Leroy Grant

Leroy Grant

This article was written by Frederick C. Bush

Leroy GrantNegro League historian James A. Riley portrays Leroy Grant as a “hulking first sacker [who] was susceptible to bonehead plays in the field and on the bases, and evidently made some critical errors during the 1917 season.”1 In truth, although Grant did have some rough times in 1917, he was considered by many of his peers and contemporary observers to be one of the premier first baseman in all of baseball. Grant was most often compared to Hal Chase, his White counterpart, and both men plied their trade in New York City in 1912-13, Chase for the Yankees and Grant for the Lincoln Giants. Sports columnist Alvin Moses wrote of Grant, “He could bat, field, and run the bases like a frightened gazelle – in fact some of the stops and plays he executed around the initial bag appeared incredible. If he possessed any diamond weaknesses, we were never able to discern them.”2

Riley also describes Grant as “evidently temperamental and moody,” which is an apt depiction of Grant’s demeanor.3 Moses, in his post-career retrospective on Grant, likened him to another White contemporary, declaring, “His was a flaming, fiery spirit, not unlike that of the one and only Tyrus Cobb. … Grant was always willing to fight, but not in the manner that … true fighting men were wont to. Leroy thought it the most ethical thing in the world to assault a fellow player with a bat or anything at hand in lieu of such an implement of warfare.”4 Grant’s often dour mien might be a reason why, despite “all of his color and dash, he lacked the adulation of the fans.”5 His quick and violent temper certainly impacted the event that dominated his life after professional baseball and contributed to tragic circumstances until his death at the age of 62.

Leroy Grant was born on April 15, 1889, in Houston, Texas, to Ned and Mary (Thomas) Grant. Ned was a laborer who worked such odd jobs as he could find, while Mary kept house and raised the children. Leroy had at least four older brothers – Edward, William, John, and Abernethy – who ranged from 18 down to 10 years his elder; public records about the family are spotty, and Leroy appears to have had additional siblings (including at least one sister). His mother’s fate is also unknown as, at the time of the 1910 US Census, 22-year-old Leroy was living with only his 65-year-old father and two young nephews, Ellsworth, 5, and Frank Clark, 3. Ned Grant’s marital status was still listed as “married,” but no further record of Mary is to be found.6

At the time of the 1910 Census, Leroy’s occupation was listed as “Professional Bead [sic] Player.” The Texas Colored Baseball League was formed in May 1910 but did not last long, breaking up in July of the same year.7 The Houston Black Buffaloes were one of the franchises in that short-lived circuit; the team had been around prior to the TCBL’s formation and continued to play after the league folded. Although not certain, it is quite likely that Grant played for the Black Buffs or one of the other TCBL squads. Rube Foster, a fellow Texan, who owned, managed, and pitched for the Chicago American Giants, was always on the lookout for new talent. At some point that year, he discovered Grant and signed him to a contract for the 1911 season.

Grant was still a diamond in the rough during his first season with Foster’s independent ballclub, and he batted .248 in 34 games while putting up a .974 fielding percentage that was right in line with the .973 cumulative average for first basemen on the Western Independent teams. Grant did not receive much mention in the press other than appearing in box scores. However, in July, the Chicago Defender noted, “Grant, the star first sacker of the American Giants, is improving every day.”8

In January 1912 Grant traveled with Foster and pitcher Frank Wickware, another American Giants player, to Cuba, where all three played for the Fe team during the winter season. Fe finished in last place, but Wickware posted a stellar 10-3 record. Foster pitched in only two games (with no decisions), while Grant found his way into only three contests and was a meager 1-for-10 at the plate.9

Two additional members of the Fe team were pitcher Dick “Cannonball” Redding and catcher Louis Santop, who both played for the New York Lincoln Giants. Grant moved east and joined the Lincoln Giants for the 1912 season. Foster often became angry and indignant when players he discovered defected to other squads, but he may not have viewed Grant’s loss as a major blow to his team. The fact was that Grant’s play still needed improvement, although he was doing his utmost to better his game.

