Andrew ''Rube'' Foster, A Harvest on Freedom's Fields
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From the best-selling author of the Negro Baseball Leagues: A Photographic History, 1867-1955 comes the definitive biography on the career of an outstanding baseball pitcher, manager, and President of the Negro National League. Andrew “Rube” Foster is in a class all to himself as an architect of race relations and social progress in American baseball. His most lasting legacy was the founding of the Negro National League in 1920, which provided opportunities for an entire generation of African-American athletes. Although there were few opportunities when he was in his youth, Foster, the son of a former slave, sought success on baseball fields throughout the South with the Waco Yellow Jackets. Leaving Texas in 1902, he arrived in Chicago where two African-American men, Frank C. Leland and William S. Peters, had already achieved some of what Foster had dreamed of doing himself. They were operating their own teams, hiring talented players and turning a profit on their labor. Labeled as aloof and ineffective as a pitcher, Foster left Chicago after only one season with the Chicago Union Giants. Yet believing in himself, Foster traveled East to where Grant “Home Run” Johnson was training his Cuban X Giants team, and sought employment. In his only season with the Cuban X Giants Foster’s pitching led them to the World’s Championship. Foster was lured to the Philadelphia Giants in 1904, a team under the leadership of Sol White, and Foster promptly pitched them to their first World’s Championship. Philadelphia’s Championship run was repeated in 1905 and 1906. Having matured as a player under Johnson’s and White’s guidance, Foster sought to manage a team of his own in 1907. Although revered as a stern taskmaster, Foster had great charisma with players and fans. In 1907 he returned to Chicago, this time as manager of Leland’s team, the Chicago Leland Giants. Arriving with Foster were players from the Brooklyn Royal Giants, Philadelphia’s Giants, and the Cuban X Giants. As a result, he fired all of Leland’s former players and replaced them with men that had played in the East. Foster’s new team dominated baseball’s freedom fields as no African-American team had before them. In 1909, the Foster-led Leland Giants captured the City League pennant and then battled the National League’s Chicago Cubs for City Championship honors. The next year, in 1910, Foster fielded his best team ever. His team finished with just six games lost. Having won many victories, Chicago’s Leland Giants symbolized economic equality, inspired social change, and provoked African-American pride. Crowds filled the parks when and wherever Foster and his team appeared. Charles Comiskey and members of the Chicago White Sox, the World’s Champion Chicago Cubs, John McGraw and Connie Mack sought to see the legendary Andrew “Rube” Foster in action. Based on twenty years of research, Andrew “Rube” Foster: A Harvest on Freedom’s Fields is an inspiring story of an enduring figure and the many individuals who inspired his success on baseball fields all over America.
- Xlibris US, June 2010
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