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Negro League Baseball History

The Negro leagues were United States professional baseball leagues comprising teams predominantly made up of African Americans and, to a lesser extent, Latin Americans. The term may be used broadly to include professional black teams outside the leagues and it may be used narrowly for the relatively successful leagues listed below, along with the many independent teams that barnstormed across (read more)

From 1922-1927 the NNL and ECL met in a best-of-9 post-season championship series. From 1942-1948, the NNL and NAL agreed to play a best-of-7 Negro World Series. There are several other instances of self-declared "champions" that would offer post-season challenges to other teams.
Branch Rickey, owner, joined the USNL in order to end segregation
USNL: 1945-1946 (2 seasons)

All-black league used as a distraction while the Dodgers formulated and end to segregation in baseball.

Dr. J.B. Martin, lead organization of the Negro American League (NAL)
NAL: 1937-1948 (12 seasons)

Organized by franchises located in the Midwest as competition to the Negro National League's eastern teams.

Gus Greenlee, owner who led creation of the Negro National League II (NNL)
NNL: 1933-1948 (16 seasons)

Owners of 7 negro league teams ratified a constitution and organized a successful second Negro National League.

Cumberland Posey founded the Negro East-West League
NEWL: 1932-1932 (1 season)

Eight teams joined in an ill-fated attempt to organize Negro baseball during the Great Depression.

Thomas T. Wilson, organized creation of the Negro Southern League (NSL)
NSL: 1932-1932 (1 season)

Several established teams joined the NSL, mainly from the collapsed Negro National League a year prior.

Ed Bolden, led the creation of the American Negro League
ANL: 1929-1929 (1 season)

An attempt to create a league by five surviving teams from the failed Eastern Colored League.

Nat Strong, founder of the Eastern Colored League
ECL: 1923-1928 (6 seasons)

Formed by several eastern teams that broke away from the midwest-based Negro National League.

Rube Foster, organized the first Negro National League (NNL)
NNL1: 1920-1931 (12 seasons)

The first organized and financially successful professional Negro baseball league.

H. Walter Schlichter, founder of the National Association of Colored Baseball Clubs (NACB)

Formed to protect teams from unreliable managers, schedules, and rosters of past independent clubs.

William Freihofer, president of the International League

League composed of a mix of white, Cuban and Negro league baseball teams in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.

Future Hall of Famer Sol White played for Pittsburgh in 1887 for the NCBL
NCBL: 1887-1887 (1 season)

The second attempt to have a league consisting of all-black teams, predating the Negro National League by over three decades.

Bud Fowler is believed to have played for Binghamton in 1886 for the SLCB
SLCB: 1886-1886 (1 season)

The first formal black league included teams from Atlanta, Charleston, Jacksonville, Memphis, New Orleans and Savannah.

Octavius Catto, pioneer of the first black baseball team
INDBB: 1867-1919 (53 seasons)

Segregation and racism forced most African American players to join independent travelling teams.