7 Things You Didn’t Know About The Negro League

7 Things You Didn’t Know About The Negro League

The Negro Leagues were founded more than a hundred years ago in 1920. In 2006 Congress recognized NLBM as “America’s National Negro Leagues Baseball Museum” which has allowed many past, present, and future generations to view this important part of our history. Finally, in 2020, there was a monumental announcement that the stats from the league would finally be included as part of the official MLB listings. For baseball fans and supporters of the culture everywhere, this was an important step in recognizing the sports talent of people of color. If you are new to baseball or simply a casual fan of Negro League baseball, we have a list of seven little-known facts about the league for you to enjoy.

#1 Original Negro National League Teams

The Negro National League was originally formed in 1920, however, not many people can list the names of the original teams. There were eight teams at the start of the league, all made up of African American and colored players. The list includes:

  • Cuban Stars
  • St. Louis Giants
  • Dayton Marcos
  • Chicago American Giants
  • Indianapolis ABCs
  • Chicago Giants
  • Detroit Stars
  • Kansas City Monarchs

#2 The First Season Of The Negro League Was Canceled

Due to the Chicago Race Riot in 1919, the National Guard occupied the Giants ballpark. As a result, no games could be played on the field. Rube Foster, the mind behind the Negro League and also an accomplished baseball player himself, canceled the first season for lack of play space. That didn’t stop the league from moving forward, and they went on to play their first season on a different date.

#3 Josh Gibson & His Negro League Success

There is an astounding number of Black baseball players that found fame and recognition in the Negro Leagues. Josh Gibson, however, is one of the lesser talked about but highly prolific players who participated in the Negro League. During his career that spanned 17 years, he scored over 800 home runs, 384 of which were accomplished during his time in the Negro League. He also went on to become the Negro League World Series Champion twice and achieved the title of All-Star 12 times.

#4 The Oldest Player In The MLB Was Black

Most sports players start out when they are quite young and tend to retire well before they reach middle age. You might be amazed to know that not only was the oldest player to start out in sports Black but also that he happened to be a part of the Negro League. Leroy Paige, often called Satchel, was one of the most prolific players and pitchers in the history of the Negro League. Unlike most players, he actually debuted as a rookie at the wizened age of 43. He played at the top of his game even over younger players for many years and played his last game just before his 60th birthday. Aside from being the oldest to play in an MLB game, he was the first Black man to pitch in the World Series and the American League.

#5 Negro Leagues Baseball Stamps

It is pretty common for commemorative stamps to be issued that mark special events in American history. While many sports, musical, and presidential stamps among others have been put into print, Negro League Baseball stamps were absent. In 2010, the U.S. Postal Service released stamps that were meant to all-black professional baseball leagues. The pair of stamps released was commemorative and have a face value of 44 cents. At the time of their release, this was the regular postage rate though current stamp prices have increased. The Negro Leagues were also honored with this stamp release and as a bonus, they were issued during the 20th-anniversary celebrations of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. One of the commemorative stamps features the image of Rube Foster, who is was the main person credited with the creation of the league in 1920.

#6 The Negro League Was Finally Recognized As A MLB

Although the Negro National League is well known and the stats of the players tabulated amongst baseball enthusiasts, it was not officially recognized as part of the major leagues. In 2020 the Major League Baseball association officially recognized the Negro National League as part of the Major Leagues. The stats and accomplishments of the players have been added to the official roll books which is not only a great honor, but a great sign of respect to the 3,400 players that participated in the sport from 1920 through 1948 as part of the Negro Leagues.

#7 The End of Sports Segregation & HBCU’s Caused The Negro Leagues Downfall

While it is well known that the exclusion of people of color in MLB led to the creation of The Negro Leagues, not many know inclusion was the cause of its downfall. The great depression hit America hard and affected people of color even worse. This caused the Negro League to begin unraveling which was further aided by the absence of Foster as the head of the league. Although the Negro League did rebound for a while under new ownership, HBCU’s and other graduate schools had a bittersweet effect of draining the leagues of many of their most talented players. Once MLB teams started recruiting Black baseball players and other players of color in 1946, the Negro Leagues slowly started losing their top players which eventually led to its disbandment in 1960.

