Tuesday, November 30News That Matters

Tag: Negro League

A Flood of New Hall of Famers, Followed by a Grinding Halt

A Flood of New Hall of Famers, Followed by a Grinding Halt

Sports
A list of 94 potential inductees was whittled down to 39 by a special screening committee, and in February, 12 of the foremost Black baseball scholars and historians headed to Florida’s Atlantic coast to cast their votes.They were experts in various subcategories of Black baseball — Latino involvement, teams on the east coast, the pre-Negro leagues era, etc. — and the requirement that they share their expertise ensured that no voter was oblivious to the merits of any individual on the ballot. In addition to receiving dockets of information before their Florida arrival, the committee members discussed the careers of every single candidate during the two-day session.“My being selected to this committee was, of course, an honor,” said Dr. Adrian Burgos Jr., a history professor at the Universi...
Baseball Reference Adds Negro League Stats

Baseball Reference Adds Negro League Stats

Sports
On Monday, Baseball Reference, the go-to source on the internet for such matters, would have told you that Stan Musial led the major leagues with a .357 batting average in 1943. It also would have said numerous pitchers took a turn leading the majors in strikeouts per nine innings between 1927 and 1945, and that the top three batters in career adjusted on-base-plus-slugging percentage were Babe Ruth, Ted Williams and Barry Bonds.A day later, all of that looks much different. Now, Tetelo Vargas of the New York Cubans (.471) and Josh Gibson of the Homestead Grays (.466) have both surpassed Musial in 1943. Satchel Paige, a dominant pitcher for more than 20 seasons, has taken over eight of those strikeout titles. And Oscar Charleston, perhaps the finest all-around player in Negro leagues histo...
Jackie Robinson’s Signing Caused a Financial Dispute

Jackie Robinson’s Signing Caused a Financial Dispute

Sports
On Thursday, every Major League Baseball player will don a No. 42 jersey in honor of Jackie Robinson Day. The annual event, celebrated officially since 2004, marks the anniversary of Robinson’s major league debut in 1947, which broke baseball’s color line that stretched back to the 19th century.Robinson’s signing, a watershed moment in the sport, was far more complicated than it has been portrayed in the years since. The move of Robinson, and every other star, to the National and American leagues contributed to the swift decline of the long-established Negro leagues. And on the heels of M.L.B. officially recognizing the Negro leagues as having been the equivalent of major leagues, it is important to look at how it could have played out differently.In the weeks and months after the announce...
Justice for the Negro Leagues Will Mean More Than Just Stats

Justice for the Negro Leagues Will Mean More Than Just Stats

Sports
This was the world of “organized baseball” — a term that would come into vogue at the height of the Negro leagues to simply denote non-Negro-leagues professional baseball — that awaited Grant. By this time it was 1884, he was 19 and still in Williamstown, pitching for an integrated amateur team, the Greylocks, on the town’s south side. If an apartheid form of baseball was the will of the N.A.B.B.P., the message had yet to either register with or deter Grant, who grew up playing baseball with white kids in town.One contemporary newspaper article on Grant in his prime remarked that “wherever he had played, he has quickly become a favorite.” But the story of Grant’s prime years is also the story of the color line catching up to him. “Were it not for the fact that he is a colored man,” the art...