In October 1920, with the World Series between the Dodgers and Indians looming, and nobody having thought to invent television in time, the Pittsburgh Stars of Buffalo, a black professional team led by should-be Hall of Famer Grant “Home Run” Johnson, got together with their local arch-rivals, a semipro team called the Polish Nationals, to concoct a rather strange spectacle:
PERFECTED SIGNAL SYSTEM
Colored Stars and Polish Nationals to impersonate pennant winners.
With Pittsburgh Colored Stars and Polish Nationals next Tuesday impersonating Brooklyn and Cleveland in the world’s series opening game, both Grant Johnson and Manager [Ray] Fischer [of the Polish Nationals] last night perfected the signal system which will be used to impart to the players on the field knowledge of the world’s series plays as they come over the telegraph wires, and both local leaders are convinced that actual world’s series duplication can be run off on the Ferry street ball park without a hitch, in other words, that the player impersonating Tris Speaker will triple if Speaker triples and that Sikorski and Hoffman will strike out Phil Bradley if Bradley happens to be impersonating a Brooklynite who has just fanned in the real series.
Jack Singer will umpire. Play will start at 3 o’clock in Brooklyn, and if on time there will start on time here.