The Philadelphia Stars were a Negro league baseball team from Philadelphia. The Stars were founded in 1933 when Ed Bolden returned to professional black baseball after being idle since early 1930. The Stars were an independent ball club in 1933, a member of the Negro National League from 1934 until the League's collapse following the 1948 season, and affiliated with the Negro American League from 1949 to 1952.
The Stars were founded and organized by Ed Bolden. Bolden had owned the Hilldale Club that won the Eastern Colored League pennant in 1923, 1924, and 1925, and which beat the Kansas City Monarchs in the Negro League World Series in 1925. Bolden was also a founder of the ECL. Bolden was instrumental in building the Stars' 1934 championship club and ran the team until his death in 1950.
After Bolden's death, his ownership passed to his daughter, Hilda Bolden Shorter. Shorter ran the club through 1952.
The team was financed, and owned in part by sports promoter Eddie Gottlieb who also owned the Philadelphia Sphas and Philadelphia Warriors basketball teams. Gottlieb leased Penmar Park from the Pennsylvania Railroad for use by the Stars. In addition to the Stars, Gottlieb was the booking agent for all the Negro league teams in the Northeast, taking 10-percent of gate receipts for his work.
Ed Bolden organized the Philadelphia Stars who played their first season in 1933. The Negro National League was composed primarily of mid-western teams in 1933 and many east-coast clubs were independent. The Stars were originally one such unaffiliated club and primarily played against local white semi-professional and professional teams. For example, by June 1933, the Stars' only games against black teams had been against the Philadelphia Bacharach Giants and the Pittsburgh Crawfords
In 1934, led by 20-year-old left-hander Slim Jones, the Stars defeated the Chicago American Giants in a controversial playoff series, four games to three, for the Negro National League pennant. At their high point in mid-1930s, the team starred such greats as Biz Mackey, Jud Wilson, and Dick Lundy. Following his release by Cleveland, Satchel Paige signed with the Stars in July 1950, before returning to the Majors with Bill Veeck and the St. Louis Browns.