Rube Foster

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As Player

As Manager

Andrew "Rube" Foster (September 17, 1879 - December 9, 1930) was an American baseball player, manager, and pioneer executive in the Negro Leagues. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1981.

Foster, considered by historians to have been perhaps the best African-American pitcher of the 1900s, also founded and managed the Chicago American Giants, one of the most successful black baseball teams of the pre-integration era. Most notably, he organized the Negro National League, the first long-lasting professional league for African-American ballplayers, which operated from 1920 to 1931.

Foster adopted his longtime nickname, "Rube", as his official middle name later in life.


Early years

Foster was born in Calvert, Texas[1] on September 17, 1879. His father, also named Andrew, was a reverend and elder of the local American Methodist Episcopal Church.[2] Foster started his professional career with the Waco Yellow Jackets, an independent black team, in 1897. Over the next few years he gradually built up a reputation among white and black fans alike, until he was signed by Frank Leland's Chicago Union Giants, a team in the top ranks of black baseball, in 1902. After a slump, he was released, and signed with a white semipro team based in Otsego, Michigan - Bardeen's Otsego Independents. According to Phil Dixon's American Baseball Chronicles: Great Teams, The 1905 Philadelphia Giants, Volume III "In completing the summer of 1902 with Otsego’s multi-ethnic team––the only multi-race team he would ever regularity perform––Foster is reported to have pitched twelve games. He finished with a documented record of eight wins and four loses along with eighty-two documented strikeouts. Ironically, strikeout totals for five games which he appeared were not recorded. If found the totals would likely show that Foster struck out more than one-hundred batters for Otsego. In the seven games where details exist, Foster average eleven strikeouts per outing." Toward the end of the season he joined the Cuban X-Giants of Philadelphia, perhaps the best team in black baseball. The 1903 season saw Foster establish himself as the X-Giants' pitching star. In a post-season series for the eastern black championship, the X-Giants defeated Sol White's Philadelphia Giants five games to two, with Foster himself winning four games.

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