The Lincoln Giants can trace their origins back to the Nebraska Indians, of Lincoln, Nebraska, from the 1890s. According to Sol White's History of Colored Base Ball, in 1890, the Lincoln Giants were founded as the first colored professional team in the west. In the early 1910s, Jess McMahon, a white promoter, hired Sol White, former manager of the Philadelphia Giants, to put together a club. White signed eventual Hall of Famers John Henry Lloyd, the greatest shortstop in Negro league history, Cyclone Joe Williams, perhaps the greatest pitcher, and slugging catcher Louis Santop, together with pitcher Cannonball Dick Redding, center fielder Spotswood Poles, and catcher/first baseman Bill Pettus. Lloyd took over from White as manager midway through the 1911 season. With their powerful lineup, the Lincolns were the dominant team in African-American baseball in 1911, 1912 and 1913, winning the unofficial eastern championship each of those years. In 1913, with second baseman Grant Johnson joining the club, the Lincolns defeated Rube Foster's Chicago American Giants for the national black championship. In 1914, McMahon lost control of the Lincoln Giants name, and formed a rival team, the Lincoln Stars, signing away several of the Giants' players. Jim Keenan continued to run the Lincoln Giants. Joe Williams had taken over as manager when Lloyd left for the American Giants after the 1913 season, and Williams would run the club for several years. In 1920, the Lincolns moved from their old home park, Olympic Field (at Fifth Avenue and 136th Street), to the New York Catholic Protectory Oval in the Bronx.