4 days ago
Keokuk, Iowa, baseball club featuring JOHN W. ‘BUD’ FOWLER, Date: 1885 Photo Credit: National Baseball Library Photographer: Unknown
Bud Fowler (March 16, 1858 - February 26, 1913), born John W. Jackson, was a baseball player and baseball club organizer, the first known Black professional player. He played more seasons and more games in Organized Baseball than any black man until Jackie Robinson in 1946.
|Smithsonian’s Anacostia Community Museum Opens “Separate and Unequaled: Black Baseball in the District of Columbia”|
From the mid-19th century, baseball was played on sandlots, public parks and white-owned ball fields across the District of Columbia. But the most popular teams, accomplished players and thrilling games, whether professional or amateur, neighborhood or citywide, came out of the black community. Long before Jackie Robinson integrated the Brooklyn Dodgers, exceptional players like Josh Gibson, Buck Leonard and James “Cool Papa” Bell were setting records and drawing capacity crowds as players for the Homestead Grays, one of the Negro Leagues’ top teams.
African American baseball players from Morris Brown College, with boy and another man, standing at door, Atlanta, Georgia
|The story of black baseball in Washington begins as early as the mid-1800s when the game was “a perfect mania” in the city, according to a Sept. 11, 1866, Daily National Intelligencerarticle. Baseball clubs formed throughout the city as citizens young and old eagerly participated in the sport. But neighborhood and organized African American teams, unable to own ballparks, played wherever they could and often requested the use of white-owned fields,|
Posted by sookietex at 6:27 PM || ||