The section of the article about Donaldson reads:
Rube Foster - A Name That
All Baseball Fans Revere
Foster lived 20 years too soon. He died in 1930. Paige whose mother says he is 44, almost "missed the boat." He was signed to pitch for the Cleveland Indians, the first Negro to pitch in the American League and the first of his race to be credited with a victory in that circuit.
On July 16, of this year while Lefty Eugene Collins, a 22-year-old Kansas City Monarchs hurler from Davenport, Iowa, was defeating the Chicago American Giants for the second time in the Windy City for this season, J. L. Wilkinson, former owner of the Kansas City club and the first baseball owner to play under lights at night, was speaking of Collins' control.
"Do you," Wilkerson asked us, "think that the present day ball player is the equal of Bullet Rogan, McNair, Johnson, Joseph, Moore, Foster, Wickware, Payne, Ball, Gatewood, Donaldson, Trent, Dave Brown, Russ, Harney Lyons, Joe Green, DeMoss and the players of 20 years ago?"
Our answer was "No."
No sooner had we taken our eyes off the score book when a younger fan sat down. "Ain't Satchel Paige the greatest Negro pitcher who ever lived?" he asked. We couldn't agree with him. We knew Rube Foster, Walter Ball, Dick Witworth, Dave Brown, Smoky Joe Williams, Doherty, Judy Gans, Wickware, Bill Lindsay, Ed Rile, Dick Redding, Mendez, John Donaldson and many others.
Foster came along when ball players had to beat the other nine men and the umpire or umpires. Most of the time there was only one man and he stood behind the pitcher. Today there are at least two, most of the time three in Negro league games and sometimes four in intersectional or the so-called all star contests, one which is played in Chicago and counts in the series standing and one which played in the East and doesn't rate in the series.
Likewise Foster played baseball when there were more than an abundant amount of 1 to 0 victories. One or two runs were good enough to win a ball game and sometimes a rn could be made with only one hit in that inning. One-hit, two-hit and three-hit games were common. And nobody got excited when a no-hit, no-run game was turned in. To go from first to third on a bunt laid down third base line for a sacrifice out at first was not unusual.
Schooled His Men
Men like Jimmy Lyons, Jelly Gardner and others were schooled in that department. For two hours on some mornings, at the old park at 39th and Shields. Foster worked out his men. When his signal called for a hit to right behind a runner going from first to second, it meant that and nothing else. If he said steal, he meant it whether it was second base or third and he could figure a squeeze play to perfection, especially if only one was out. He would "take" an out to get a run across, knowing most of the time that run would be enough for victory. And once in the lead, he didn't run up 16-5 and 12-1 scores. He always said the home team was the idol of the hometown fans and it was his opinion that it was not quite the wisest thing to do to humiliate the home team.
Therefore, whatever place Foster's club played - he could always go back. He was as good a business man as he was a pitcher. His hitting kept him in the contest when not selected for mound duty.
Foster was always surrounded by the best talent. Take John Henry Lloyd, now a janitor in the public school system in Atlantic City, N.J.
Lloyed was a shortstop second to none although in my mind Dick Lundy and Bobby Williams, along with Moore of Kansas City and Jess Wright of the Leland Giants were four to press Lloyd for his honors. But Lloyd was sure of his fielding although not as sensational as Mendez of the Cuban Stars and more later of the Kansas City Monarchs.
John Henry was rated the equal of the great Hans Wagner of the Philadelphia Pirates of a bygone era. And after Rube Foster had pitched in the Cleveland ball park in an exhibition game, the Cleveland baseball writers wrote that "Cleveland fans have now seen two real pitchers - Addie Joss and Rube Foster."
To those who are too young to remember, Joss was Cleveland's ace and about as well thought of if not better than the present day Bob Feller.
All this is no attempt to take any credit away from Paige. This is the first of a series of articles on outstanding Negroes in sports or outstanding events in which Negroes played a prominent part. Paige will have his turn as will Joe Louis, the greatest heavyweight boxer of all times; Jack Johnson, first Negro to win the world heavyweight championship; Joe Gans, world lightweigh champion, Beau Jack, Ike Williams, Ray Robinson, Henry Armstrong, Jack Blackburn and others of the squared arena; Jesse Owens, Ralph Metcalfe, Eddie Tolan, Johnny Woodcalfe, Eddie Toland, John-Charley Fonville and other track stars; men of the "lost" era of Negro baseball games long forgotten as the Leland Giants series of three with the Chicago Cubs; football contests and basketball games.
Foster's Leland Giants and later his American Giants rode in sleeping cars and in special coaches. he played on the Pacific Coast in the winter months, sometimes in Cuba and at Palm Beach in Florida.
There are those who remember, then with alarm, the day Foster was arrested for riding with his team in a Pullman car in Georgia. That was in Atlanta.
Rube did his own booking and the booking for most of his league clubs. he formed, with others, the old Negro National League in Kansas City, the winter of 1920. He tried his best to keep the league of eight clubs going by placing clubs in cities where there were no backers. In so doing he oftimes sent some of his best players to these spots, like Toledo, Columbus, Dayton and Milwaukee. He helped Tenny Bount, his old friend, in Detroit to form the Detroit Stars only to have Tenny finally turn against him. He had sent a half dozen American Giant players there. Always he would guarantee, and he kept his word, to pay these players the salaries promised even if the new club went into the red.
