Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Negro League baseball history fact for today

Andrew “Rube” Foster; born on September 17, 1879 in Calvert, Texas, is considered by many “the father” of Negro League baseball.  The son of a Methodist minister, Foster formed the first official Negro professional baseball league in 1920; the Negro National League (NNL).  Foster also was owner and manager of the Chicago American Giants one of the most successful black teams during the pre-NNL era (1911-1919). 

But Foster’s success as a league organizer and team manager overshadows his career as a dominant pitcher.  He was the best pitcher on first the Cuban X Giants and then the Philadelphia Giants, two of the best black baseball teams in the early 20th Century.   Foster received the nickname “Rube” after defeating the Philadelphia A’s future Hall of Fame pitcher “Rube” Waddell in an exhibition game.

Andrew “Rube” Foster was inducted into the National Baseball hall of Fame in 1981.

Monday, September 16, 2013

The Negro League baseball history fact for today

Born on September 16, 1896 in Hillsboro, Texas; Crush Christopher Columbus Holloway did not play the type of baseball in his Negro League career that fits his name.  Legally named “Crush” after his father attended a county fair and saw two old train locomotives crashed together head-on, Holloway was known for his speed; not his power.  He was an excellent bunter and aggressive base stealer that caused havoc to opposing infielders and catchers as a lead-off batter.  Holloway starting his Negro League career playing outfield with the Indianapolis ABC’s in 1921, a team that included Hall of Famers Oscar Charleston, Biz Mackey and Ben Taylor.  He spent eight of his eighteen Negro League playing years with the Baltimore Black Sox.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Negro League baseball history fact for today

Born on September 3, 1924 in Atlanta, Georgia; William “Bill” Greason was a right handed pitcher for the Negro American League Birmingham Black Barons (1947 – 1951).  At 5’ 10’’ and weighing 170 pounds, he helped the team win the pennant in 1948 and was the winning pitcher in their only victory against the Homestead Grays in that year’s Negro League World Series.  Greason also pitched three scoreless innings in the Negro Leagues’ East-West All-Star game in 1948.

After the 1951 season, Greason had some success in minor league baseball.  He was the third African-American to play in the Texas League.  In 1954, Greason along with Brooks Lawrence and Tom Alston were the first African-American players invited to a spring training camp by the St. Louis Cardinals.   On May 31 of that year, Greason made his Major League debut, at 29 years old.  However, within less than a month, he was sent back to the minor leagues for the remainder of his career.  His final Major League career statistics; he pitched in three games, giving up eight hits and striking out 2 in four innings with a record of 0-1.

Greason retired in 1959 and was called into Christian ministry.  He was pastor of a church in Birmingham, Alabama for 30 years and was cited by the Alabama State Legislature in 2001 for outstanding ministry achievement.