GM – FBF – Today’s American Champions were the brave soldiers who would go out and show both black and white audiences that were the best par none. The Negro leagues were United States professional baseball leagues comprising teams of African Americans and, to a lesser extent, Latin Americans.The term may be used broadly to include professional black teams outside the leagues and it may be used narrowly for the seven relatively successful leagues beginning in 1920 that are sometimes termed “Negro Major Leagues”.In 1885, the Cuban Giants formed the first black professional baseball team. The first league, the National Colored Base Ball League, was organized strictly as a minor league but failed in 1887 after only two weeks owing to low attendance. After integration, the quality of the Negro leagues slowly deteriorated and the Negro American League of 1951 is generally considered the last major league season. The last professional club, the Indianapolis Clowns, operated as a humorous sideshow rather than competitively from the mid-1960s to the 1980s.In December 2020, Major League Baseball announced that it was classifying the seven “Negro Major Leagues” as major leagues, recognizing statistics and approximately 3,400 players who played from 1920 to 1948.Today in our History – May 2 – THE NATIONAL NEGRO LEAGUE was FOUNDED and Played it first game.During the formative years of black baseball, the term “colored” was the accepted usage when referring to African-Americans. References to black baseball prior to the 1930s are usually to “colored” leagues or teams, such as the Southern League of Colored Base Ballists (1886), the National Colored Base Ball League (1887) and the Eastern Colored League (1923), among others. By the 20s or 30s, the term “Negro” came into use which led to references to “Negro” leagues or teams. The black World Series was referred to as the Colored World Series from 1924 to 1927, and the Negro World Series from 1942 to 1948.The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People petitioned the public to recognize a capital “N” in negro as a matter of respect for black people. By 1930, essentially every major US outlet had adopted “Negro” as the accepted term for blacks. By about 1970, the term “Negro” had fallen into disfavor, but by then the Negro leagues were mere historic artifacts.On May 2, 1920, the Indianapolis ABCs beat Charles “Joe” Green’s Chicago Giants (4–2) in the first game played in the inaugural season of the Negro National League, played at Washington Park in Indianapolis. But, because of the Chicago Race Riot of 1919, the National Guard still occupied the Giants’ home field, Schorling’s Park (formerly South Side Park). This forced Foster to cancel all the Giants’ home games for almost a month and threatened to become a huge embarrassment for the league. On March 2, 1920 the Negro Southern League was founded in Atlanta, Georgia.In 1921, the Negro Southern League joined Foster’s National Association of Colored Professional Base Ball Clubs. As a dues-paying member of the association, it received the same protection from raiding parties as any team in the Negro National League.Foster then admitted John Connors’ Atlantic City Bacharach Giants as an associate member to move further into Nat Strong’s territory. Connors, wanting to return the favor of helping him against Strong, raided Ed Bolden’s Hilldale Daisies team. Bolden saw little choice but to team up with Foster’s nemesis, Nat Strong. Within days of calling a truce with Strong, Bolden made an about-face and signed up as an associate member of Foster’s Negro National League.On December 16, 1922, Bolden once again shifted sides and, with Strong, formed the Eastern Colored League as an alternative to Foster’s Negro National League, which started with six teams: Atlantic City Bacharach Giants, Baltimore Black Sox, Brooklyn Royal Giants, New York Cuban Stars, Hilldale, and New York Lincoln Giants. The National League was having trouble maintaining continuity among its franchises: three teams folded and had to be replaced after the 1921 season, two others after the 1922 season, and two more after the 1923 season. Foster replaced the defunct teams, sometimes promoting whole teams from the Negro Southern League into the NNL. Finally Foster and Bolden met and agreed to an annual World Series beginning in 1924.1925 saw the St. Louis Stars come of age in the Negro National League. They finished in second place during the second half of the year due in large part to their pitcher turned center fielder, Cool Papa Bell, and their shortstop, Willie Wells. A gas leak in his home nearly asphyxiated Rube Foster in 1926, and his increasingly erratic behavior led to him being committed to an asylum a year later. While Foster was out of the picture, the owners of the National League elected William C. Hueston as new league president. In 1927, Ed Bolden suffered a similar fate as Foster, by committing himself to a hospital because the pressure was too great. The Eastern League folded shortly after that, marking the end of the World Series between the NNL and the ECL.After the Eastern League folded following the 1927 season, a new eastern league, the American Negro League, was formed to replace it. The makeup of the new ANL was nearly the same as the Eastern League, the exception being that the Homestead Grays joined in place of the now-defunct Brooklyn Royal Giants. The ANL lasted just one season. In the face of harder economic times, the Negro National League folded after the 1931 season. Some of its teams joined the only Negro league then left, the Negro Southern League.On March 26, 1932 the Chicago Defender announced the end of Negro National League.Some proposals were floated to bring the Negro leagues into “organized baseball” as developmental leagues for black players, but that was recognized as contrary to the goal of full integration. So the Negro leagues, once among the largest and most prosperous black-owned business ventures, were allowed to fade into oblivion.First a trickle and then a flood of players signed with Major League Baseball teams. Most signed minor league contracts and many languished, shuttled from one bush league team to another despite their success at that level.The Negro National League folded after the 1948 season when the Grays withdrew to resume barnstorming, the Eagles moved to Houston, Texas, and the New York Black Yankees folded. The Grays folded one year later after losing $30,000 in the barnstorming effort. So the Negro American League was the only “major” Negro league operating in 1949. Within two years it had been reduced to minor league caliber and it played its last game in 1958.The last All-Star game was held in 1962, and by 1966 the Indianapolis Clowns were the last Negro league team still playing. The Clowns continued to play exhibition games into the 1980s, but as a humorous sideshow rather than a competitive sport. Research more about this great American Champion event and share it with your babies. Make it a champion day!