To learn about our efforts to improve the accessibility and usability of our website, please visit our Accessibility Information page. Skip to section navigation or Skip to main content
Below is an advertisement.

History

Skip to main content
Negro Leagues Team Information
Below is an advertisement.

Negro Leagues Legacy

Negro Leagues Team Histories
By MLB.com

Atlanta Black Crackers | Baltimore Black Sox | Baltimore Elite Giants | Birmingham Black Barons
Brooklyn Royal Giants | Chicago American Giants | Cuban "X" Giants | Detroit Stars | Hilldale Daisies
Homestead Grays | Indianapolis ABC's | Indianapolis Clowns | Kansas City Monarchs
Memphis Red Sox | Newark Eagles New York Black Yankees | New York Cubans | Philadelphia Stars
Pittsburgh Crawfords | Saint Louis Stars

Atlanta Black Crackers
Years in the Negro Leagues: Two -- 1932, 1938

The Black Crackers played against teams located in Birmingham, Ala. Nashville, Little Rock, Ark, New Orleans, Mobile, Ala., Memphis and Chattanooga, Tenn. They played in Atlanta's historic Ponce de leon Park when the white Minor League Atlanta Crackers were out of town.

The 1938 Black Crackers captured the second-half championship of the Negro American League. Their top players were Nat Peeples, Roy Welmaker and James "Red" Moore. Othello Nelson "Chico" Renfroe started as a batboy for the team before making his name with the Kansas City Monarchs, Cleveland Buckeyes and Indy Clowns.
<back to top

Baltimore Black Sox
Years in the Negro Leagues: 10, 1923-29, 1932-34

The Sox were charter members of the Eastern Colored League in 1923. In their first season, they finished last with a 19-30 record, but they turned it around the following season for a second-place finish with 30-19 record.

In 1929, the Baltimore Black Sox boasted the "Million Dollar Infield" of Jud "Boojum" Wilson (first base), Frank Warfield (second base), Oliver "Ghost" Marcelle (third base) and Sir Richard Lundy (shortstop). They were given the name by the media because of their prospective worth had they been white players. In 1929, they won more than 70 percent of their games to capture the American Negro League Championship.
<back to top

Baltimore Elite Giants
Years in the Negro Leagues: 13, 1938-50

Their nickname is pronounced "EE-light" with a Southern twang. They migrated from Nashville to Columbus, Ohio to Washington D.C. and finally Baltimore. They won the Negro National Title in 1939 and 1949.

The Elite Giants gave Joe Black, Junior Gilliam and Hall of Fame catcher Roy Campanella their initial exposure to professional baseball before becoming "Bums" with the Brooklyn Dodgers. The 1942 season was the best-ever for the Giants when they posted a 37-15 record, tops in the Negro National League.
<back to top

Birmingham Black Barons
Years in the Negro Leagues: 26, 1923-25, 1927-30, 1932, 1937-38, 1940-50

The Birmingham Black Barons played their games at historic Rickwood Field and they were the Negro American League Champions in 1943, 1944 and 1948. Their last championship team featured a 17-year old named Willie Mays.

Other Barons of Major League caliber included Lorenzo "Piper" Davis, Lloyd "Pepper" Bassett, Nat Rogers and Ulysses Hollimon. Future New York Giant Artie Wilson and Chicago White Sox star Sam Hairston also played for the Barons.
<back to top

Brooklyn Royal Giants
Years in the Negro Leagues: 21, 1905-22, 1923-27

The Brooklyn Royal Giants were one of the premier professional teams before World War I. At times their pitching staff featured the unstoppable duo of "Smokey" Joe Williams and "Cannonball" Dick Redding. Another ace, Frank Wickware, defeated Hall of Famer Walter Johnson twice. War hero Spottswod Poles, a Ty Cobb prototype, batting champion Charles "Chino" Smith, and ageless John Henry "Pop" Lloyd were other stars for the Royal Giants team.
<back to top

Chicago American Giants
Years in the Negro Leagues: 32, 1920-35, 1937-52

The team was owned and managed from 1911 to 1926 by the masterful Andrew "Rube" Foster, the father of Negro League Baseball and who was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1981.

Along with the New York Lincoln Stars and the Indianapolis ABC's, the 1917 edition of the Chicago American Giants was one of the premier teams during World War I. Legendary greats such as Bruce Petway, John Henry "Pop" Lloyd, Pete Hill, Frank Wickware, and "Cannonball" Dick Redding were on the squad.

The Giants won Negro National League titles in 1920, 1921 and 1922. Managed by "Gentlemen" Dave Malarcher, they beat the Bacharach Giants of Atlantic City in the Colored World Series in 1926 and 1927. The Giants dominated black professional baseball during the Roaring Twenties.

