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Gary Ashwill
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The image above shows what I’ve called the “Santop montage,” a collection of black baseball photographs from the 1910s that was auctioned off by Hake’s a few years ago. Its exact origin was apparently unknown, but since it features several... Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2017 at Agate Type
Edwin Torres-Romero, an expert on Puerto Rican baseball, has kindly provided some amazing photographs of Negro leaguers in Puerto Rico. First is a fantastic picture of George Scales and Chino Smith, probably in the winter of 1925/26: Here (courtesy of... Continue reading
Posted Jan 24, 2017 at Agate Type
The above broadside advertising a June 11 game between the Cuban Stars and Marshall University dates, according to Getty Images, to 1920. Okay, to be clear they say “ca. 1920.” But it should be immediately obvious to anyone reading the... Continue reading
Posted Jan 11, 2017 at Agate Type
When identifying people in old photographs, few resources are more helpful than finding the photograph printed in a newspaper with all the people in it identified. This photo, from Sol White’s Official Base Ball Guide (1907), is the earliest known... Continue reading
Posted Jan 6, 2017 at Agate Type
You can download that issue of The National Pastime here:
In the comments Kim Agan points out that the last time the Cubs won the World Series, back in 1908, they took spring training at the luxurious West Baden Springs Hotel in Indiana—at Sprudel Park, a ballpark surrounded by an... Continue reading
Posted Nov 3, 2016 at Agate Type
The Missouri History Museum has uncovered an astonishing find: a photograph of Stars Park, home of the Negro National League’s St. Louis Stars in the 1920s. See here for some (limited) views of the park’s interior, and here for a... Continue reading
Posted Oct 27, 2016 at Agate Type
A few months ago Jimmy Allen, original owner of this photograph of the 1923 Washington Potomacs, sent me another photo to identify. The uniform style puts the photograph in the 1930s or 1940s. The logo, with the letters S and... Continue reading
Posted Oct 21, 2016 at Agate Type
William D. Foster, from Wikipedia. A few years ago I wrote about a silent film called As the World Rolls On (1921), a Jack Johnson vehicle that featured footage of actual Negro league baseball games as an integral part of... Continue reading
Posted Oct 16, 2016 at Agate Type
William G. Nunn III, who played Radio Raheem in Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing, has passed away of leukemia at the sadly early age of 63. Nunn’s name is, or should be, very familiar to historians of black baseball,... Continue reading
Posted Sep 25, 2016 at Agate Type
Some months ago Mark Aubrey sent me this fascinating 1928 photo of the General Directorate of Public Works baseball team in Gonaïves, Haiti (from the University of Florida archives). Its fascination stems in part from the fact that we don’t... Continue reading
Posted Aug 31, 2016 at Agate Type
Looking at two interviews with Cool Papa Bell (one in John Holway’s Voices from the Great Black Baseball Leagues, the other part of the University of Missouri-St. Louis’s oral history project), one is struck by how much he talked about... Continue reading
Posted Jul 15, 2016 at Agate Type
I’ve written quite a bit about tracking down the death of Kansas City Monarchs shortstop Dobie Moore; here’s something about his life, an anecdote from 1925 I don’t think I’ve seen anyone use yet. It puts at least a little... Continue reading
Posted Jun 29, 2016 at Agate Type
A few months ago I was hired by Jimmy Allen to research the above photograph, which he’d had in his collection for decades. With his permission, I’m presenting my findings here, because it’s both a beautiful photograph and historically significant.... Continue reading
Posted Jun 1, 2016 at Agate Type
Jay Sokol of Black College Nines recently wrote me about this 1899 Chicago Unions promotional calendar, and asked about the player named “Arnett” on the bottom left: Coincidentally, I had been looking at this same calendar (displayed at The National... Continue reading
Posted May 22, 2016 at Agate Type
This may be old news to some, but I recently ran across this World War II draft registration card filled out in 1942 by Oliver Marcell, then living in Denver, Colorado, where he would pass away a few years later... Continue reading
Posted May 19, 2016 at Agate Type
Jimmy Yancey & Rube Foster If you haven’t seen it yet, be sure to check out ESPN’s “The Diary of Myles Thomas,” an account of the 1927 Yankees from the (fictionalized) perspective of a minor figure on the team, the... Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2016 at Agate Type
A few weeks ago James Tate alerted me to this stunning postcard of a Cuban Giants team, with the players identified on the reverse, for sale on eBay: And here is the reverse side, which identifies the players: Standing, L... Continue reading
Posted May 3, 2016 at Agate Type
Last fall Brian Campf acquired this postcard: At first you might think that the identity of this player is obvious. There was an Andrew Williams, a pitcher who sometimes played in the outfield, who was active in 1918. That would... Continue reading
Posted Apr 29, 2016 at Agate Type
After two years of relative stability, 1940 proved to be a difficult season for the Negro leagues, as the trickle of players defecting to Venezuela or (especially) Mexico became a flood. Many of black baseball’s biggest stars—Josh Gibson, Cool Papa... Continue reading
Posted Apr 25, 2016 at Agate Type
The 1907 Chicago Union Giants. Standing L to R: Will Horn, Topeka Jack Johnson. Seated, middle row, L to R: Albert Toney, Joe Green, Jimmy Smith, George Hopkins, Ginney Robinson, unknown. Seated, front row, L to R: unknown, Sam Strothers.... Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2016 at Agate Type
This week we’re adding further results of our collaboration with the Negro League Researchers and Authors Group (Larry Lester and Wayne Stivers) with the unveiling of the 1939 Negro league season. We’ve got both leagues, the NNL and NAL, plus... Continue reading
Posted Mar 21, 2016 at Agate Type
John Thomas “Jack” Johnson was a boxer and baseball player in the early 1900s. He had the misfortune of flourishing at exactly the same time as another Jack Johnson who was known to dabble in the sweet science. Consequently he... Continue reading
Posted Feb 21, 2016 at Agate Type
The 1918/19 Cuban winter season was the only time Tinti Molina’s Cuban Stars, normally a summertime traveling team in the United States, competed under that name for the regular Cuban League championship. (Molina would enter teams that were essentially his... Continue reading
Posted Feb 17, 2016 at Agate Type
In 1925 the Hilldale Club got its revenge on the Kansas City Monarchs, with the help of a toddler wielding a sewing needle. The year before, the Monarchs had ridden their luck to a thrilling 5 games to 4 victory... Continue reading
Posted Feb 3, 2016 at Agate Type