Grant’s new squad, the Lincoln Giants, was the dominant independent team in the East in 1912, and he played alongside four future Hall of Famers. Included among that distinguished crew were shortstop-manager John Henry “Pop” Lloyd, catcher Santop, pitcher-first baseman Ben Taylor, and fastball ace Cyclone Joe Williams.10 Unlike his teammates, Grant was overmatched: He played in 16 games and batted a paltry .196.

In December the Lincoln Giants traveled to Cuba to play a series of games against the Almendares and Habana teams. The winter visitors did not fare particularly well, posting a 5-8 record against the two Cuban squads. Redding was the only pitcher to post a winning record (2-1); Wickware, who had been so dominant the previous year, went 2-2 while Williams bottomed out at 1-5. Grant played in all 13 games and performed no better with the bat than he had back home, going 8-for-39 (.205).11

Grant persevered, however, and the 1913 campaign marked his breakout season. He raised all of his offensive numbers, in particular his batting average, which saw an almost 70-point increase to .262 in 17 games against the East’s top teams. The press took notice of the resemblances to counterparts in the White major leagues. In July the Buffalo Commercial raved that the Lincoln Giants team “has today a dark fellow who, with the exception of Chase and Jake] Daubert, is the best first baseman playing ball today.”12 The reporter extended the comparison, stating, “Grant exhibits footwork around the initial bag much the same as Chase does. He picks up the worst kind of throws out of the hard gravel and reaches for wild ones and gets them with the same grace that marked Chase when he was trying.”13

Grant’s progress as a player was even more amazing considering his weak performance in 1912. The Commercials reporter reminded readers that Grant “joined the Lincoln Giants last summer and was so poor as a player that Manager [sic] Rod McMahon tried to wish him on any colored team that would have him. He had a contract, and McMahon had to hold on to him.”14 Now, Grant was playing so well that he no longer needed to worry about job security.

In July and August 1913, the Lincoln Giants played a home-and-away “championship” series against the Chicago American Giants for supremacy in Black baseball. When the series moved from New York to Chicago, it was reported that “[b]etween 7,000 and 10,000 fans were present at Schorling’s park” [sic] on July 27 for the first game in the West.15 Although neither team belonged to a league and the championship was an unofficial one, the game had a World Series atmosphere:

“Every automobile and taxicab available on the South Side was engaged for the day. Street cars were packed and jammed and thousands walked. The Eighth Regiment band of the K. of P.’s furnished music for the waiting throng. Extra chairs were used for the occasion, benches were made especially to accommodate the massive crowd. It was a beautiful sight.”16

Cyclone Williams, who dominated much of the series, held Foster’s squad in check this day, pitching an 8-0 shutout and adding a three-run homer in the sixth inning to support his own cause. Williams’s home run “was knocked so high over the fence that it looked as though it would drop in the lake,” and the ball landed “just a few feet from the Bull Durham [so that it was] thought that the tobacco people will award him $25.00.”17

Although Grant did not distinguish himself in the series, he did his part as the Lincoln Giants claimed the championship over his former team. Foster tipped his cap to the New Yorkers, saying, “I am one who takes his hat off to the victorious Lincoln Giants. Their great playing and wonderful defense was never surpassed, if equaled, on any diamond.”18

Grant returned to New York for the 1914 and 1915 seasons. The Lincoln Giants continued to be a powerhouse squad in the East, and Grant, now a wizard with the glove, kept improving with the stick. In 1914 Grant batted exactly .300 and had a .347 on-base percentage, and in 1915 he raised those figures to .309 and .371, respectively. In both seasons, the Lincoln Giants played exhibition games against two White major-league teams, the New York Giants and Philadelphia Phillies, posting 1-1-1 and 1-3 records. Grant struggled in 1914, batting .182, but in 1915 he led all Lincoln Giants with a .385 batting average in the four games.

Grant had come such a long way from his first season with the Lincoln Giants that Cyclone Williams took him to Florida in the winter as a member of his Breakers Hotel team in the Florida Hotel League. The Breakers won the title over the Poinciana Hotel, nine games to six, but Grant struggled to an .083 batting average in the six games he played. Nonetheless, he had proven his mettle, and Foster was willing and able to lure him back to the Chicago American Giants for the 1916 season.