On the roster during the 1920s were Rube Foster's brother, Willie, "Colonel" Jimmie Crutchfield and Ted "Double Duty" Radcliffe. The Giants under Foster played in the 5,000 seat stadium at 39th and Wentworth that White Sox owner Charles Comiskey gave up when he built the Baseball Palace of the World in 1910.
<back to top

Cuban "X" Giants
An independent pre-league team-1897-1907

One of the most powerful independent black teams around the turn of the century, they won the 1903 Colored World Championship, beating the Philadelphia Giants five games to two. The legendary Andrew "Rube" Foster, the father of Negro League baseball, pitched four of the five victories.

Other stars included John Henry "Pop" Lloyd, Dan McClellan (who pitched the first perfect game for a black team in 1903), and Grant "Home Run" Johnson.

In the 1930s, the versatile Martin Dihigo led a winter barnstorming team by this name.
<back to top

Detroit Stars
Years in the Negro Leagues: 15, 1920-33, 1937

They played their games at Mack Park -- until it burned down in 1929 -- and then in Hamtramack Stadium. The Stars were one of the original members of the Negro National League in 1920. They spotlighted one of the great home run hitters in baseball history, Norman "Turkey" Stearnes. Another star was catcher Bruce Petway who twice threw out Ty Cobb attempting to steal bases in a Cuban game. The notorious streak hitter Pete Hill also was on the squad in 1919.
<back to top

Hilldale Daisies
Years in the Negro Leagues: Seven, 1923-27, 1929, 1932 The Hilldale Daisies were the powerhouse team of the short-lived Eastern Colored League. Their home base was Darby, Pa., a suburb of Philadelphia. In 1923, they captured their first league championship.

The next year the Daisies lost the first Colored World Series to the Kansas City Monarchs in a 10-game series, but avenged their defeat the following year, beating KC in six games.

At times, their infield was anchored by future Hall of Famers John Henry "Pop" Lloyd and Judy Johnson. Giants fans also had the pleasure of watching the battery of lefty "Nip" Winters and the jovial "Biz" Mackey, the dean of catchers.
<back to top

Homestead Grays
Location: Pittsburgh and Washington
Years in the Negro Leagues: 17, 1929, 1932-33, 1935-48

Located first in a small steel town outside of Pittsburgh, they dominated the Eastern baseball scene. From 1937 to 1945, the Grays won nine consecutive league pennants. They were led by future Hall of Famers Josh Gibson (catcher), "Cool" Papa Bell (outfield), Judy Johnson (third base), Buck Leonard (first base) and Cuban great Martin Dihigo (second base, pitcher, outfielder). Their ace pitcher was "Smokey" Joe Williams, who once struck out 27 batters in a 12-inning game.

During World War II, the Grays played their home games at both Forbes Field (Pittsburgh) and Griffith Stadium (Washington, D.C.) when the white Major League clubs were on the road. The Grays traditionally outdrew their white counterparts, the cellar-dwelling Washington Senators.

Unheralded greats included Vic Harris (outfield), Jerry Benjamin (outfield), Howard Easterling (third base), Luke Easter (outfield, first base) and Sam Bankhead (shortstop, second base, outfield). In fact, Bankhead became the first black manager in Minor League Baseball in 1951.
<back to top

Indianapolis ABC's
Years in the Negro Leagues: 11, 1920-26, 1931-32, 1938-39

Named after their sponsor, the American Brewing Company, the ABC's were founded and managed by the great disciplinarian C.I. Taylor.

Before World War I, they were the bedrock of black baseball, giving players like Hall of Famer Oscar Charleston, Elwood "Bingo" DeMoss, "Biz" Mackey, Ben Taylor and flame thrower "Cannonball" Dick Redding their initial claim to fame.

The 1922 season was the best-ever for the club in the Negro National League, finishing second with a 46-33 record.
<back to top

Indianapolis Clowns
Years in the Negro Leagues: 17 seasons, 1946-62

Better known for their colorful antics, the Clowns were also a sound baseball team. In 1952, they won the Negro American League championship with a young cross-handed slugger from Mobile, Ala., named Hank Aaron.

The Clowns fielded such stars as Buster Haywood, DeWitt "Woody" Smallwood, showman "Goose" Tatum, and future Major Leaguers John Wyatt (A's), Paul Cassanova (Senators), and "Choo-Choo" Coleman (Mets).
<back to top

Kansas City Monarchs
Years in the Negro Leagues: 37, 1920-30, 1937-62 (league years only)

The longest running franchise in Negro League history is the Monarchs from Kansas City, Mo. They were charter members of the Negro National League in 1920.

