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Wed, 09.17.1879

Rube Foster, Baseball Player, and Manager born

"Rube" Foster

*On this date, we recall the birth of Andrew "Rube" Foster in 1879. He was a Black baseball player and manager.

From Calvert, Texas, as a raw-talent Negro League rookie pitcher in 1902, Foster is credited with 51 victories. In 1903, pitching for the Cuban American Giants, he won four games in the playoff victory over the Philadelphia Giants. The next year, after jumping to the Philly team, Rube won two games in the three-game playoff victory over his former teammates.

He played for the St. Paul Colored Gophers.  Rube Foster's keen mind and ability to handle men naturally lent itself to achieving the next step.  He became player-manager of the Leland Giants in 1907, and immediately they became the best team in Black baseball.  A dynasty was born three years later when Chicago American Giants remained dominant until Foster departed from baseball.  With the Giants, he molded players to fit his "racehorse" style of play.  Only the 1916 Indianapolis ABCs could break his monopoly in the West, as the American Giants won all other recorded championships from 1910 through 1922.

After establishing the black baseball team, Foster organized the Negro National League and oversaw its development, ensuring it was maintained as a first-class entity.  However, it was for his contributions to baseball as a manager that he is best remembered. Foster's Chicago American Giants were the most prominent team in the league's early years. They traveled in a private Pullman car and barnstormed the nation, playing exhibition and regular league games. At a time when there were fewer opportunities for blacks than today, Foster and his team held celebrity status in black America. They were followed avidly through nationally circulated black newspapers.

Foster married Sarah Watts. He left baseball due to mental illness in 1926 and died in an Illinois asylum on December 9, 1930.  At his funeral, he was eulogized as the "father of Negro baseball." He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1981 to acknowledge the role the Negro leagues played in American life before the integration of baseball and his role in baseball history. Black baseball's greatest manager, Rube Foster, was a special person for the game.

To become a Professional Athlete



The Negro Baseball Leagues A Photographic History
By Phil Dixon with Patrick J. Hannigan
Copyright 1992, Jed Clauss and Joanna Paulsen
Ameron House Publishing
ISBN 0-88488-0425-2

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