Francis: Negro Leagues photos newly available at Baseball Hall of Fame website

From SABR member Bill Francis at on October 16, 2017:

In retrospect, the image is a powerful one. Taken almost eight decades ago, it shows a trio of ballplayers standing near home plate, the camera’s angle also capturing the left-field portion of a cavernous Yankee Stadium. But instead of the hometown Yankees in action, the picture shows only African-American ballplayers at a time when they weren’t playing in the major leagues.

In the second game of a four-team Negro National League doubleheader on Aug. 13, 1939, this shot in time shows Homestead Grays slugging first baseman Buck Leonard scoring as the result of a three-run, eighth-inning home run, helping his team to a 10-5 win over the New York Black Yankees.

Second baseman Sam Bankhead (No. 7), who scored on the homer, and the next batter, catcher Josh Gibson, are shown congratulating Leonard at home. Seen in the background is Black Yankees third baseman Walter Cannady, while umpire Pops Turner can be seen near third base.

This is one of 237 Negro League photographs recently made available in PASTIME, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum’s digital collection accessible at

Read the full article here:

Originally published: October 16, 2017. Last Updated: October 16, 2017.