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Gary Ashwill
Recent Activity
Brian Campf recently acquired this postcard photograph of an African American player in catcher’s gear, ca. late 1910s or early 1920s. At first I couldn’t link him to any known players, then I thought of Sam Bennett, an outfielder who... Continue reading
Posted Nov 17, 2015 at Agate Type
If you haven’t seen it already, you should check out the National Pastime Museum’s website, which has posted a marvelous collection of high-res images related to African American baseball. Among the riches to be found there is this amazing photograph... Continue reading
Posted Oct 25, 2015 at Agate Type
Here’s another of Walter Johnson’s various games against black teams, courtesy of Todd Peterson, who sent it to me almost a year ago. Henry W. Thomas’s recent comments here reminded me I had it, so here it is. Johnson is... Continue reading
Posted Oct 19, 2015 at Agate Type
Back in the early days of this blog, it was pretty common for me to post excitedly about the latest findings in, say, World War I draft cards, or census records, or passenger lists, or old newspapers. Posts about such... Continue reading
Posted Oct 13, 2015 at Agate Type
Let me suggest, gently, that it is maybe not the greatest idea in the world to have something called the Pre-Integration Committee, and then to give it the job of inducting only white people into the Hall of Fame. Continue reading
Posted Oct 7, 2015 at Agate Type
(Crossposted at Today we’re used to complaining that too much of the sports news takes place off the field of play—strikes, business deals, scandals, crimes. We may not realize it, but this is nothing new. The story of the... Continue reading
Posted Sep 27, 2015 at Agate Type
A few years ago I wrote about the baseball career of Jim Hugh Moss, a man who was executed for murder in Georgia in 1928 on what certainly seems to be dubious evidence (including the phrenological investigations of the governor... Continue reading
Posted Sep 17, 2015 at Agate Type
Tito Rondon sent me this story about Babe Ruth's trip to Cuba almost exactly a year ago. Various things got in the way, and I never posted it—but here it is at last. Tracer: Papi Fabré (with apologies to Rob... Continue reading
Posted Aug 27, 2015 at Agate Type
Brian Campf sent along his latest acquisitions, two great postcards. The first one shows an unknown white player batting, with two black players in the background. Here’s a detail of the two players in the background: Todd Peterson has identified... Continue reading
Posted Aug 22, 2015 at Agate Type
(Crossposted at The 1932 East-West League, plus four independent east coast teams from that year, forms the latest addition to the Seamheads Negro Leagues Database. This was the year when Pittsburgh numbers operator Gus Greenlee really got serious about... Continue reading
Posted Aug 13, 2015 at Agate Type
Mark Blauer, a SABR member who is currently writing a history of African American baseball in Hot Springs, Arkansas, sent along these two photos of unidentified ball players, plus a couple of (also unidentified) guys in suits: Here’s Mark: “These... Continue reading
Posted Jul 29, 2015 at Agate Type
Very briefly, I want to call attention to a new(ish) feature on the right hand side of the blog, “Bingles,” which is where I put links to noteworthy items related to this blog’s areas of interest (especially black, Latin American,... Continue reading
Posted Jul 26, 2015 at Agate Type
(See UPDATE below.) The 29-year-old rookie Pat Venditte caused a stir the other day with his ambidextrous debut for the A’s, pitching two scoreless innings against the Red Sox with both his right and left hands. (He has since appeared... Continue reading
Posted Jun 8, 2015 at Agate Type
Dwayne Isgrig sent along this advert from the Delphi Journal (Delphi, Indiana), August 1, 1912. The ad includes both the photo of Dizzy Dismukes I posted a while back and one of Steel Arm John Taylor pitching, an image I’ve... Continue reading
Posted May 8, 2015 at Agate Type
Brian Campf has shared one of his latest acquisitions, a 1914 postcard showing the Hubbard Giants of Portland, Oregon, featuring Jimmy Claxton (bottom row, farthest right). Here’s a detail of Claxton: And for comparison, here’s a photo of the Hubbard... Continue reading
Posted Apr 28, 2015 at Agate Type
A while back I wrote about Benjamin Harrison attending a New York Gorhams game in 1891, which appears to be the only instance of a sitting U.S. president watching a professional all-black baseball team play. Harrison saw the Gorhams defeat... Continue reading
Posted Mar 25, 2015 at Agate Type
A few weeks ago, writing about the Eastern Colored League’s failed 1926 entry, the Newark Stars, I commented that their main claim to fame was hiring Sol White for what would be his last job in organized baseball. As it... Continue reading
Posted Feb 19, 2015 at Agate Type
(Crossposted at New to the Seamheads Negro Leagues Database: the 1931 eastern black teams. Once again, there was no league on the east coast. As in the case of 1930, we are at this time including only games between... Continue reading
Posted Feb 11, 2015 at Agate Type
From the Outsider Baseball Bulletin, Vol. 1, No. 9 (August 4, 2010): This is the death certificate for Cristóbal Torriente, showing that he passed away of pulmonary tuberculosis at Riverside Hospital in the Bronx on April 11, 1938, having been... Continue reading
Posted Feb 5, 2015 at Agate Type
While researching the 1930 Negro leagues recently, I was checking a Brooklyn newspaper for a doubleheader between the Stars of Cuba and the Brooklyn Royal Giants. On the same page as the Negro league box scores I was surprised to... Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2015 at Agate Type
(Crossposted at We’ve added games between the 1930 eastern Negro league teams to the Seamheads Negro Leagues Database. It was an astonishing year in black baseball history, a year that saw the first Negro league games played at night,... Continue reading
Posted Jan 25, 2015 at Agate Type
From the Baltimore Afro-American, October 2, 1926, a case of premature advertising: Continue reading
Posted Dec 27, 2014 at Agate Type
From Daniel Okrent’s 1989 book Baseball Anecdotes, p. 72: You might be expecting a Bill James or Rob Neyer-style debunking in which I demonstrate that no such thing ever happened, or that the circumstances were totally different, or whatever. Actually,... Continue reading
Posted Nov 26, 2014 at Agate Type
Doing some research recently I was surprised to run into this photo, which I’ve never seen, of Dizzy Dismukes with the West Baden Sprudels in 1912. (Indianapolis News, September 28, 1912, p. 10) Continue reading
Posted Nov 19, 2014 at Agate Type