143: Negro League Superstar Oscar Charleston With Jeremy Beer
Hey Gang this week's episode is brought to you by our friends at Mac. Weldon the premium. Men's essentials brand that believes in smart design and premium fabrics. They're designed mack. Well then is to to be the most comfortable underwear or socks or shirts or hoodies or undershirts or sweatpants. You get the idea and more that you'll ever wear and our listeners. This Week of course can get twenty percents off their first order by visiting Mac Weldon Dot Com and entering the Promo code good seats. Yes twenty percent off your first order at Mac. Welton within Dot Com Promo code good seats. Here's our show. They go after Robertson. Percents recognizes perhaps. The greatest sports figure ever to come out of Indianapolis but one hundred years ago. Indianapolis produced another spectacular athlete. Name Oscar considered by those who saw or played whether weather against him perhaps the greatest around baseball player. That game has ever seen only a few folks have that honor. The rest of us are only now learning about the Great Oscar Charleston because of his awesome power and barrel chested physique. Many call them the Black Babe Ruth because it was hitting speed and take no prisoners approach running the bases many call them the black ty Cobb up to which was fans can only point out. Excuse me Babe Ruth or Tyke. COBB was the White Oscar Charleston. Good hitter good. Hitter The fans were tickled to death when he came back to Charleston. Run the Greenwich Volvo. Indianapolis Bill Owens. Chicago's Bobby Robinson are both in nineties. But the years of not dim their memories of playing with or against Oscar Charleston. In the Negro Leagues Owens is an all purpose infielder Robinson is a slick fielding third baseman recalling a player. Who did everything memorably various field where he ever seen he could look? I know who are the vote was going. He go right. Tha Oh. That's hot and turn around and catch the ball. He could do it all he could hit. Run knee-length rope. Welcome to good seats. Still still available a curious little podcast devoted to exploring what used to be in professional sports. Here's your host. Tim Hanlin all right. Let's get to it. How are you everybody my name is Tim Hamlin and this is of course? Good seats still available. Yup It's are curious little podcast. Our little journey our little exploration each and every week if you can believe it into what used to be in professional sports. Thank acute tremendously for finding us and putting us in your ear buds. This week we know you got A quadrivalent amount of choices out there in podcast slammed into Despite all the odds and all the consternation We continue to put out a show each and every week on on what we like to FASCINATE an obsess about which is teams and leagues and the various stories. No longer with us for whatever reasons and we're GONNA continue our our our our journey into the Negro Leagues this week with our guest. Jeremy Beer and You know I know a number of you out there you know look at sort of old will baseball stuff is as not as exciting say is the travails of the Alliance of American football from six months ago or maybe the the XFL and a couple of months. Serb knock on wood as it gets ready to attempt to a life as well but We continue to be fascinated by stories regardless of how old they are Because because if they're a team or league or were were plural of such That are no longer with us. So that's all part of the Tableau of pro sports and This week Sir. Conversation is truly a standout one and one that I learned a tremendous amount about not only in our conversation but in this book The Germany Bureau has written. It's called Oscar Charleston the life and legend of baseball's greatest forgotten player. And you know for those even baseball scholars I think are lost upon them as The talent and the standout nature of this player known as Oscar Charleston arguably not even arguably perhaps the best player in Negro League history now a name though that that most people even historians baseball historians don't really know a lot about I think even you know even in the realm of of Negro League history people know Cool Papa Bell and and and certainly you know folks like sexual page. Those are names that even even the cursory sports fan you know just knows from from legend and all this other things but you get into it. as you'll hear our conversation with Jeremy Beer and in a few moments those in the know and arguably not As well publicized would would strongly suggest a guy like Oscar Charleston was the preeminent player centerfielder and a slugger extraordinaire and frankly In in the realm of this conversation in our little our little sojourn every week to Teams and leagues. No longer with us. A really good frankly excuse an example of just the very compelling and interesting and a somewhat zigzag nature feature of of what it was to be a player and manager and a team in the Negro Leagues Oscar Charleston. Besides being a standout player air and then ultimately a manager and a scout. And we'll get into some of that stuff I in our conversation in a few moments was on a ton of teams right teams like the Indianapolis Annapolis. ABC's a