Chicago Giants

From BR Bullpen

In 1910, the Leland Giants separated into a team run by owner/ex-manager Frank Leland and manager Rube Foster. Foster won the rights to the Leland Giants name. Leland's new club was called the Chicago Giants. The first year of their existence they went 6-7 against top-level black teams, while the Leland Giants were 11-0. The Giants did introduce southern blackball star Smokey Joe Williams to the north, but he was just 3-4 with a 3.12 RA that year. The next year Foster's team was renamed the Chicago American Giants and did not fare as well as Leland's club, which went 3-2. Home Run Johnson joined the team at shortstop that year. The Giants fell to 4-11 against top black opponents in 1912 as Johnson and Williams both went to east-coast teams. The Chicago Giants were an also-ran the rest of the decade while the Chicago American Giants were one of the top Negro League teams. In 1920 Foster formed the Negro National League and both Chicago clubs joined. The American Giants won the title while the Chicago Giants were just 2-12 to finish last. A bright spot of the time was the introduction of John Beckwith, who would become one of the greatest hitters in Negro League history. The Giants finished in 1921 with a last-place 7-37 record, though Beckwith batted .355, sixth in the league. The team dropped out of the NNL after that year and faded away over time.


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