Sol White wasn’t just a sure-handed, line-drive-hitting infielder in black baseball of the nineteenth century; he was one of its founding fathers, and its historian. White and Philadelphia sportswriter Walter Schlichter founded the Philadelphia Giants in 1902, and this was the most powerful black club of the time. According to the records, they played 680 games from 1902 through 1906 and won 507 of them. In 1903 they played the “Cuban X-Giants” in the first-ever “Colored Championship of the World.” A young pitcher named Rube Foster won four games for the Cuban X-Giants to upset White’s team. The next year Foster came over to pitch on White’s side, and they won. Although there was no formal league structure, in 1905 the Philadelphia Giants won 134 games and lost just 21. They challenged what they thought was the second best black team to a World Series; the opponents never showed. After going 108-31 in 1906 they issued a challenge to play the winner of the white World Series to see who was truly best. No one answered then, either.
- John Thorn, Official Historian of Major League Baseball
Read the rest: “Sol White Recalls Baseball’s Greatest Days”
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