The Negro Leagues

The first successful attempt to establish a major Negro baseball league came in 1920, with the founding of the Negro National League. The circuit operated through 1931, with clubs located in the Midwest and the South. The Eastern Colored League was formed in 1923 and survived into the spring of 1928. Eastern teams played as the American Negro League in 1929.

The East-West League folded in the season it was founded, 1932; that year, the Negro Southern League was the only major circuit to complete its schedule. The NSL was a minor league before and after the 1932 season. From 1933 through 1936, the second Negro National League ran unchallenged as a black major league. It included teams from the East and Midwest, and from Nashville in 1933-34. By 1936, the NNL was operating exclusively in the East. In 1937 midwestern and southern franchises formed the Negro American League. The NAL and the NNL co-existed through 1948; in 1949, the NAL absorbed the NNL and survived as the last major black circuit through 1960.

Negro leagues generally contained six teams, though it was not uncommon for them to have a few more or less. Baltimore, Chicago, Kansas City, New York, and Philadelphia were usually represented. Among other cities, fielding teams were Atlantic City, Birmingham, Cleveland, Detroit, Indianapolis, Memphis, Newark, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, and Washington. The schedules were set up to allow member teams to play against other competition, primarily white semi-pro opponents. As a result, it was common for the black clubs to play more non-league than league contests. Teams normally played from 50 to 80 league games a season.

Over the years, 11 inter-league Black World Series were held. The NNL and ECL titlists played from 1924 through 1927. Champions from the NAL and NNL met from 1942 through 1948. In 1933 club owners initiated the East-West all-star game. Into the 1950s, the contest was played each summer at Chicago’s Comiskey Park. Bringing the best black players together, the East-West game would attract from 20,000 to 50,000 fans, and provided an important source of revenue for the black teams.

Negro Baseball League History

» Click here to learn more about Negro League History

Negro League Baseball Players

» See the players here

Negro League Timeline Of Events

» See the timeline here

Negro League Teams

Negro League Related Posts

Was there more than one Negro League?

When was the first Negro League organized?

Who was the first African-American player to play with a major league team?

Did Negro League teams ever play against major league teams?

Why did the Negro Leagues disappear?

When did the Baseball Negro Leagues end?

When was the first Negro World Series played?

Was there more than one Negro National League?

Were there any successful Negro League teams based in the South?

Did Josh Gibson hit 84 home runs in a single season?

Did Hank Aaron play in the Negro Leagues?

How old was Satchel Paige when he was called to the major leagues?

Were there any white players in the Negro Leagues?

Which baseball major league stars began their careers in the Negro Leagues?

Is there a separate Hall of Fame for Negro League players?

How many Negro League players are in the Hall of Fame?

Were Negro League teams really as good as major league teams?

Which team was the best Negro League team ever?