As the country’s economic depression deepened Tom Wilson, owner of the Nashville Elite Giants, moved his team from Nashville to Cleveland in 1931, changed the club’s name to the Clevland Cubs, and hoped to reap the benefits of a larger market. The plan was not a success. Despite having the services of Satchel Paige, the biggest drawing card in all of black baseball, the Cubs were unable to attract much attendance to their tiny stadium across the street from League Park. And, by the season’s end, both the team and the Negro National League were in difficult financial straits.
At the conclusion of the 1931 season, the Negro National League collapsed, and Wilson returned his team to Nashville to play the 1932 season in the Negro Southern League.