My photo of the day comes from the 1936 Negro League East-West All-Star Game held 79 years ago today at Comiskey Park, Chicago. The above picture is one of “Team East”, which included Negro League legends Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson, Judy Johnson and Cool Papa Bell. The East team won by a score of 10-2. (edit/color by BSmile)
Baseball by BSmile
Hampton Institute Cubs, 1910. Photo colorized by Gary Chanko.
Hampton Normal Institute in Virginia (now Hampton University) was started as an educational institution for both African American freed slaves and Native Americans in 1868. Booker T. Washington was among Hampton’s first students when the first record of baseball at Hampton appeared in a Harper’s Monthly article about the school in 1873.
In 1901, baseball took over campus and as many as 14 teams were on campus. In 1910, Rube Foster brought his famous Chicago Giants to town to take on both Hampton and Atlanta University. This same team, the”Hampton Institute Cubs” posed for a team photo under a banner proclaiming them to be “Hampton BB League of 1910-11 Champions.” The next year, The Colored Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) was founded in Hampton with the Institute as a charter member, where the office remains today. In 1915, the siblings of Philadelphia Athletics pitcher Chief Bender attended Hampton Institute. Not much else exists (on the internet anyway) about the team itself from 1915 to around 1958.
Throughout the 50’s and 60’s, the Pirates repeatedly turned out numerous all-conference players. In 1972, Hampton University ceased all baseball activities, curiously after their coach Bobby C. Martin was named CIAA Coach of the year. To this day, Hampton University (now a member of the MEAC) is the only NCAA Division I school in the Hampton Roads area without a baseball team. Only one professional player for the Hampton Pirates is in the Baseball Reference database: Jody Williams, who had 47 ABs for Pittsburgh’s affiliate in low-A Watertown in 1987, 15 years after Hampton shuttered it’s program.
Obscure Team of the Week is a new feature in which we recount historic minor league, negro league, and foreign teams throughout baseball history.
I know I am late posting this as far as anniversary dates go , but before we leave July, I feel I have to write a post commemorating the 1970 MLB All Star game, so here goes. 45 years ago this month on July 14,1970, the 41st Major League Baseball All Star Game was held in my hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio and while I was an emerging baseball fanatic, I can honestly say I have no memory of this game. I remember going to one of the last games at Crosley Field earlier that Spring and I even remember going to see one of the first games at the newly christened Riverfront Stadium earlier that Summer, but of this classic game that ended with the famous Pete Rose /Ray Fosse collision, I have no personal recollection. Much is made of the fact that between the two teams, 21 Hall of Famers were on the rosters ( plus non Hall of Famer Pete Rose as well), but a quick glance at other MLB All Star games of the years immediately after it show that this was not uncommon for this time period. In fact, the 1970 All Star game was the first of four MLB All Star games in the early 1970s where the great players from that generation were on full display. Consider this fact – in each of the next three MLB All Star games following the 1970 game, there were 25, 29 and 22 Hall of Famers on the combined respective rosters of the two leagues. My personal memories of the Midsummer Classic started the year after this game with the 1971 game at Tiger Stadium when Johnny Bench, Frank Robinson, Harmon Killebrew and Reggie Jackson all hit home runs to provide all of the scoring in a 6-4 win for the AL. Below is a collection of images from the 1970 game starting with batting practice and various players hanging out around the batting cage and ending with multiple images of the iconic Rose/Fosse collision at home plate. To me, they are priceless because they commemorate a brief moment in the summer of 1970 when so many of my baseball heroes, from my favorite generation of players, were in my hometown playing at my hometown team’s stadium. For those who may have trouble recognizing some of the more non obvious players, I have provided a link to the comprehensive box score from the game from Baseball Reference.com here – 1970 MLB All Star Game Box Score