This Day in Black History: The Negro National League was founded

HOUSTON — On Feb. 3, 1920, The Negro National League was founded in Kansas City, Missouri by former baseball player and pitcher Rube Foster.

Known as the “Father of Black Baseball,” Andrew “Rube” Foster was born on Sept. 17, 1879 in Calvert, Texas. According to sources, Foster received the nickname “Rube” after defeating Major League Baseball player Rube Waddell in a post-season exhibition game in the early 1900’s.

In 1902, Foster played for the Chicago Union Giants and joined the Cuban X-Giants a year later. Foster then managed the Leland Giants in Chicago, renamed Chicago American Giants, in 1907.

In 1920, Foster and baseball player C. I. Taylor created and founded the Negro National League to form a professional baseball circuit for African-American teams.

The Negro Leagues would be home to some of America’s greatest Hall of Famers, such as Martin Dihigo and John Henry “Pop” Lloyd.

Minorities were banned from major league teams until former Negro Leagues star baseball player Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in 1947 when he signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers.

On Dec. 9, 1930, Foster passed away at the age of 51.

To honor Foster for his hard work and dedication to America’s Pastime, he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1981.

Want more Black History? Check out video highlighting a piece of Houston’s history makers.