Grant’s homecoming to Chicago was a rousing success in 1916. Although his batting average fell, it was still a solid .278, and it was obvious how much he had improved since his first stint in the Windy City. The accolades started coming early in the season as the Chicago Defender dubbed him “Home-run” Grant after he hit a long ball in an 11-0 whitewashing of the University of Oregon on April 14 in Eugene, Oregon.19 In regard to Grant’s fielding, the Defender reported on a May 7 game against the West End team at Schorling Park, “When the infield work of the Giants started, Grant immediately caused much concern [to the West Enders] by his all-round work around the first sack and it was a revelation to the fans who applauded every play.”20

The most notable aspect of the 1916 season was the intense rivalry between the American Giants and the Indianapolis ABCs, who engaged in a bitter dispute over which squad was champion of the West that year. In October, the ABCs won four of five games in a “postseason” series between the two teams and declared themselves champions. Foster, much embarrassed by his team’s performance, pointed out that the American Giants had won three of four games (with a fifth ending in a tie) in August; thus, Foster argued, nothing had been settled between the two teams. The dispute made obvious the fact that “it remained impossible to decide which team was the best without the benefit of an organized league.”21

In the winter Grant again participated in the Florida Hotel League, though he switched over to the Poinciana Hotel team, managed by Foster, and played against his old teammate, Cyclone Williams, who still managed the Breakers Hotel squad. Grant batted .220 in 14 games as the Poinciana team captured the title with 7-6-2 record, holding Williams winless (0-4) in the process.

Grant had found the sweet spot in his baseball career as he had become a solid all-around performer and competed for championships wherever he played. In 1917 all of that came crashing down. Grant’s batting average and fielding percentage were almost identical to those of the previous season (.271 and .975 in 1917 compared to .278 and .974 in 1916) and he cut his errors from 17 to 15, but there was no forgiveness for his miscues.

The Defender, which had hailed the hero Grant in 1916, turned on him after a fielding error coupled with a baserunning blunder resulted in a tough 12-inning loss to the Kansas City All-Nations team in the first game of a doubleheader at Schorling Park on September 9, 1917. Cannonball Redding had joined the American Giants in 1917 and “up till the ninth frame [he] had held the boys from Kansas City hitless” as he engaged in a pitching duel with K.C.’s John Donaldson.22

In the fateful – or as the Defender termed it, “fatal” – 12th inning, Grant’s drop of shortstop Pop Lloyd’s throw on Cristobal Torriente’s two-out grounder gave the All-Nations team a reprieve. After catcher Clarence Coleman drew a walk, Donaldson doubled to drive in Torriente with what turned out to be the winning run. As if the situation were not awful enough for Grant, he had the chance to score the tying run in the bottom of the inning but erred again.

Grant led off the Giants’ half of the inning with a double and advanced to third on George Dixon’s sacrifice. Redding hit a long fly ball to center field, and the Defender described what happened next:

“Instead of Grant holding the bag until he saw whether the outfielder was going to catch the ball or not, knowing if he didn’t he had plenty of time to score from third with the tying run, he started for home, getting about one-fourth of the way there, seeing the ball caught, he had to return, touch the bag and then try to beat the throw. Torrenntti [sic] then had plenty of time to set himself and throw, which he did as true as an arrow and bone-headed Grant was caught five feet off the bag.”23

It was a tough way to lose the game but was not representative of Grant’s play throughout the season. Nevertheless, the Defenders reporter excoriated the American Giants’ first baseman, writing, “Both teams had good support till the twelfth, when Grant saw visions of some fried chicken and hot biscuits and he dreamed a long dream, only to awaken and find out he was the cause of defeat.”24

Despite the Defender columnist’s mean-spiritedness toward Grant on this occasion, he was a key performer on an American Giants squad that dominated the West in 1917. Chicago finished the season with a 49-14-2 record against other top Black teams while no competitor finished with a record over .500. At least Grant was able to vacation in Florida as part of the Foster-led Poinciana Hotel team in the winter. This time Grant batted .214 in 13 games as Poinciana again won the title with a 9-5 record against the Breakers Hotel.