very well regarded and long standing a team in the Negro Leagues the Harrisburg giants for sure. And of course the Pittsburgh Crawford's efforts who in the nineteen thirties were you know Among especially that nineteen thirty five team regarded as arguably the best team ever in the in the Negro Leagues You know we're talking about teams like the Philadelphia Stars in the Saint Louis giants and the Chicago American giants. And and the Hildale Club. These are all a an in leagues. Not only the Negro National Leagues Two of them. The Negro American league the East West All Star game which was The the showcase for for African American ballplayer talent in Chicago for many years the eastern Colored League I mean there's all kinds of Variations in things in all all of these are for US check boxes of of clubs and leagues no longer with us that are absolutely and asleep fascinating and the history and life of this amazing ballplayer by the name of Oscar Charleston. That's our that's our conversation this week With Jeremy Germany beer and I will tell you not only. Is this conversation interesting and fascinating but the book Jeremy is written is is well worth The deep dive in and frankly a- as they say makes a great gift not only. Is it well researched. But it's just a IT'S A. It's a very interesting read. And if you're looking frankly for a quintessential example of what Negro League baseball was all about In the The personification of one of its best players You could do worse than to Get a copy of this book Oscar Charleston. The life and legend of baseball's greatest forgotten player player It is published by our friends at University of Nebraska Press. I highly recommended and I learned to a whole bunch and I think even to the cursory the interest of folks Just generally interested in baseball or just you know African American sports history. It is. It's a it's a fascinating book and well L. Worth pursuing and of course we have a link to it on our website and good seats still available dot com but I highly recommend it And you know read it first and listen to this episode or vice versa But it cannot strongly recommend it enough for your consideration and We'll get to that conversation in just just a moment As we roll on here and we of course want to say hello and welcome again to one of our great sponsors and that's of course in this week's Episode Dollar Shave Club and you've heard me talk about them before they are not just how to help you Shave better and stay comfortable comfortable. But they've got you covered. DOLLARSHAVECLUB does from literally head to toe. They've got everything that you need to shower. Shave style your hair. Brush your teeth yeah even wipe your you know your back in there. It's a whole range of stuff to keep you fresh and clean and and well L. Shaved. Shall we say it also is. It's a great service. 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We appreciate you gonNA try and give us a little love when you do so and and once you're done doing that once you Head on over to your ear buds and download and listen to Hopefully with some interesting Some knowledge knowledge. Coming your way with our conversation coming right up here with Jeremy Beer as we talk about the life and the legacy of perhaps one of the Negro Leagues is Greatest Players Oscar Charleston. Here's our chat coming bright edge. Maybe give that's our audience. A sense of who you are and sort of how you came across the the Oscar Charleston Story and I gotta think it's somewhat wrapped popped up in the Negro Leagues generally and or baseball interest overall. Right it's more the latter Oscar led me to the the Negro Leagues More generally I just a baseball fan Not Not a journalist Have have a doctorate in psychology. Actually actually in some sort of frustrated academic WHO's working in consulting now and really Just a baseball fan and James Fan and was reading his New Bill James Historical abstract ten years ago or so and going through his top off one hundred players of all time list and it's the first time he had included Negro Leagues players in that he hadn't in the first edition of the book. The second edition Because he thought he had more numbers to go on now. More information and number one was Babe Ruth which is totally understandable number two honus wagner. You're fine number three Willie mays pretty conventional so far and number four was Oscar Charleston and blew my mind it could possibly possibly be the case that one of the top five players of all time could be somebody I'd never heard of and I thought it was a baseball fan. I thought I knew something about the Games history. So that really just surprised me. And then I found out. He's from Indiana as I am and that really piqued my interest. I again I thought my friends and I would always went back and forth about the greatest. You know baseball players of all time from Indiana basketball players greatest musicians whatever. It's just like Indiana Hannah stuff. And he was not on any of our radar screen so that really interested in kind of ticked me off that there. was somebody like that. Who who could escape my historical consciousness? So that is how I got interested in Charleston which led me to do A deep dive into