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Fri, 05.28.1920

The Memphis Red Sox Baseball Team formed

*The Memphis Red Sox are celebrated on this date in 1920.  They were a Negro League Baseball team that was active for 40 years.  

In 1921 Memphis had two main Negro baseball clubs, the Memphis Union Giants and the A. P. Martin's Barber Boys Baseball Club. The Union Giants were owned by real estate salesman and bookkeeper Sherman G. King. The Union Giants were managed by Chick Cummings who was also a player on the team. The A. P. Martin's Barber Boys, also known as the A. P. Martin's Barber College Team, was the creation of a Memphis barber named Arthur Peterson Martin. The team was a way for Martin to promote his two barber shops which were located in Memphis on Main and Beale Streetand his barber college.  

Originally named the Barber College Baseball Club, the team was initially owned and operated by Arthur P. Martin, a local Memphis barber. In the late 1920s the Martin brothers, all three Memphis doctors and businessmen, purchased the Red Sox. J. B. Martin, W. S. Martin, and B. B. Martin would retain control of the club till its dissolution in 1959. The Red Sox played as members, at various times, of the Negro Southern League, Negro National League, and Negro American League. The team was never a titan of the Negro leagues like wealthier teams in northern cities of the United States, but sound management lead to a continuous thirty-nine years of operation, a span that was exceeded by very few other teams.

Following integration, the team had five players that would eventually make the rosters of Major League Baseball teams and two players that were inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.   On May 28, 1960 Dr. B.B. Martin announced he was dissolving the Red Sox for financial reason. “It has been a losing proposition for the past four or five years...,” Dr. Martin said. The Negro American League would continue on for just a couple more years before it dissolved completely.  

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