Born in Texas
Born in Calvert, Texas, Foster played in Fort Worth before heading to Philadelphia where he pitched for the Cuban X-Giants and became known as "Rube" Foster.
In 1908, Frank Leland brought Foster here to pitche and manage his team. Leland had been score keeper for Frank Peters' Union Giants, the first Negro team to play regular semi-pro baseball in Chicago. That was in 1887. Leland and Peters disagreed. The former started his own club.
The Leland Giants played at 79th and Wentworth. Two years after Charles Comiskey moved his American League ball park to its new home at 35th and Shields, the late John Schorling, a saloon keeper near 79th and Wentworth, secured a lease on the grounds which the White Sox had vacated. Schorling built a grand-stand and bleachers and named the park after himself.
Rube Foster came into the picture with his own team the American Giants, bringing many players from the Leland Giants with the permission of Bureaguard Moseley an attorney and president of the Leland Giants baseball corporation. Foster operated the team, Schorling the park. They worked harmoniously together until Foster died in 1930 after a two-year illness.
About 1930, William E. Trimble, a white green house operator and florist of Princeton, Ill., took over the park lease from Schorling. But Trimble never went near Mrs. Foster to buy the team rights from her when Foster died. The team should have reverted to Foster's estate.
One of the greatest tragedies in the history of baseball, white or black, is that Rube Foster's family, to this day, has received no money for the interest Foster owned in the American Giants, despite the fact that Rube Foster never sold his sole ownership of the club to any one.
Changes Club's Name
Trimble, now committed to an institution by his brothers, took the team played it in the old Negro National League with Judge William C. Hueston, then of Gary, Ind., as president of the League. Trimble changed the name American Giants to Chicago American Giants.
In 1931, the late Charles E. Bidwell came into the picture bringing the late French Lane, sports writer for the Chicago Tribune. It was said that Bidwell had an eye out for a fine spot for dog racing and the southside was the place.
Trimble faded out of the picture. Bidwell, who claimed later that he discovered Satchel Paige (which he did not) sent the team, along with Willie Foster, the big brother pitcher of Rube's, to Texas.
Dave Malarcher, now in the real estate business in Chicago and former manager of the Chicago American Giants, in order to keep some of the players busy formed what was known as the Columbia Giants and played in and around Chicago. He took the name from an old Negro team which played in the late 1800s.
Robert A. Cole, a business man, tried to help Maralacher's men in 1932. He went to the bank representing the estate which owned the 39th street grounds and leased the park. He put in a team known as Cole's American Giants and named the park Cole's park. In 1935, Cole, finding a baseball game a losing proposition, faded out of the picture and in came Horace G. Hall.
A fire, said to have been started from an overheated stove in the watchman's shanty, destroyed the stands in 1940 and in 1941. Hall was able to play in Comiskey Park on Sunday and holidays when the White Sox were away.
Dr. J. B. Martin, having been interested along with his three brothers in the Memphis Red Sox, moved from the Tennessee city to avoid a serious clash with Ed Crump, political boss who was determined to "run Martin out of town or make life unbearable for him if he stayed there."
The police picketed Martin's drug store, searched everybody, even women and priests, who entered. Martin took over from Hall in 1942.
What the financial deal was no one has been able to learn. People who had stock in the American Giants, signed by the late Mayor Robert R. Jackson, president of the Giants and president of the Negro American League were left high and dry.
The Chicago team plays now under the name of the Chicago American Giants.
Mrs. Foster remains in the home Rube left her at 4131 Michigan Ave. Her telephone is in the phone book. During the recent celebration of 61 years of Negro baseball in Chicago, on Sunday, July 25, Mrs. Foster was not present when her name was called. The invitation to attend was given her in the morning of the celebration and on the street near Michigan and 43rd.
Yet Rube Foster was eulogized by Col. Roscoe Conklin Simmons but many remember that the Chicago American Giants have not played 36 consecutive years when you deduct the years of Cole's American Giants and those of Rube Foster's American Giants.
Mrs. Foster rocks two and fro in her chair in her home on Michigan Ave. wondering when the day of restitution will come.
There isn't any day set aside as a "Rube Foster day" such as is the Christy Mathewson day with the proceeds going to aid the needy ball players whether sick or aged nor is there any money taken from the East vs West game for that purpose while the white All Star game is for the player's pension fund.
There has been some money collected from the public at the East vs West game, half of which goes towards a fund for the old Negro ball players. The public is unaware of the amount taken up in two years, who disperses the fund, who collects the interest on the money or who manages the fund and if any money has been paid to any of the sick or needy Negro players.
Now let's looksee; Schorling is dead, so are Bidwell and French Lane. Trimble's mind has been declared feeble. The park burned down after is had been said to have been set afire. Mrs. Foster never got a penny out of her husband's ownership in the Giants. The name was changed to evade paying her. All Trimble did was to insert Chicago before the American Giants.
Foster's deeds will live on forever and at the same time the injustices heaped upon his widow can never be forgotten. Someday the wrong will right itself.
The Moving Finger writes and
having write moves on:
Nor all your piety nor wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half
Nor all your fears wash out a word
The caption under the picture reads: ANDREW "RUBE" FOSTER, owner of the American Giants, taken
in front of the Pythian Hotel in Hot Springs, Ark., in February 1921.