Today’s Negro league Legend is none other than a man considered by many to be the “Father of Black Baseball”, all-time great Rube Foster, player, manager and owner during his historic career:
Held in high-regard as the greatest pitcher during the early part of the
20th-Century in Black baseball, this man transcends “stats” and
achieved his lofty place in baseball history for the influence he had in
building the Negro National League, as well as teaching numerous young
players who came along under his tutelage during his 20+ years as player
Numerous are the stories that follow this legend: his nickname “Rube”,
apparently coined after he beat Rube Waddell in a game in the first few
years of the 1900’s; Christy Mathewson’s “fadeaway” screwball, taught to
him by none other than Foster after he was brought in by John McGraw to
teach the young ace.
Of course with stat-keeping the way it was in these early days of
baseball, especially the Negro Leagues, Foster’s numbers are left to
history to uncover for sure, but we do know from personal accounts that
he was one of the greats regardless of league, sad we didn’t get to see
him compete against all players.
Nevertheless, although it took way too long, Foster was inducted to the
Baseball Hall of Fame in 1981, long overdue but definitely a worthy
historical figure in the sports’ long history to have his place in
As I state with all these Negro league Legends posts, please do yourself
a favor and read up on these players, you’ll be happy you did with the
anecdotes, classic match-ups and great players along the way that make
for an amazing read.