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The Negro Leagues

Until Jackie Robinson broke baseball's color barrier to play with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, the African American community expressed its passion for the country's "national pastime" by supporting separate baseball leagues. Among the most formidable teams were the Pittsburgh-based Homestead Grays. The Grays dominated their league for many years and claimed nine championships between 1937 and 1946.


Partial transcript from "Turnaround" newspaper (undated)

20 Years Too Soon by Quincy Trouppe (player-manager of the Cleveland Buckeyes)
"The incredible saga of baseball giants who dominated the game when the big leagues were still lily-white"

A championship team in 1935. Satchel didn't lose a game. Standing, from left, are Hilton Smith, Red Haley, Barney Morris, Leroy Satchel Paige, Moose Johnson, Quincy Trouppe, and Double Duty Radcliffe. Kneeling, from left, are: Joe Desiderato, shortstop Leary, team owner Neil Churchill, second baseman Oberholzer, and first baseman Hendee.

American All Stars
Barnstorming champions in Caracas, Venezuela, 1945. Standing, from left, are: Roy Campanella, Baltimore Elites; Marvin Barker, New York Black Yankees; B. Anderson, New York Black Yankees; Quincy Trouppe, player-manager, Cleveland Buckeyes; Blanco Chataing, Venezuela Consulate official, George Jefferson, Cleveland Buckeyes; Parnel Woods, Cleveland Buckeyes; Roy Welmaker, Homestead Grays; and Buck Leonard, Homestead Grays. Kneeling, from left, are: Jackie Robinson, Kansas City Monarchs; Eugene Benson, Philadelphia Stars; Felton Snow, manager, Baltimore Elites; Verdell Mathis, Memphis Red Sox; and Sam Jethroe, Cleveland Buckeyes. Robinson, Campanella, Trouppe, and Jethroe cracked the Major Leagues. Leonard, although too far down the line in his ball playing career to break in to the Majors, is now in Baseball's Hall of Fame along with Robinson and Campanella.


Link to non-Smithsonian Web site


Related Images

Championship Negro League teams from 1935 and 1945
Championship Negro League teams from 1935 and 1945
The Pittsburgh-based Homestead Grays, 1942
The Pittsburgh-based Homestead Grays, 1942

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