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Founder of Negro National League dies

December
09
1930

On this day in 1930, Andrew "Rube" Foster, "father of the Negro Baseball League," died in Illinois. He was born in Calvert, Texas, in 1879. He began a barnstorming career at age seventeen pitching with the traveling Waco Yellow Jackets. By 1902 his abilities enabled him to move north, where he pitched for some of the foremost black teams of his era, including the Chicago Union Giants and the Philadelphia Giants. In 1902 he won the nickname Rube for defeating white Hall of Fame pitcher Rube Waddell in an exhibition game. In 1903 he won four games of the first Colored World Series. After an illustrious playing career Foster became a baseball manager and businessman. He helped form the Chicago American Giants, for whom he recruited fellow Texan Smokey Joe Williams, in 1911 and in February 1920 organized the Negro National League. At a time when there were few opportunities for blacks, Foster and his team held celebrity status in black America and were followed avidly through nationally circulated black newspapers.

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