Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Documents reveal the accounting behind Negro League baseball

Negro League teams barnstormed the country not only in search of the next game to play, but the next paycheck as well. Clubs would routinely play multiple games per day to maximize their earning potential while the sun was still shining. Recently, due to the finds of collector and memorabilia dealer Jim Stinson, individual game ledgers have surfaced showing how each club split the gate at games.
Joe Black - Baltimore Elite Giants

In one document dated July 18, 1950, the carefully calculated accounting for a game between the Birmingham Black Barons and the Baltimore Elite Giants showed not only the attendance, but the divisions for taxes, the league's percentage, as well as what was paid to both the home club and visitors. The visiting Elite Giants split $164.29, which amounted to approximately $10 per man, furthering their impetus to play as often as possible. Baseball fans might recognize the signature of the Elite Giants representative Joe Black, who won the 1952 Rookie of the Year Award with the Brooklyn Dodgers.

1950 Ledger with Joe Black

1950 Ledger with Ted "Double Duty" Radcliffe
1942 Black Barons vs Memphis Red Sox Ledger

1942 Black Barons vs Memphis Red Sox Ledger




1950 Black Barons vs Houston Eagles Ledger signed by Bob Harvey

1950 Black Barons vs Buckeyes Ledger signed by George Jefferson



1 comment:

  1. Nick, what great documents, kind of boggles the mind how they so clearly capture a select time in history, pre/post WWII history, straddling the breaking of the color line. Fascinating finds! Can't help but think back to the Bingo Long All-Stars 1970s movie with Billy Dee Williams, James Earl Jones, Leon Wagner, etc. Thanks for the link!!

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