Monday, February 26, 2007

1931 Homestead Greys are Number 1

The first impressionable thing about the '31 Greys is the roster itself.
Oscar Charleston ... Hall of Famer
Jud "Boojum" Wilson ... Hall of Famer
Smokey Joe Williams ... Hall of Famer
Willie Foster ... Hall of Famer
Josh Gibson ... Hall of Famer
Every single one of them, a Hall of Famer. Cumberland Posey knew he was going to have to spend if he wanted to get America on his side. With America deep into a Depression, the baseball market was filled with players to be bought or sold. Posey needed to keep up with Gus Greenlee who had also had some amazing talent on the Crawfords at the time.
"Playing an independent schedule, the Grays took on all opponents. They barnstormed against independent white teams, semipro black teams, coalminer teams, steelworker teams and Negro League teams. No team matched Posey's Greys.
Those men were playing for their livelihoods. Their play brought them greatness along with their paycheck." -

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

1935 Crawfords Rank #2

People thought the 1935 Pittsburgh Crawfords might have been the best team money could buy. Gus Greenlee, who owned the team, did not spend lavishly to place the best ballplayers in a Crawfords uniform. With Hall of Famers all over the roster, people still debate whether they are worthy on the #1 position.
The Crawfords dominated. According to league stats originally published by the historian John Holway, Bell batted .341, Bill Perkins hit .337, Sam Bankhead .336, Charleston .309 and Gibson .304 while leading the league in home runs and steals.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

1942 Kansas City Named 3rd Best

In 1942, just before World War II and integration would suffocate the talent in the Negro Leagues, J.L. Wilkinson assembled the best Kansas City Monarchs team in the history of the franchise. The '42 Monarchs had three future Hall of Famers and six All-Stars.

That same year the Negro Leagues World Series returned after a 15-year absence, which gave the leagues their first true champion since 1927. Wilkinson's Monarchs played Cum Posey's Homestead Grays in a best-of-seven series.

The Monarchs won, 9-5, and swept a Series in which they were only supposed to win "a game or so."

Thursday, February 08, 2007

ABC's named 4th Best in History

With the start off of this years Black History Month, MLB is naming the best Negro League Baseball teams in history. Ranking in at #4 is the 1916 Indianapolis ABCs. Rube Foster's Chicago American Giants dominated the Western Black Baseball Division from 1910-15, but the team met its definately met its match in the year, 1916. That was when the Indianapolis ABCs defeated the Giants in five games to win the division title. Indianapolis outscored Chicago, 33-15, in the series. It was a complete turn-around for the ABC's who lost to the Giants the year before. Managed by C.I. Taylor, Foster's equal during the era, the ABCs were 43-23-2 in 1916. They were said to be the most fundamentally sound team in baseball history. Instead of relying on the long ball, they preferred small ball to win games.

Ranking in at #5 would be the 1943 Homestead Grays.

More information coming on the top 5 teams.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Diversity in MLB remains priority

Commissioner Bud Selig has worked 14 years to better integrate and diversify MLB.
Black History month is kicking off this year, and it is clear that baseball has made several advances in diversity. MLB has many inroads, some of which will be on display this season, including the one-year anniversary of the opening of MLB's first baseball academy in inner-city Los Angeles, the first Civil Rights Game this March 31 in Memphis, and the 60th anniversary celebration on April 15, the day Jackie Robinson broke the Major League color barrier.
While Black History Month is celebrated only in February, baseball's efforts to diversify are year-round. On March 31, the Civil Rights Game will be played in Memphis, the city in which Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968. That exhibition game will be played by the defending World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals and Cleveland Indians.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Yankee Stadium to host 2008 All-Star game

Yankee Stadium will be closed at the conclusion of the 2008 season, but not before it's given a fitting send-off. The 2008 Midsummer Classic will be the second All-Star Game played at the 85-year-old facility since it was renovated, as the 1977 game was also played there. The 1939 game and one of the two played in 1960 were held in the original edifice.
The original stadium was torn down, rebuilt on the same frame and reopened in 1976. The new Yankee Stadium, to be built across the street, is slated to open in 2009.

Many old memories, and hopefully some new ones to come when the new stadium opens.