Were the Page Fence Giants Major League Caliber?

While in 2006 the National Baseball Hall of Fame inducted nearly two dozen long ignored and deserving black players into the shrine, others today remain on the outside looking in. Members of the 1896 black world champions Page Fence Giants club are stuck in the era where very few game statistics exist, and black players were relegated to a few teams. However, a look at anecdotal evidence indicates that major league caliber ball players existed on this long ignored black club. 

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Book Excerpt: The Page Fence Giants

For those seeking a way to place the Page Fence Giants on the black baseball continuum, the task is a difficult one. Figuring out why no one has ever written on book on this championship baseball team may be a bit easier to discern. Here are my thoughts as to why this team has been ignored throughout baseball history.

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Benton Harbor’s Bearded Cultists Were Old Baseball’s Answer to the Harlem Globetrotters

The House of David had many of the characteristics of a typical cult: a charismatic leader, apocalyptic beliefs, communal living, and strict prohibitions on sex, alcohol, and cutting one’s hair.

But they also allowed women members to vote and hold office, ran an amusement park, sent traveling bands on the vaudeville circuit — and formed a sensational baseball team.

With their long hair and beards, the House of David players drew massive crowds as they barnstormed around the country. 

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The Detroit Stars Shined Brightly On Negro National League Baseball

They were exciting. They were proud. They were incredibly good. They were the Detroit Stars, the legendary Black baseball team that captivated the hearts and souls of Negro National League baseball fans in Detroit and beyond from 1919 to 1933. While White major league players, such as Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth, were deemed the superstars of baseball in their playing days, there were numerous Black players of the era who were just as good — if not better — but never got the recognition or opportunity to showcase their talents to the world, simply because their skin was black.

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Grand Rapids Chicks in ‘A League of Their Own’

Rosemary Stevenson, a member of a nearly extinct group, stands in the middle of the Lee High School gym speaking into a microphone to a crowd of no more then twenty. The small audience, holding pictures of Stevenson along with bats and balls signed by the seventy- five year-old baseball player, hangs on her every word. Flanking her on both sides are two women, Marilyn Jenkins and Doris Cook, adding in bits to her story and then taking their own turn to illuminate the fans.

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