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.