Adventures in Baseball Archeology: the Negro Leagues, Latin American baseball, J-ball, the minors, the 19th century, and other hidden, overlooked, or unknown corners of baseball history...with occasional forays into other sports.
There is still a huge amount of regional black baseball history out there to be unearthed. Numerous small (and usually short-lived) black baseball circuits were scattered around the country that went virtually unnoticed in the national (and even local) press at the time, and have been almost completely forgotten since. The year 1921, for example, produced a bumper crop of small black baseball leagues across the south. I know of at least four—the Negro Southern League, the Negro Southeastern League, and the granddaddy of them all, the Texas Colored League, along with a North Carolina league that I just ran across for the first time today. From the Charlotte Observer, March 22, 1921:
I’ve found references to two of the other teams, the Charlotte Red Sox and the Spartanburg Sluggers, but have no idea how long the Blue Ridge Colored League lasted, assuming it even got off the ground. Whatever its fate, the league’s existence serves as a reminder of the now nearly invisible substratum of town teams and amateur and semi-pro ball that fed players to the big Negro league clubs.