After playing its first four seasons as an independent the Black Yankees entered the Negro National League in 1936 and remained there until the league folded after the 1948 seasons. The team enjoyed excellent attendance at its home game in Yankee Stadium, but its fortunes on the field were less impressive. In its thirteen NNL seasons, the team finished in last place ten times.
Once owned by famed entertainer Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, throughout its years in the NNL the club was owned by NY underworld figure “Soldier Boy” Semler. Despite their dismal record, the Black Yankees remained one of black baseball’s “glamour” franchises principally because of its home field, Yankee Stadium, and the high visibility the park offered to visiting Negro League teams.