the Negro Leagues And African American history and the twentieth century. A little bit As well and Led to the book. So That's interesting. So Robert Peterson right who you know one of the more seminal works only. The ball was white. I quote from his book and this is a sort of leads into my next question at his peak Charleston was perhaps the most popular player in the game when he was with Hildale in nineteen. Twenty eight to twenty nine. He was to Philadelphia Alpha. What smokey Joe Williams was to New Yorkers when the latter was with the Lincoln giants their hero Rochester L. Washington and the Pittsburgh courier quote scores school? School kids turned out regularly just to see Oscar. Perform he was to them. What Babe Ruth is two kids a lighter hue and it leads? Let me just sort of the the general question and I think he kind of sort of stumbled across it a little bit in your answer random people who have passing understanding of baseball and a little bit of history right. Nope people like Satchel page and arguably Cool Papa Bell Right but Oscar Charleston right despite being so highly ranked by somebody like Bill James Right and so due to those in the know well regarded and were lauded frankly for his talents and we'll get into a bunch of how come his name and his persona ONA is arguably lesser known than some of those other names. Yeah not arguably I mean definitely definitely lesser known. It's there there are a lot of facets to that answer You know page First of all played in the major leagues and Lived Don to see himself be inducted into the hall of fame and was he quote machine and I- total character page Had the sort of Steinem once in a generation personality that is just Unforgettable right so he's in the category of his own Bell had the good luck to be talked about by page. He's he figures in central page anecdotes. That's primarily cow. Most how he sort of came into our view is also A blessed with a great nickname And he lived for quite a while after his career and also had a Family family members who who tended his flame Charleston. Didn't have any of that luck He he died young in nineteen fifty four. He wasn't a self promoter while Oh he was alive he did not leave any descendants no children and no one was separated from his wife and she was a quiet person and it was no one tending. His flame and his city didn't claim Indianapolis didn't sort of hold him up as a favorite song that they could be Nablus. It's sort of forgotten about him by the time he died. And then you have this period really from the fifties through the seventies really until Robert Peterson writes only the ball was like where they'll historians and researchers really seem to do much with the Negro Leagues There wasn't a lot of incentive in the the white community or the Black Community for remembering the Negro Leagues. It was sort of a painful memory. And so you have this period where there's not much done. By the time we get past that period Charleston's calm most of the men who saw him play in his prime We're gone and my family members to talk to and so I think it's all those things one more thing I would add He's not the only one right among and players who played their entire careers in the Negro Leagues. We know generally the random person like you said. He was interested in sports. Knows about Josh Gibson. To some extent they they might know. That ain't Cool Papa. Bell knew anybody else from the Negro Leagues you know. Don't know John Donaldson or bullet Rogan or John Henry Lloyd or Cristobal Taurean Day. It's not a guy so Charleston it away should stand for us to sort of like representative of the entire field. Still Open to us to get to know. So how did he stand out on on your radar. Obviously there's the the the Indiana connection I guess but how how did I mean was it would simply was James. As listing were. There were clearly other nearly players that that stood out that we're that list to well it was. It was James List. I mean he's the he's the best of all time and from the Negro Leagues in James's list. So that's something and being from Indiana's definitely something for me But the other thing stood out was he clearly was a really interesting guy and it I started the project I thought he was something very very different than he turned out to be. Because if you just google around and read where you can online wikipedia and just random articles that have been written over the last generation. He comes off as maybe sort of borderline psychopath. You know a very violent man kind of a bursar worker and I thought he was I that's what I thought I was going. Did you account or that interested me. I thought well it must be really good stories here And also interested me that it was a lot of contradictory information about clearly. He hasn't been taken seriously historical figure so kind of how I got interested in him and they learned that he was somebody much different than I expected. It meet in a good way. Well it's also interesting to and I guess for our little genre of exploration on the show. It's also kind of a convenient excuse to kind of give. Thank you revel in all of the Negro Leagues Generally. Because you know here's a guy. And and maybe this is indicative of the Negro