This team was backed by a triumvirate of nightclub/café owners, Percy Brown, Edward A. Warren, and, most famous of the three, Barron Deware Wilkins, the “King of Harlem,” who would go on to own the Bacharach Giants and employ Duke Ellington in his nightclub’s house band. Ed Warren served as the business manager; he hired William T. “Big Bill” Smith, a veteran catcher and manager, to put together the team.
Smith spent the spring out west looking to drum up some young players. While I couldn’t trace his entire itinerary, I know that his new team was in Memphis and Nashville in mid-May, and then in Louisville from May 21 to May 23, playing the Louisville Cubs. By the end of the month, they were ready to make their debut in New York.