From SABR member Gary Ashwill at Seamheads.com on January 15, 2012:
New to the DB this week are the 1914 and 1915 Negro leagues. The 1914 season in particular marks a turning point in black baseball history, as Charles Isham Taylor, former manager of the Birmingham Giants and West Baden Sprudels, arrived in Indianapolis to take over the A.B.C.s, bringing along with him his three ballplaying brothers: Ben, Steel Arm Johnny, and Candy Jim. Starting from this season, the market for professional black baseball in the Midwest mushroomed, as these two teams, the traveling Cuban Stars, and the St. Louis Giants played more and more games against each other. A league seemed the inevitable outcome, though this wouldn’t actually come about until 1920. Rube Foster seemed to be thinking in these terms, as he spent the latter part of 1914 shuttling between Chicago and Louisville, where he was managing the Louisville White Sox in an apparent attempt to build up a potential franchise there. In 1915 two of the Taylor brothers, Jim and John, would take over the White Sox, though in the end the venture failed, and they finished the season with a traveling team they called the Chicago Black Sox.
The American Giants enjoyed a typically dominant (42-13) 1914 season, but lost one of their star pitchers, the 23-year-old Bill Lindsay, to tuberculosis on September 1. He was still playing only a month before his death, putting up a 4-0 record and a .500 batting average (10 for 20) against black teams. The following spring saw another blow to Foster’s team, as longtime star Bill Monroe, a brilliant infielder, flamboyant entertainer, and crowd favorite, died in Chattanooga, Tennessee, again of tuberculosis. The Giants, despite getting shortstop John Henry Lloyd and young pitcher Dick Whitworth, among others, to take their places, slumped in 1915. They actually lost their season series with Indianapolis, 6 games to 3, and finished behind the A.B.C.s’ overall record against black teams (37-25-1 vs. Chicago’s 29-25-3).
Read the full article here: http://seamheads.com/2012/01/15/negro-leagues-db-update-1914-1915-negro-leagues/
Related link: Read our Q&A with Gary Ashwill about the Negro Leagues Database (September 14, 2011)
Originally published: January 16, 2012. Last Updated: July 16, 2020.