Foster, Rube

Foster, Rube (Andrew Bishop Foster), 1879–1930, African-American baseball player and executive, b. Calvert, Tex. Known as “the father of black baseball,” he turned professional with the Chicago Union Giants in 1902 and played for a time with a white semiprofessional team in Otsego, Mich. Joining the Cuban X-Giants of Philadelphia (1903), he led to the “colored championship of the world.” He then played for the Philadelphia Giants (1904–6) and Chicago Leland Giants (1907–10), where he was player-manager and shared the 1908 championship with the Philadelphia Giants. In 1910 Foster obtained legal control over the team, which became (1911) the Chicago American Giants and then won the western league championship four years in a row. After 1917 he was solely a manager and team owner. In 1920 his team, along with six others, formed the Negro National League, with Foster as president and treasurer. His American Giants won 3 pennants (1920–22) before mental illness led to his commitment during the 1926 season. He was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1981.

See biography by P. Dixon (2010).

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