From 1910 until the mid-1930s, the American Giants were the most dominant team in black baseball. Owned and managed from 1911 to 1926 by player-manager Andrew "Rube" Foster, they were charter members of Foster's Negro National League. The American Giants won five pennants in that league, along with another pennant in the 1932 Negro Southern League and a second-half championship in Gus Greenlee's Negro National League in 1934. The team ended in 1956.
Playing in spacious Schorling Park (formerly the home field of the American League's Chicago White Sox), Foster's club relied on fielding, pitching, speed, and "inside baseball" to succeed in the young Negro National League (NNL), winning championships in 1920, 1921, and 1922. When the Kansas City Monarchs supplanted the American Giants as the dominant team beginning in 1923, Foster tried rebuilding but by 1926 his health (physical and mental) was failing. Accordingly, his protégé Dave Malarcher took over on-field management of the team. Malarcher followed Foster's pattern, emphasizing pitching and defense, and led the American Giants back to the top-tier of the Negro leagues, winning pennants in 1926 and 1927. Both seasons also saw the American Giants defeat the Bacharach Giants of Atlantic City, champions of the Eastern Colored League, in the Negro League World Series.
The NNL collapsed in 1931, and in 1932 the team won the Negro Southern League pennant as Cole's American Giants. The next season the American Giants joined the new Negro National League, losing the pennant to the Pittsburgh Crawfords in a controversial decision by league president Gus Greenlee (owner of the Crawfords). The 1933 season saw the Giants get kicked off of their home field after the end of May; the park owners preferred to use the land as a dog racing track for the remaining summer months. This forced the Giants to play the majority of their home games in Indianapolis for the balance of that season. In 1934, the American Giants won the NNL's second-half title, then fell to the Philadelphia Stars in a seven-game playoff for the championship. In 1937, after a year spent playing as an independent club, the American Giants became a charter member of yet another circuit, the Negro American League.