As if to stem the tide of criticism, Grant played like a man possessed in 1918. He was in the middle of the best season of his career – .348 batting average, .411 on-base percentage, and .981 fielding percentage – when Uncle Sam came calling in July as the United States had entered the World War in the previous year. Grant had been on such a tear that the Defender now deemed him “the greatest first baseman that ever wore the American Giants uniform” when it reported that he and teammates Judy Gans, Frank Wickware, and Bobby Williams had all been ordered to report for Army service between August 1 and 5.25 In spite of the loss of key personnel, Chicago still had the best record among the Western teams, finishing 20-8-2 in a season abbreviated by various wartime restrictions.

In 1919, Grant returned from the war – along with Gans, Williams, and pitcher Tom Johnson – and Foster added Oscar Charleston and Cristobal Torriente to his strong squad. In another abbreviated season, Chicago finished 27-16 but had stiff competition from the Detroit Stars club that finished with a barely better 27-14 mark.

The most striking event that took place in 1919 was a late-July/early-August riot that caused the team’s home field, Schorling Park, to be temporarily occupied by National Guard troops. The events began on July 27:

“Eugene Williams, a black youth, was swimming near a ‘white beach’ and was attacked by a stone-throwing white male. The youth drowned, and when the police arrived, they did not take action against the perpetrator. A riot broke out that would last five days and claim the lives of 23 blacks and 15 whites. The South Side of Chicago became a war zone; children were among the dead, homes were burned, shops looted, there were volleys of gunfire and territorial wars fought over certain neighborhoods.”26

Although the city of Chicago was scarred by the events, “[t]he riot hardly fazed Rube [Foster], who in the days immediately following remained busy laying the groundwork for an organized league.”27

On February 13, 1920, Foster and his fellow owners in the West met at the Paseo branch of the YMCA in Kansas City, Missouri, and formed the Negro National League. Chicago dominated the early years of the NNL, claiming the first three league championships (1920 through 1922). In the NNL’s inaugural season, the American Giants rolled to a 43-17-2 league record (a .717 winning percentage) to claim the pennant by eight games over the Detroit Stars. At the conclusion of the season, Foster took his team on a swing through the South, where it won 14 consecutive games and defeated the Negro Southern League’s champion, the Knoxville Giants, five times. Next, the team traveled northeast to take on the Atlantic City Bacharach Giants in a series of games played at Philadelphia’s Shibe Park and Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field. This series was to serve as “a dress rehearsal for what Rube envisioned as the black World Series.”28 Chicago emerged with a 4-3-1 record in the series against the East’s top independent club of 1920, and the American Giants reigned supreme in 1920.29

Grant, who was living as a roomer in his employer Foster’s home in 1920, remained the team’s starting first baseman throughout the season, even though he slumped to a .213 batting average. His temper came to the fore in a July 31 game against the Kansas City Monarchs, the team that eventually supplanted the American Giants for NNL dominance, at K.C.’s Association Park. In the bottom of the first inning, John Donaldson – playing center field on this occasion – slid hard into Grant at first base. A fistfight between the two players ensued, and “[a] special detachment of officers rushed on the field and quelled the disturbance.”30 In the end, “[t]he affair amounted to Grant putting the big southpaw [Donaldson] to the ground and then both were banished from the game.”31 The American Giants, minus Grant, prevailed by a 9-7 score.

In 1921 the American Giants picked up where they had left off the previous season. Foster’s team claimed its second straight NNL pennant as their 44-22-2 record resulted in the league’s best winning percentage (.667); the Kansas City Monarchs won more games, posting a 54-41 (.568) league ledger, but finished 4½ games behind Chicago. In 1922 Chicago won the pennant by virtue of having an almost infinitesimally greater winning percentage than Kansas City: the American Giants’ 37-24-1 record gave them a .607 winning percentage compared with the Monarchs’ 47-31-2, .603 mark. It was the end of the American Giants’ dominance of the NNL and also heralded the decline of Grant’s career, although he still managed batting averages of .251 and .267 as the team’s regular first baseman in those two seasons.

