The Stars Shone on Philadelphia: The 1934 Negro National League Champions, edited by Frederick C. Bush and Bill Nowlin

SABR Digital Library: The Stars Shone on Philadelphia: The 1934 Negro National League Champions

The Stars Shone on Philadelphia: The 1934 Negro National League Champions, edited by Frederick C. Bush and Bill NowlinAdd a new baseball book to your collection from the SABR Digital Library:

The Stars Shone on Philadelphia: The 1934 Negro National League Champions
Edited by Frederick C. Bush and Bill Nowlin
Associate editors: Len Levin and Carl Riechers
ISBN (ebook): 978-1-960819-04-8, $9.99
ISBN (paperback): 978-1-960819-05-5, $24.95
8.5″ x 11″, 240 pages

In 1934, Ed Bolden’s Philadelphia Stars joined the new Negro National League II (NNL2), which had been founded one year earlier. After fending off their intrastate-rivals, the Pittsburgh Crawfords, the Stars claimed the NNL2’s second-half championship and faced the first-half champions for the title. They defeated the Chicago American Giants to claim the NNL2 crown.

Over two dozen SABR members researched the Stars’ history for this book, which includes biographies of as many of the team’s players as possible, even those who participated in only a single game. The 1934 Stars featured future Hall of Famers Raleigh “Biz” Mackey and Jud Wilson; stalwarts like Phil Cockrell, Webster McDonald, and Chaney White; shooting star Stewart “Slim” Jones; and temporary fill-ins like Frederick Coleman and Clifford “Whip” Irons.

Majority owner Ed Bolden, a vital figure in the history of Philadelphia baseball, and minority owner/booking agent Eddie Gottlieb—who is better known to basketball fans—are both featured, as well, along with the history of the Stars’ home ballpark in 1934, Passon Field, named after another prominent local baseball entrepreneur. Also included is a complete season timeline, articles about select games such as the epic September 9 Satchel Paige-Slim Jones pitching duel at Yankee Stadium, and a comprehensive write-up of the NNL2 championship series complete this portrait of the 1934 title-winning team.

Contributors include: Rebecca T. Alpert, Richard Bogovich, Frederick C. Bush, Alan Cohen, Joseph Gerard, Darren Gibson, Margaret M. Gripshover, Michael Haupert, Leslie Heaphy, Paul Hofmann, Jay Hurd, Bill Johnson, Thomas Kern, Bob LeMoine, Len Levin, Bill Nowlin, Will Osgood, James Overmyer, Richard J. Puerzer, Chris Rainey, Carl Riechers, Courtney Michelle Smith, Jeb Stewart, Mike Whiteman, and Dave Wilkie.


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About the SABR Digital Library

For more than 40 years, SABR and its members have led the way in publishing the best baseball historical and statistical research. Our publications program is shifting to take advantage of new methods of publishing. Not only will we continue to publish new books like Can He Play? A Look At Baseball Scouts and Their Profession (2011); Inventing Baseball: The 100 Greatest Games of the 19th Century (2013); Scandal on the South Side: The 1919 Chicago White Sox (2015); Au jeu/Play Ball: The 50 Greatest Games in the History of the Montreal Expos (2016); The Pride of Smoketown: The 1935 Pittsburgh Crawfords (2020); and Jackie Robinson: Perspectives on 42 (2021), which showcase the best efforts of SABR’s members, chapters and committees, but new technology makes it possible for us to bring out-of-print titles like The Fenway Project (2013); Go-Go to Glory: The 1959 Chicago White Sox (2019); and Green Cathedrals (2020) back again.

Visit to find all past titles and download your favorites. Books will be available in digital formats as well as paperbacks produced by “print on demand” (POD).

SABR members can download all Digital Library e-book editions for free and save 50% on purchase of the paperback editions. If you’re not a member, click here to join SABR.

Stay tuned throughout the year for new (and old!) titles that we’ll be adding to the SABR Digital Library. To learn more about SABR Publications, contact Publications Editor Cecilia Tan at

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Originally published: August 23, 2023. Last Updated: August 22, 2023.