Patrick Rock has come up with some fascinating material on the Twenty-Fifth Infantry Wreckers in Hawaii during the teens. The Twenty-Fifth was one of the four all-black Army regiments (also including the Twenty-Fourth Infantry and the Ninth and Tenth Cavalry) known collectively as the “Buffalo Soldiers.” All four regiments maintained good baseball teams in the 1910s and 1920s, but the Wreckers were the preeminent Army baseball team of that time (at least among teams that stayed together for a number of years, as opposed to temporary wartime aggregations), featuring in its lineup such luminaries as Bullet Rogan, Dobie Moore, Heavy Johnson, and Branch Russell, along with a number of other future Negro league players. The Wreckers enjoyed their heyday at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, from 1915 to 1918, and at Camp Stephen D. Little, Cochise Santa Cruz County, Arizona, from 1918 to about 1921 (or perhaps later).
Patrick has been scouring Hawaii newspapers for reports on the Wreckers and their participation in both Army leagues and competitions involving civilian teams. I wanted to post one article he found (from the Honolulu Commercial Advertiser, July 18, 1915) about a dispute that erupted between the Twenty-Fifth and the other (non-black) Army teams at Schofield Barracks, who wanted to restrict the Wreckers’ practices and stop them from paying their players and exempting them from guard and fatigue duty. It has long been understand that the Twenty-Fifth Infantry team was essentially a professional club, and here we have the regiment’s representative, Lt. Charles Wyman, being quite frank about it. “Certainly our ball players are professionals,” he says. “They have received pay for playing.”
Anyway, check out the whole article. (You should be able to enlarge by clicking.)