Teaching The Past To Our Future Generations

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Image Sources:

  1. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/575968239814153579/
  2. https://news.wttw.com/2019/07/24/chicago-organizations-commemorate-100th-anniversary-race-riots
  3. https://baseballhall.org/hall-of-famers/gibson-josh
  4. https://baseballhall.org/hall-of-famers/paige-satchel
  5. https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/sdut-negro-leagues-baseball-featured-on-new-stamps-2010jul15-story.html
  6. https://www.wgbh.org/news/commentary/2020/12/30/major-league-baseball-finally-recognizes-negro-league-achievements-it-needs-to-do-more
  7. https://ohiocapitaljournal.com/2020/02/20/on-the-100th-anniversary-of-the-negro-leagues-a-look-back-at-what-was-lost/
10 Mind-Blowing Facts About Mental Health

10 Mind-Blowing Facts About Mental Health

Source: Unsplash @Anthony Tran

Mental health should be literally on everyone’s mind. Yet, it often draws the short straw against the more obvious allures of physical health. During the pandemic, millions of people have become afflicted with worsening mental health. That means these 10 mind-blowing facts are now more than just a curious little thing you clicked on. They’re essential snippets of a changing world!

1. How many people have mental disorders?

Let’s start with the big one. Nearly 52 million Americans suffer from some degree of mental disorder. While not all of these are crippling, they represent the “pandemic” of mental health deficiency that should make the care and keeping of our brains just as important as our bodies.

2. The unknown 60%

Nearly 60% of those millions of people haven’t received any treatment for their mental disorders. This is due to stigmas about seeking help, the individuals’ inability to admit they need it, and a hundred other factors.

3. Why do doctors say, “Do no harm?”

For centuries, doctors believed that mental disorders had religious origins. The physician Hippocrates created the mantra, “Do no harm,” in part to communicate that someone afflicted with a mental illness needed help. It’s the beginning of all psychology!

4.The notion of female “hysteria”

Did you know that as late as the Victorian Era, women suffering from symptoms of menopause, fatigue, post-partum depression, and other female health issues were often classified as “hysterical?” The result of the diagnosis was often institutionalization, in places where they had no recourse and even fewer rights.

Source: Unsplash @fairytailphotography

5. Supplements can help

Let’s get off the negatives of history. Right this minute, you could be missing out on mind-blowing mental health opportunities, such as those presented by folic acid. Found in many leafy greens, citrus, beans, and as a standalone supplement, folic acid can boost symptom relief, especially for women, for anyone on antidepressants.

6. Speaking of herbs …

Did you know that saffron, delicious in its own right, has mental health benefits? Studies have shown that it has effects comparable to prescription medication when it comes to fighting depression in adults.

7. Suicide

Suicide is not a rare occurrence. In fact, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, it’s the 2nd leading cause of death for people between the ages of 10 and 34. This is why it’s so important to learn the signs of suicidal thoughts and get help for yourself or others before it’s too late.

8. Learn one lesson from feng shui

Feng shui isn’t for everyone, but it has one big lesson for even the average person: get rid of clutter. Did you know that even if the clutter isn’t in your way, just having it around (whether it’s clothes, papers, plates, etc.) can cause your brain undue stress? Even if you don’t know it, you’re thinking about that mess.

Source: Unsplash @edesignisms

9. Flossing for mental health?

Your dentist tells you to floss, but did you know that a psychiatrist might tell you as well? This is because habits – doing the same thing every day – actually encourage mental well-being. Something as simple as flossing or going to bed at a similar time every day can promote a healthier mind.

10. Trust your gut

Did you know that your gut has its own nervous system? Its neurons control almost our entire immune system. This means that when your gut is out of whack, mental health is soon to tumble down after it. Add probiotics such as those in Greek yogurt and kefir to stay ahead of your mental (gut) health.

The Takeaway

These mental health facts only scratch the surface of how to stay aware of mental health issues in the world and in ourselves. Each month we curate and present subjects and topics that matter to you, in the hope that they can be used to improve wellbeing, both for your mind and your life.

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