In 1923, as the American Giants finished in second place behind the Monarchs, the Defender noted that Grant “was seldom seen in the lineup”; it reported that he had been transferred to the Indianapolis ABCs in August.32 The primary reason for Grant’s lack of playing time was no doubt the dismal .194 batting average he posted in 30 games for Chicago. The move to Indianapolis, where he batted .238 in seven games, was temporary; it turned out that Foster had sent Grant to help Indianapolis because they “were short of a first sacker.”33 Although the ABCs were an NNL rival, Foster had been looking out for the good of the league as well as that of his own team.

Grant managed to hang on with Chicago for one last season in 1924 – and played in three games for the NNL’s Cleveland Browns – but his batting average with Chicago plummeted to .180 in 29 games. The American Giants again placed second behind the Monarchs, and Foster began to make wholesale changes prior to the 1925 season. On March 7 the Defender reported, “The axe fell and fell heavy upon the heads of several players of the American Giants this week,” and noted that Grant was one of a number of “heroes of many a battle” who had been unconditionally released while other teammates had been assigned to rival NNL squads.34

Grant returned to Schorling Park on September 8, 1928, along with former American Giants left fielder Jimmie Lyons, as a member of the semipro Michigan City (Indiana) Wonders. The Wonders lost a 5-3 game to the Evanston (Illinois) Giants that day, but Grant and Lyons “were well received by the crowd: Many still believe Grant, with his coaching off first would still be an asset to the Giants.”35 Grant did have a brief future in coaching – or rather, managing – but with the Michigan City club rather than the American Giants. However, before that job opportunity presented itself, Grant’s hot temper caused his life to take a wrong turn in 1929.

Early in the year, Grant was fined $35 and sentenced to 90 days in jail for assault and battery. He was released on July 13, 1929, after serving his time, but events took a turn for the worse just a few months later. In the early morning hours of November 26, Grant stabbed a man named C.D. Frieson to death in front of a cabaret in Michigan City. According to the news account of the incident, “The stabbing occurred after a brawl. The men had been fighting over a mutual sweetheart, Miss Rosalie Jackson. Grant escaped and police said the girl refused to talk.”36 Grant was on the lam, and “[a] dragnet was set by Gary [Indiana] police” to capture him; the police believed that Grant “would try to escape to Gary and go into hiding. … He was suffering from a crippled foot and wore a slipper on the member when last seen.”37

On January 3, 1930, it was reported that an indictment for murder had been returned against Grant, though at that time he was still being sought.38 Grant was eventually captured by the authorities in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on June 18 and was returned to Michigan City to stand trial on the murder charge.39 There is considerable irony in the fact that, while Grant was set to go on trial for murder, his former American Giants teammate, pitcher Dave Brown, was playing for semipro teams in the Midwest under the alias Lefty Wilson while evading a murder charge of his own stemming from an April 28, 1925, incident in New York City.

A few months later, on November 13, it was reported that “Michigan City’s prison baseball nine had a new first base recruit today with admission of Leroy Grant, colored giant, to serve a two to twenty-one years sentence for manslaughter. Grant … was known as one of the best first basemen of his race. While in jail here [La Porte] … Grant has been keeping in training throwing a baseball at the jail wall.” 40

The very next day, Grant threw himself upon the mercy of the court as he requested a new trial. Whether he had been the recipient of poor legal advice or just had not understood his plight, “Grant said he pleaded guilty to the manslaughter charge because he thought the penalty was a one-to-10-year sentence. Grant said he was willing to stand trial on a charge of first-degree murder. The judge granted a new trial, and the state approved.”41

