Of the eleven African-American professional baseball teams that were formed in Cleveland during the Negro League baseball era, the Cleveland Buckeyes were the most successful. It was the only Cleveland Negro League franchise to exist for more than two years (1943-1948, 1950). The Buckeyes won two Negro American League pennants (1945, 1947) and won the Negro League World Series in 1945. In that series, they defeated the Homestead Grays who had Hall of Fame players Josh Gibson, Buck Leonard, “Cool Papa” Bell, and Jud Wilson. Former Buckeyes who went on to play in the Major Leagues include Sam Jethroe (1950 National League Rookie of the Year), Sam Jones, Al Smith, and Quincy Trouppe.