This belongs in the “for what it’s worth” file, I guess. James Tate recently asked me about one of the umpires in the 1924 Black World Series, a man named Buck Freeman. I found out that there appeared to be some uncertainty about who he was. This is what Eric Enders writes in his SABR biography of the slugger Buck Freeman (the guy who hit 25 home runs for the Washington National League team in 1899):
“An umpire named Buck Freeman is known to have worked the 1924 Negro League World Series. Since Freeman was an active minor league ump at the time, and since the Negro Leagues used white umpires then, it was almost certainly the same Buck Freeman.”
He says “almost certainly”; he’s right, and I think I can remove the “almost.” In 1924 the organizers of the Black World Series hired white minor league umpires. Here’s a box score for one of the games, which lists the umpires’ league affiliations:
Freeman was an American Association umpire. And here’s an item from earlier in the 1924 season which establishes that Buck Freeman the former home run king umpired in the American Association that year:
A Buck Freeman 1903 card, from Robert Edward Auctions.
UPDATE 7/3/2013 For the record, the other three umpires working the 1924 Black World Series were: Daniel J. McDevitt and John F. McBride, both of the International League, and Tim Doolan of the Southern Association, all veteran minor league arbiters.