Grant’s trial never took place, perhaps because he could not afford legal representation, so his sentence for manslaughter stood. He was paroled on February 1, 1934, and found immediate employment in baseball. A brief paragraph in the Defender’s February 17, 1934, edition stated, “Leroy Grant, great first baseman with Rube Foster, is now manager of the Michigan City Giants at Michigan City, Ind. Grant and club owner, Kemp, visited the offices of The Chicago Defender last week and both looked fine.”42 Grant had kept baseball at the forefront of his activities by playing for the prison team throughout his incarceration, and a brief article in early April reported, “Spring training of the Indiana state prison baseball squad has begun. … Prospects for another good team [are] bright. … Only one man, Leroy Grant, colored Michigan City star, has been lost by ‘graduation.’”43

Grant completed the terms of his parole and was discharged from his sentence completely on January 31, 1935. It should have been the beginning of a new lease on life, but he was unable to stay out of legal trouble. In 1936 Grant was fined $110 and sentenced to 180 days in jail for public intoxication (and presumably creating a disturbance). Then, for a time, he managed to walk the straight and narrow. However, in 1941, he was fined $213.50 and again served a 180-day jail sentence for assault and battery.

Grant was still out of prison in April 1942, when he filled out a World War II draft registration card. He was residing in Michigan City and listed as his contact person Clarence Kemp, owner of the city’s semipro baseball team with whom he had visited the Defenders offices in 1934. Within less than a year from this time, new circumstances resulted in Grant losing his freedom for the remainder of his life. Official records do not indicate the manner in which Grant again ran afoul of the law, but he was admitted to Logansport State Hospital, a psychiatric facility, on January 13, 1943, and was declared by the State of Indiana to be legally insane. He was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and was transferred from Logansport to the Indiana Hospital for Insane Criminals (IHIC) in Michigan City on March 30, 1943.44

Grant’s health continued to decline during what was to be his permanent incarceration at the IHIC, and, on May 2, 1949, he was transferred back to Logansport State Hospital, where he could receive better treatment for the physical ailments that now plagued him as well. Grant remained institutionalized at Logansport until his death on May 7, 1951. His death certificate listed the following conditions as contributory causes of death: pulmonary tyberculosis [sic], generalized arteriosclerosis, and schizophrenic psychosis. His body was donated for scientific study to the Anatomical Board of Indiana University.

Grant’s prison records and death certificate both listed him as a widower, but no record of his marriage has been uncovered. Thus, the identity of his wife remains a mystery, though Grant’s prison records indicate that the couple did not have any children.

Grant’s crimes cannot be excused or dismissed, but his isolation in his final years and the fact that he suffered from physical and mental illnesses were tragic. It was an unfortunate end to the life of a player about whom Alvin Moses had written in 1927 in the Pittsburgh Courier, “When one attempts to assemble great first basemen, just remember that LEROY GRANT belongs – and that’s that.”45



Thanks to Michael Vetman, archivist for the Indiana Archives and Records Administration, for providing official documents about Leroy Grant’s prison terms and transfers to hospital facilities.



Except where otherwise indicate, all player statistics and team records were taken from Seamheads.com.

Ancestry.com was consulted for US Census information, military records, and birth and death records.



1 James A. Riley, The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues (New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers, Inc., 1994), 331. Grant was not as “hulking” as Riley thought him to be. Riley lists Grant as standing 6-feet-4 and weighing 215 pounds; however, on Grant’s World War II draft registration card, he is listed as 5-feet-11 and 174 pounds.

2 Alvin J. Moses, “In Baseball’s ‘Hall of Fame’ – Leroy Grant – The Wizard – First Baseman,” Pittsburgh Courier, June 4, 1927: 16.

3 Riley, 331.

4 Moses.

5 Moses.

6 Leroy’s brother, William, died in Houston on June 23, 1938. His death certificate indicates that both Mary Grant’s maiden name and exact place of birth in the state of Louisiana were unknown to Texas officials at that time; also unknown is whether she and Ned Grant split or she predeceased her husband.

7 Mike Vance, ed., Houston Baseball: The Early Years, 1861-1961 (Houston: Bright Sky Press, 2014), 259.

8 “American or Chicago Giants Which?” Chicago Defender, July 8, 1911: 1.

9 Jorge Figueredo, Cuban Baseball: A Statistical History, 1878-1961 (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2003), 97-100.

