Whirty: Sioux City holds special place in black baseball history

From SABR member Ryan Whirty at the Des Moines Register on April 2, 2015:

Segregation-era baseball — that period of time between the drawing of the Jim Crow color line in the late 1880s and Jackie Robinson’s trailblazing 1946 and ’47 seasons — was filled with colorful characters. From the enigmatic, almost mythic Satchel Paige to the pugnacious Oscar Charleston to flamboyant, take-no-prisoners team owner Effa Manley — Hall of Famers all — the cast of Negro Leagues history made sure there was never a dull moment behind the racial curtain.

Pre-integration African-American baseball also sported another key characteristic — it was a complex yet elegant tapestry of historical quirks and coincidences. In the Negro Leagues, you didn’t have to play six degrees of separation — it was more like two degrees, tops.

No enterprise embodied both of these blackball traits more than the Van Dyke Colored House of David, a Sioux City-based, African-American barnstorming team featuring an owner that was part genius, part cynical schemer, and a roster laden with both career baseball retreads and up-and-coming talents. The ace of the pitching staff was named Yellowhorse, for goodness sake.

Read the full article here: http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/life/2015/04/04/sioux-city-baseball-house-davids/70762122/

Originally published: April 6, 2015. Last Updated: April 6, 2015.