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Negro National League Founder Rube Foster Was All About Black America and Baseball


There are 37 Negro League players and owners in the Baseball Hall of Fame, and one of those legendary names was Andrew “Rube” Foster, known as “The Father of Black Baseball.”

Rube Foster is most recognized for organizing and launching the Negro National League (NLL) on February 13, 1920. It is regarded as the first iteration of the Negro Leagues and, under Foster’s leadership, it grew to become the most viable Negro League organization during his tenure in baseball.

But Foster’s visionary talents were evident before launching the NLL.

As a player-manager for the Chicago Leland Giants, Rube led the team to a 110-win season and the city league title in 1907. Three years later, after wrestling control of the club away from owner Frank Leland, he changed the team name to the Chicago American Giants and led the team to a 123-6 record. A year later, he formed a partnership with Charles Comiskey’s son-in-law, John Schorling, and his Giants were able to play at Chicago’s South Side Park.

The Giants were so dominant and popular that they outdrew the all-white Cubs and White Sox at the stadium.

And that’s when Foster knew he had something special that deserved much more.

“The wild, reckless scramble under the guise of baseball is keeping us down and we will always be the underdog until we can successfully employ the methods that have brought success to the great powers that be in baseball of the present era: organization,” said Forster.

So in 1917, after pitching his final game and becoming a full-time manager and owner, he started to organize the way white teams did.

Three years later, Rube brought independent teams together and, over a two-day span, eventually convinced them to unite under the NNL umbrella.

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