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Sun, 04.15.2007

Baseballs Black Aces Pitchers formed

*On this date in 2007, we affirm the founding of the Black Aces.  They are a group of Black professional baseball pitchers who have won at least 20 Major League Baseball games in a single season.

The term comes from the title of a book written by former Major League Baseball (MLB) pitcher Mudcat Grant, one of the group members.  In the first years after the integration of MLB, teams who drafted Black pitchers often converted them into position players; few were allowed to continue pitching.  Grant was the first Black 20-game winner in the MLB’s American League.  Two members of the Black Aces, Bob Gibson, and Ferguson Jenkins are members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

The group has organized formally to promote their successes and encourage the development of future Black players.  The Aces are not without critique from players.  Some Black pitchers from Latin America, notably Luis Tiant, have expressed disappointment that they are not included in this group.  Meanwhile, Ferguson Jenkins is a Black Canadian, although he can trace his ancestry on his mother's side to escaped U.S. slaves.  The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum had a traveling exhibit honoring the Black Aces.  

We chose this date because of the end of segregation in American professional baseball. The Black Aces were celebrated at McAfee Coliseum in 2007.

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