eventually go on to a long career in the top tier of black professional baseball; two of his teammates, Rats Henderson and Charlie Mason, would become big stars in the Eastern Colored League, founded in 1923.

3) Two postseason black-white exhibition series: Hornsby’s Major League Stars vs. NNL All Stars in 1936, and the famous Bob Feller-Satchel Paige series of 1946.

4) Complete audits and overhauls of the 1935 and 1936 seasons, adding new games and statistical categories, as well as 1935 games between the Kansas City Monarchs and the national semipro champion Bismarck, North Dakota, club, a racially integrated team that starred Satchel Paige, Hilton Smith, and Quincy Trouppe, as well as the legendary white slugger Moose Johnson.

Many thanks to Larry Lester and Wayne Stivers for their help with this update.

Up next for the DB: the 1940 Mexican League, 1932 Negro Southern League, and the remaining NNL seasons (1926, 1927, 1929, and 1930).

The Original Bacharach Giants of 1922, managed by Dick Lundy (standing, far left). (Wilmington Morning News, May 17, 1922, p. 11.)

Comments

2 Responses to “Negro Leagues DB Update: 1931 NNL + 1922 Eastern Independent Teams”
  1. Caleb Hardwick says:

    Why was Fred Spearman removed from the 1936 Newark Eagles?

  2. Gary Ashwill says:

    Yeah, it should be Fred with the Eagles–will get that corrected. Thanks.

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