It’s very common for reference books and histories to refer to Ed Bolden’s Hilldale Club of the 1910s and 1920s as the Hilldale Giants. But if you read contemporary newspapers, you’ll find that the team was overwhelmingly called simply “Hilldale,” or else the “Hilldale Club,” and pretty much never the Hilldale Giants.
I think some of the confusion about the Hilldale Giants comes from this photo (from this great thread at Baseball Fever):
L to R: Jesse Hubbard, Biz Mackey, John Beckwith, Rap Dixon, Clint Thomas
You’ll see many versions of this photo and details from it, most commonly Mackey and Beckwith. But it is not a photo of Ed Bolden’s Darby-based team. Instead, Hubbard, Mackey, Beckwith, Dixon, and Thomas are here shown in the uniforms of a club in the Los Angeles-based California Winter League during the 1927/28 season. Much like the Philadelphia Royal Giants, the Hilldale Giants featured some Hilldale players and were named in honor of Hilldale—but this was not the Hilldale team from the Eastern Colored League.
Here’s a box score from the California Winter League (California Eagle, January 27, 1928), with the guys in the photo batting in the #2 through #6 slots for the Hilldale Giants versus Pirrone’s All-Stars, a team of major and minor leaguers:
Perhaps adding to the confusion, there was a later team in the 1945 United States League called the Philadelphia Hilldale Giants.
Doing a quick survey of hits in digitized versions of several black weekly papers from the era (not including any California papers), I get only 17 hits for “Hilldale Giants.” Of these 8 are from 1945 and refer to the United States League, and 3 are later, retrospective mentions (two from 1985), which leaves only 6 instances of Ed Bolden’s team being called the Hilldale Giants in the contemporary press. I’d guess that these are probably due to the knee-jerk habit of referring to all black teams as “Giants,” rather than any use of Hilldale Giants as an official name.
By contrast “Hilldale Club” gets 735 mentions. Spot checks confirm these are virtually all references to the baseball team, and most seem to be using the phrase as a proper name.
“Darby Daisies” gets 223 hits, nearly all from 1925 through 1932.
“Hilldale Daisies” gets 25 hits, nearly half from the Baltimore Afro-American in 1927.
“Philadelphia Hilldales” gets 24 hits—20 of which are references to the 1945 team.