CHICAGO – Baseball history changed 101 years ago on Saturday, and many around the sport were celebrating the occasion.
It was on February 13, 1920 that Andrew “Rube” Foster of the Chicago American Giants led a meeting of team owners to form the Negro National League in Kansas City, Missouri. Legends of the game would make up teams over the next four decades until Major League Baseball fully integrated the sport.
Yet the memory of those players lives on beyond the end of league in the 1960s, just as the date the league was founded, and the White Sox took time to honor the occasion on Saturday.
The team flew the flag of the Chicago American Giants above Guaranteed Rate Field on Saturday to mark the occasion. The team described the gesture as one to honor the “three Negro National League pennant wins (1920-22) and Negro World Series victories (26-27) and praises the team’s trailblazing spirit and profound impact on both baseball and society.”
Along with the tribute in the park, team also released a video in tribute to Foster’s efforts to start the Negro Leagues which was written and narrated by WSCR-AM host Laurence Holmes.
The Giants played from 1910-1956 in a number of leagues and featured seven players who are now in the Baseball Hall of Fame, including Foster. Chicago also was the place where the East-West All-Star Game was created in 1933 by Pittsburgh Crawfords owner Gus Greenlee.
It was staged at Comiskey Park that year and a majority of the time through 1960, with the final East-West Game being played in Kansas City in 1962.