Moses “Fleetwood” Walker becomes the first African-American player in major league baseball, signing with the Toledo club in the American Association.
Walker, a star catcher at Oberlin College, despite a creditable performance with Toledo, was cut from the squad after the season but continued to play in organized baseball with minor league teams.
Several African-American players were active on the rosters of white minor league teams during the period.
The first all-black professional team, the Cuban Giants, is founded in Babylon, New York.
The National Colored Base Ball League, the first attempt at a professional Negro League, is formed.
The league includes Lord Baltimores (Baltimore), Resolutes (Boston), Browns (Cincinnati), Falls City (Louisville), Gorhams (New York), Pythians (Philadelphia), Pittsburgh Keystones, Capital City Club (Washington).
Two weeks later the league will fail from lack of attendance.
The International League implements a ban on African-American players. The league’s ban will continue until 1946.
“Bud” Fowler forms the Page Fence Giants club, one of black baseball’s early powerhouse teams. Based in Adrian, Michigan the club tours the Midwest and East in their own railroad car taking on all comers, including major league clubs like the Cincinnati Reds.
In the famous Plessy vs. Furgeson case the United States Supreme Court upholds Louisianna’s law requiring “separate but equal” public facilities for blacks. The decision firmly establishes the docrine of racial segregation throughout the South and much of the nation.
The Page Fence Giants and Cuban Giants, the undisputed champions of black baseball in the East, play an historic series of games billed as a “national championship” series. The Page Fence fence club prevails, winning 10 of 15 games.
Andrew “Rube” Foster, renowned pitcher and owner of the Chicago American Giants, calls Midwestern team owners to Kansas City. The result of the meeting is the formation of the Negro National League.
The Negro Southern League begins play in the South. League cities include Atlanta, Nashville, Birmingham, Memphis, New Orleans and Chattanooga. Nashville Elite Giants owner, Thomas Wilson (shown at right), serves as league president.
Ed Bolden (owner of the Hilldale Club) and Nat Strong (Brooklyn Royal Giants owner) organize the Eastern Colored League.
Kansas City wins the series championship 5 games to 4.
The Eastern Colored League disbands midseason.
The American Negro League is formed in the East and begins its inaugural (and only) season with the Baltimore Black Sox, Lincoln Giants, Homestead Grays, Hilldale Cub, Bacharach Giants, and Cuban Stars (East).
The stock market crash and onset of the Great Depression places financial pressure on all of America, including Negro League baseball.
In the East a failed effort was made to reestablish an organized league. The East-West league, which included the Baltimore Black Sox, Cleveland Stars, Cuban Stars, Hilldales, Homestead Grays and Newark Browns, failed to complete the season. The league disbanded in June.
A new Negro National League is formed. Organized by Pittsburgh bar owner, Gus Greenlee, the league launches its inaugural season with seven teams — Cole’s American Giants, Monroe Monarchs, Nashville Elite Giants, Montgomery Grey Sox, Louisville Black Caps and Indianapolis ABCs.
The first East-West Colored All-Star Game is played at Chicago’s Comiskey Park before 20,000+ fans. The West defeated the East 11-7.
Satchel Paige is signed by the Cleveland Indians and becomes baseball’s all-time oldest “rookie” at the age of 42.
The Negro National League plays its final season, disbanding at the end of the year.
The Negro American League becomes the only “major” Negro League circuit still in operation.
By the end of the season more than 150 former Negro League players have been integrated into organized baseball. Without its greatest stars, and struggling with low attendance, the great era of Negro League baseball comes to a close.