Winners of more than a dozen league championships, the Monarch name became the Negro League's answer to the New York Yankees. They won their first World Series title in 1924, defeating the Hilldale Daisies, from Philadelphia, in a thrilling ten-game series. Their last World Series title came in 1942, when they swept the powerful Homestead Grays, featuring Josh Gibson and Buck Leonard, in four games.

Some of black baseball's best players wore the Monarch uniform -- Cool Papa Bell, Turkey Stearnes, Newt Allen, Jesse Williams, Bonnie Serrell, Wilber Rogan, and a fellow they called Skip, Buck O'Neil.

The Monarchs sent the most players into Major League Baseball after the color barrier was broken. Some players from this elite group were Jackie Robinson, Satchel Paige, Ernie Banks, Elston Howard, Hank Thompson and Willard "Home Run" Brown.
<back to top

Memphis Red Sox
Years in the Negro Leagues: 32, 1924-25, 1927-30, 1932, 1937-62

Owned by Dr. W.S. Martin, this solid franchise sent four players into the big leagues -- pitchers Dan Bankhead (Dodgers), Jehoise Heard (Orioles), Marshall Bridges (Cardinals) and first baseman Bob Boyd (White Sox and Orioles).

Other Major League prospects were Verdell Mathis, Marlin Carter, Joe Scott, Frank Pearson and country western singer Charley Pride. The franchise enjoyed its' greatest success in 1938, when they won the Negro American League first half with a 21-4 record.

Newark Eagles
Years in the Negro League: 13, 1936-48

The Newark Eagles had many standout players, but two entered the baseball history books: Larry Doby, the first black player in the American League (Cleveland Indians), and Don Newcombe, the Brooklyn Dodgers' Rookie of the Year, MVP and Cy Young award winner.

The Eagles were the first professional team owned and operated by a woman, Effa Manley.

The 1946 team won the Negro World Series. Featuring the fierce double-play combination of Doby (second base) and Monte Irvin (shortstop), the Eagles upset the Kansas City Monarchs in a seven-game series. They featured the great battery of Biz" Mackey (catcher) and Leon Day (pitcher). Another star was Hall of Famer Ray Dandridge, who was quick as a cat while patrolling third base.
<back to top

New York Black Yankees
Years in the Negro Leagues: 13, 1936-48

The New York Black Yankees were co-owned by financier James "Soldier Boy" Semler and famed toe-tapper Bill "Bojangles" Robinson. The Black Yankees originated in Harlem and eventually settled in Albany, New York.

Some of the great Yankes were Clint Thomas, Fats Jenkins, DeWitt "Woody" Smallwood, Barney Brown, "Crush" Holloway and the powerful George "Mule" Suttles".
<back to top

New York Cubans
Years in the Negro Leagues: 14 seasons, 1935-36, 1939-50

In 1947, the Cubans beat the Cleveland Buckeyes for the Negro World Series Championship. Their pitching staff was lead by junk baller Luis Tiant, Sr. And leading their offensive attack was future American League All-Star Minnie Minoso.

Perhaps their greatest all-time performer was Martin Dihigo, versatile at all nine positions. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in three nations: the United States, Cuba and Mexico.
<back to top

Philadelphia Stars
Year in the Negro Leagues: 17, 1933-1950

The Stars won their only Negro National League flag in 1934 by defeating the Chicago American Giants. This team, owned by Ed Bolden, starred "Biz" Mackey, Dick Lundy, Jud Wilson, and "Slim" Jones.
<back to top


Pittsburgh Crawfords
Years in the Negro Leagues: Seven, 1932-38

Originally, the Pittsburgh Crawfords team was composed of amateurs from the sandlots of the city's Hill district. Later, they became one of the most formidable and dominating teams of the mid-1930s. They won the 1935 Negro National League championship with five future Hall of Famers: James "Cool Papa" Bell, Oscar Charleston, Josh Gibson, Judy Johnson, and the legendary Satchel Paige.

In 1937, Dominican Republic dictator Gen. Rafael Truijillo signed several players from the Crawfords including Bell, Gibson and Paige. The Crawfords were never the same after that. They were sold by 1939 and moved to Toledo.
<back to top

Saint Louis Stars
Years in the Negro Leagues: 12 seasons, 1922-31, 1937, 1939

Owned by Richard Kent, they reigned as Negro National League champions in 1928, 1930 and 1931. Their first championship team was managed by the masterful "Candy" Jim Taylor.

The Stars boasted two of the fastest men to ever play the game, James "Cool Papa" Bell and George Giles. Other bright Stars included Ted "Highpockets" Trent, George "Mule" Suttles and one of the slickest shortstops in baseball history, Willie "Devil" Wells.
<back to top