10 Williams may be better known today by the nickname Smokey Joe; however, at this point in his career, most news accounts referred to him as Cyclone Joe.

11 Severo Nieto, Early U.S. Blackball Teams in Cuba: Box Scores, Rosters and Statistics from the Files of Cuba’s Foremost Baseball Researcher (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2008), 105, 113.

12 “Most Ball Players Develop Themselves,” Buffalo Commercial, July 10, 1913: 4.

13 “Most Ball Players Develop Themselves.”

14 “Most Ball Players Develop Themselves.” Rod “Jess” McMahon and Ed McMahon were co-owners of the team; Pop Lloyd was the manager in 1912.

15 Cary B. Lewis, “Lincoln Giants Win First Two Games in Championship Series – American Giants Win Third Game – Great Games on Saturday and Sunday,” Indianapolis Freeman, August 2, 1913: 4.

16 Lewis.

17 Lewis.

18 Paul Debono, The Chicago American Giants (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2007), 47.

19 “Giants Drub U. of O.,” Chicago Defender, April 15, 1916: 7.

20 Mr. Fan, “American Giants Win,” Chicago Defender, May 13, 1916: 7.

21 Debono, 62.

22 Mister Fan, “Grant Dreams; Redding Loses Hard Game: Bonehead Play Gives All Nations 12-Inning Win,” Chicago Defender, September 15, 1917: 10.

23 “Grant Dreams; Redding Loses Hard Game.”

24 “Grant Dreams; Redding Loses Hard Game.”

25 “Draft Hits Rube Foster’s Club Hard,” Chicago Defender, July 27, 1918: 9.

26 Debono, 71-72. See also: Gary Ashwill, “White Racial Violence & the Negro Leagues: The Chicago Riot of 1919,” June 14, 2020, https://agatetype.typepad.com/agate_type/2020/06/white-racial-violence-the-negro-leagues-the-chicago-riot-of-1919.html.

27 Debono, 73.

28 Debono, 80.

29 Chicago’s 4-3-1 record against the Bacharach Giants was derived from the game accounts found in Bill Nowlin’s timeline for the 1920 American Giants in the present volume.

30 “A Late Rally Beats Monarchs,” Kansas City Star, August 1, 1920: 14.

31 “Rube’s Crew Flays Monarchs,” Chicago Whip, August 7, 1920: 6.

32 “Foster Begins to Wreck Once Great Machine, Chicago Defender, August 11, 1923: 9.

33 “Leroy Grant Back in City: Had Been with Indianapolis,” Chicago Defender, September 1, 1923: 9.

34 “Foster Releases Several Ballplayers: Leroy Grant Among Those Unfortunates,” Chicago Defender, March 7, 1925: 12.

35 “Evanston Is Winner over Michigan City,” Chicago Defender, September 15, 1928: 8.

36 “Negro Fatally Stabbed,” Seymour (Indiana) Tribune, November 26, 1929: 1.

37 “Search for Michigan City Killer,” Munster (Indiana) Times, November 26, 1929: 17.

38 “Maloney Is Sentenced,” Munster Times, January 3, 1930: 25.

39 “News Briefs,” Bedford (Indiana) Daily Times, June 18, 1930: 3.

40 “Prison Nine Recruit,” Indianapolis News, November 13, 1930: 26.

41 “Objects to Sentence; Now to Stand Trial,” Muncie (Indiana) Evening Press, November 14, 1930: 10.

42 “Leroy Grant Is Manager of Nine,” Chicago Defender, February 17, 1934: 8.

43 “Prison to Have a Good Team,” Valparaiso (Indiana) Vidette-Messenger, April 10, 1934: 6.

44 The Indiana Hospital for Insane Criminals (IHIC) was built by prison labor in 1910 and admitted its first inmates in 1912. The IHIC facility was demolished in 1954, but Logansport State Hospital was still open as of 2021.

45 Moses.

Full Name

Leroy Grant


April 15, 1889 at Houston, TX (USA)


May 7, 1951 at Logansport, IN (USA)

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