Edited by Azizi Powell
This post is part of an ongoing series on group names of Negro League baseball teams and non-White American traveling (barnstorming) baseball teams.
This post presents a list of names of Negro League or traveling baseball teams that include a power or high status referent.
These names are posted in relative alphabetical order under the broad sub-categories. The home state for the team is given in brackets after the team name. If the team was a traveling team, that information is provided in brackets. Also, in some cases, brief editorial comments are posted below the group name.
In a few cases, a brief comment and a hyperlink are given for more information about a particular team.
The content of this post is presented for historical, cultural, and educational value.
It's my position that some of the names of these Negro League baseball teams provide information about the perspectives of Black people during the years that those teams were active. The use of power and other high status names by Black American baseball teams was a public rejection of the low status that was prevalent in the United States toward Black people. Similar high status names were adopted by other Black celebrities, including early Blues musicians and vocalists. A similar custom of choosing royalty and other high status stage names can be found in the names of Trinidadian Calypsonians.
Some of the group names that are featured in this post are also included in other posts in this series. For instance, the name "Twin City Colored Giants" [Minnesota] is also included in http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2013/11/racial-and-ethnic-referents-in-group.html
Click http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negro_league_baseball for information about the history of The Negro League Baseball
All copyrights remain with their owners.
I know very little about baseball or that sport's history. Corrections and additions are very welcome.
POWER AND OTHER HIGH STATUS REFERENCES IN THE NAMES OF NEGRO LEAGUE BASEBALL TEAMS
Source of team names: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Negro_league_baseball_teams
Birmingham Black Barons [Alabama]
Louisville Black Colonels [Kentucky]
Cleveland Elites [Ohio]
["Giants" was by far the most often occurring word in the names of Negro League teams. My sense is that was because the word "giant" conveys strength, power, and fierceness in competititon.]
Atlantic City Bacharach Giants [New Jersey]
Baltimore Elite Giants [Maryland]
Boston Royal Giants [Massachusetts]
Brooklyn Royal Giants [New York]
Chicago American Giants [Illinois]
Chicago Columbia Giants [Illinois]
Chicago Giants [Illinois]
Chicago Union Giants [Illinois]
[Read information given under the Leland Giants.]
Columbus Elite Giants [Ohio]
Cuban X-Giants [New Jersey]
The Cuban X-Giants may be the same group as the "Cuban Giants" who are mentioned in this Wikipedia page on the history of Negro League Baseball:
"The first nationally-known black professional baseball team was founded in 1885 when three clubs, the Keystone Athletics of Philadelphia, the Orions of Philadelphia, and the Manhattans of Washington, D.C., merged to form the Cuban Giants."
Kansas City Giants [Kansas]
Leland Giants [Illinois]
"The Chicago Union Giants, the top black baseball team in the Midwest or West in the first decade of the 20th century, changed its name in 1905 to the Leland Giants, after manager and owner Frank Leland...
In 1910, Foster and Leland split and Foster won the rights to the Leland Giants name; Leland's new team was called the Chicago Giants. The Leland Giants went 11-0 against top black teams that year and said they went 123-6 overall. The club was the most talented to date, as Home Run Johnson and Pop Lloyd (HOF) joined to play the middle infield, Petway, Hill and Foster returned and Frank Wickware joined the staff.
After the season, the team traveled to Cuba for the winter, playing the island's top teams. Cuban teams signed Lloyd, Hill, Johnson and Petway to play with them against the touring Detroit Tigers and Philadelphia Athletics. Black players gained recognition in the Detroit series by outhitting Ty Cobb and Sam Crawford.
In 1911, the club was renamed the Chicago American Giants."
Lincoln Giants [New York]
Shreveport Acme Giants [Louisiana]
"Acme" means something that is at the point of perfection.
Twin City Colored Giants [Minnesota]
Washington Elite Giants [District of Columbia]
Baltimore Lord Baltimores [Maryland]
Monroe Monarchs [Louisiana]
Philadelphia Pythians [Pennsylvania]
“The Philadelphia Pythians (also Pythian Base Ball Club or Pythian Baseball Club) were founded in 1867 as the first black baseball club. It was founded by young African American leaders: Jacob C. White Jr. and Octavius V. Catto. The Pythians were composed of primarily business and middle class professionals from the surrounding areas of Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and New York City...
Catto and White believed baseball was another way in which African Americans could assert their skills and independence, and prove their right to full citizenship and equality”.
Italics were added to highlight this sentence.
Click http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knights_of_Pythias for information about the “The Knights of Pythias" fraternal organization that was founded at Washington, DC, on 19 February 1864.
Here's an excerpt of that post:
"The Knights of Pythias was the first fraternal organization to receive a charter under an act of the United States Congress...
...Though the whites only clause was officially adopted in 1871, no black members had been admitted since the founding of the Order. The question of repealing the whites only clause came up in the 1964 and 1968 Supreme Lodges, but was not definitively acted upon. The Order remained whites only until at least 1979. Members are accepted by blackball ballot."
Austin Black Senators [Texas]
Washington Black Senators [District of Columbia]
Chappie Johnson's Stars [traveling team]
Cleveland Tate Stars [Ohio]
Cuban Stars (East) [traveling team]
Cuban Stars (West) [traveling team]
Harlem Stars [New York]
Lincoln Stars [New York]
New Orleans Crescent Stars [Louisiana]
Philadelphia Stars [Pennsylvania]
Thanks to the authors of the Wikipedia page who published a complete list of names of Negro League teams.
Thanks to all those who were members of those teams.
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