Black Players in Canada

Black Baseball Players in Canada
A Biographical Dictionary 1881-1960

By Barry Swanton and Jay-Dell Mah


It’s been a journey of nearly three years from the idea of the book to publication by McFarland & Company of North Carolina, one of the leading publishers of scholarly and reference books in North America.

Primarily, the focus is on Afro-American and Caribbean players who ventured to the Great White North in the 1940s, 50s and 60s.  For many, such as Curly Williams and Barney Brown, the Canadian experience allowed them to continue baseball careers which had been severely limited with the decline of Negro ball following the integration of the major leagues by Jackie Robinson.  For younger stars, like Pumpsie Green and Elston Howard, it was an opportunity to showcase their skills in a hospitable and level playing field.

Of the sixteen teams of the day, seven were integrated by players with roots in Canadian baseball.

From Jose Acosta, the “half-pint hurling demon”, to Roberto Zayas, the fleet centre-fielder of the Lloydminster Meridians, the book contains biographical sketches, career highlights, and statistics for hundreds of players along with information about the teams and the leagues and several dozen photos.

The cover features a painting of Negro League great Chet Brewer by New York artist Jacqueline Jolles. Foreword by award-winning journalist Tom Hawthorn. 

The book is available via our publisher, McFarland & Company

and various book sellers, including Amazon Canada and Amazon USA

           THE NEGRO BASEBALL LEAGUESThe Negro Baseball Leagues

                    A Photographic History


          Phil Dixon with Patrick J. Hannigan

What do six of the first seven National League Rookies of the Year have in common? What All Star game outdrew its major league counterpart for several years running? And where would you find baseball's highest paid player in 1942?

Answer to all of the above: The Negro Leagues.

Of all the faces of American sport, none are as veiled by myth and misinformation as black baseball. This remarkable book -- assembled from an incredible range of sources from all over the United States -- provides the first accurate, complete account of one of the most intriguing chapters in our sporting and social history.

Accompanied by nearly 600 photographs (many published here for the first time) The Negro Baseball Leagues chronicles the triumphs and hardships of black baseball from its beginnings after the Civil War to the mid-1950s. 

It's all here -- from Simpson Younger, thought to be the first black player in organized ball when he competed for the Oberlin College squad in 1867, to color bar-breaker Jackie Robinson, whose signing with the Brooklyn Dodgers organization in 1945 marked the beginning of the end of the Negro Leagues. 

You'll meet the familiar names, like the ageless Satchel Paige, whose fastball outshone even his considerable comic talents; the fleet Cool Papa Bell, said to be so fast he could "turn off the light and be in bed before the room got dark"; legendary catcher Josh Gibson; and Rube Foster, pitcher, manager and umpire-baiter extraordinaire. 

And there are the not-so-familiar names. Sluggers Turkey Stearnes and Mule Suttles. Pitcher Bullet Rogan. And fleet outfielders Oscar Charleston and Jimmie Lyons. 

But what makes this work unique is its look at the nearly unknown facets of the game. Myth has it that black teams toiled before tiny crowds -- the fact is that the Negro Leagues' East-West All Star games outdrew the major leagues' "midsummer classic" for several consecutive years in the 1940s. "Black baseball had more to do with comedy than baseball" -- six of the first seven players named Rookie of the Year in the National League came out of the Negro Leagues, not a bad indicator of black baseball's talent level. In 1942 Satchel Paige made more than $40,000 -- the highest salary in the game.

Authors Phil Dixon and Pat Hannigan have given us an in-depth look at one of the least understood chapters in American sports.  It's must reading -- for both its sports significance and its look at a fascinating slice of American history.

Available from :  Amazon

The Negro Leagues Book
The Negro Leagues Book

Edited by Dick Clark and Larry Lester

A Monumental Work from the Negro Leagues Committee of The Society for American Baseball Research (SABR)

"The Negro Leagues Book makes major contributions to recreating this fragmented past [of segregated African American baseball]. Highly recommended for academic and public libraries." -- P.A. Frisch, University of Illinois at Chicago (Choice Magazine, February, 1995)

"...copious facts (including team rosters and standings) [are] uncovered by Clark and Lester; the duo include the most extensive bibliography (books, articles, theses and dissertations) ever published about the Negro Leagues." -- David Davis (LA Weekly, September 16-September 22, 1994)

"The Negro Leagues Book is a ground-breaking biographical and statistical resource for Negro League history. [It] is an exceptional volume that reflects the diligent (and volunteer) work of members of the Negro Leagues Committee of SABR. This book is a wonderful and unique addition to the collection of anyone interested in the history of the Negro Leagues and a must for anyone who studies any aspect of baseball history." --Corey Seeman (Pittsburgh History, Fall, 1996)  

When the Game Was Black and WhiteWhen the Game Was Black and White
The Illustrated History Of Baseball's Negro Leagues

by Bruce Chadwick

Before Jackie Robinson ever hit his first crisp line drive into the closely cropped grass of Brooklyn's Ebbets Field, the game of baseball was black and white.  Until 1947, major-league baseball was as segregated as movie theaters in the North and bus depots in the South, a national pastime and a national scandal.

But the game's segregation didn't stop black athletes from playing baseball--and playing it with every bit as much dazzle and aplomb as the greatest white stars.  As this fascinating and richly illustrated book reveals, baseball as played by the giants of the Negro Leagues was a tremendously exciting game.  These were the black knights of baseball, talented players and Hall-of-Famers like Satchel Paige, who pitched twenty-three no-hitters, Josh Gibson, who came as close as anyone to hitting a ball out of Yankee Stadium, and Cool Papa Bell, who ran the 100-yard dash in 9.6 seconds.  Later, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Roy Campanella, Don Newcombe, and other Negro League stars went on to triumphant success in the majors and changed the way America viewed black athletes.

Featuring an extensive collection of rare vintage photos, including pages from Satchel Paige's personal scrapbook as well as a marvelous sampling of even rarer Negro League memorabilia, When the Game Was Black and White uncovers a lost legacy of American sports history and of American cultural history. In addition to the story of black major-league baseball, this book--the first illustrated history of the subject--presents the fascinating tale of barnstorming, reveals the influence of integrated Latin American baseball, and discusses the effect of innumerable off-the-record contests between black and white teams.  Black minor-league and amateur clubs are not neglected either, and here we meet small teams like the Peters Ungiants and the Waggoner Greasing Palaces, not to mention the hilarious clown teams that barnstormed across the country drawing huge integrated crowds.

The lives of these players were not easy by any means--for decades they suffered extraordinarily harsh conditions along with unending racism and humiliation.  But they endured and thrived, in the process creating a tradition of skill, excitement, and sportsmanship that overcame all else and at last made baseball into a national pastime for the whole nation.

Available from : Amazon

Negro Baseball Leagues

The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues 

by James A. Riley

The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues is the first book ever to comprehensively document the careers of the 4,000 players on the Negro League teams of major league caliber.

Spanning from 1872 through 1950, it includes the careers of the Hall of Famers who played in both the Negro Leagues and the major leagues, like Jackie Robinson, Hank Aaron, Satchel Paige, Willie Mays, Ernie Banks, Roy Campanella, and Monte Irvin - who wrote the Foreword - and all their predecessors who had no choice but to play in the Negro Leagues.

Vast in scope and personal in detail, The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues contains a biographical sketch and statistics of each player's career, with more space for better-known players.

Without the efforts of James A. Riley, the record of the men who filled the Negro Leagues was in danger of being lost forever. Now through this book black baseball heroes who never got their chance in the national spotlight - like Ray Dandridge, Josh Gibson, and Leon Day - will not be forgotten.

Wheat Province Diamonds
Wheat Province Diamonds

A Story of Saskatchewan Baseball
by Paul Hack and Dave Shury

Baseball has long been more than a game to the people of Saskatchewan.  Like the weather and crops, baseball has made its way into the lives of the province's diverse peoples.  Ball games brought people and their communities together to celebrate the joy that comes with the crack of the bat and the umpire's call to "Play ball!"

Dave Shury and Paul Hack have combined to present a publication that captures the love of the people of Saskatchewan for baseball.  The authors are true believers in the power of the bat and ball.  Dave Shury has dedicated a major part of his life to the game.  The historic writing, dedicated collecting of memorabilia and photographs that made this book possible are a small part of this man's lifelong devotion to the diamond game.  Paul Hack, a media man for all seasons, has followed the foul balls and home runs of prairie baseball for more than half a century.  

Dozens of photographs help to illustrate the rich history of prairie ball.

Available from :
The Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum
292 - 22nd Street, 
Box 1388
Battleford, Saskatchewan
S0M 0E0
(306) 446-1983

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