League lifestyle You know played on almost a dozen or so teams or variations of such across a number of of leagues which I think both speak to the relative well less than shall we say standardized consistency. I guess of the the quote Unquote Negro Leagues Right. I mean some of the more little more league centric and wealth the fog than others right. And maybe maybe you can give a little general. Background is sort of Li-. He was playing with Indianapolis for so many years and went through. I don't know but it must have been ten or eleven or twelve different teams over the course of his almost thirty year. Career Freight Yeah you you hit on it Probably the fundamental problem I in the Negro League in terms of their institutional structure was that they were chronically undercapitalised. There just wasn't enough money to make for stability and so you had owners have to sell players off. oftentimes you had players is just a leaving teams because owners couldn't pay them or because they get paid more over here and league structures. Were strong enough to Fortunately sort of discipline with respect to contracts and that sort of thing again because they simply the money wasn't there to make that possible They couldn't afford Essentially to enforce that kind of discipline. So what you have is a very fluid player movement yes lewd sort of team move it instead of them coming and going And that accounts for a lot of Oscars career is not that he was Particularly Disloyal He wasn't Satchel page age where Yeah no team spirit or no sense of sort of team cohesion. I mean really had none of that right That was one of the virtues he brought brought brought to the Brought to the table page was was the star attraction. He knew it and most other people to right right. But he also had the sort of soul all sorts of solid cystic soul. That he just didn't feel like any loyalty nicotine. Yeah he knew he was the star attraction other guys to Oscar News The star attraction for most of his career but he generally did you know these. Go play on a North Dakota auto dealer steam middle of the season like like pasted So they were just the different very different personalities but anyway that accounts for a lot of it you know. He Bites there early in his career. He got into some culture towns with his managers Only a couple of them. Ci Taylor his mentor. I man he ended up very much On the Indianapolis. ABC's they sometimes a but it has put a lot of times it was just He was he was a victim Of of teams financial fortunes. You know so. That explains a lot. why he and others moved from team to team another thing L. to say quickly So the teams he said to play for the Detroit Stars. That was only like that'd be like for a few games in the season when he'd be bones is to play for them against a team of white major leaguers Or some particularly big game. That's the sort of thing that also happened in the Negro Leagues a lot. And if you don't really delve into the history story you might think that he was like playing equally for this. You know two or three teams in the season and that often learned ever what the case. We'll so that that's that's interesting. So so maybe you can give a bit of a bit of a sense of I guess more of the the teams he was mostly prolific with versus. Say Sort of the the Dalliances Stars Act Certainly Annapolis. ABC's certainly had the beginning of his career. Certainly certainly the Harrisburg giants are in the middle of his career in Pittsburgh and the and the various Crawford's diaspora I say after that but maybe can give audience a sense of sort of where most of his exploits kind of were routed. During his career playing was right I would say those are the three main caned They use associated with Indianapolis. ABC's came up with An played a more or less I think six of his first eight seasons with them or or something like that then he goes to Harrisburg nineteen twenty four for two reasons. He's I he's married. A woman from Harrisburg and she was like to be near. You're her family. And secondly he gets the opportunity to manage a team for the first time he's twenty seven years old at the prime of his career and it's just a natural leader. He's it's not a natural follower and the the The Times these most frustrated when he's not in charge so he's in charge of that team helps shape the roster So he's with the Harrisburg giants. Nineteen twenty four through nineteen twenty seven when they fold essentially he has to move again and the Crawford's from nineteen thirty. Two you really until that team Folds after the nineteen forty season. I believe so those are the three main teams and then with the two other stints. So it'd be worth mentioning would be his a couple of years with the Hildale Club Basically Philadelphia and homestead grays in the other major. Her neither leaks in Pittsburgh Those those would be the team's with whom he would be most closely associated. Well before we sort of get into sort of his his hopscotching and and and I'm calling guest starring but but going to other teams up. Maybe we can talk about the origins of of the career because Y- it also interesting to it overlaps with I guess what The early days of the Indianapolis. ABC's Club was about because like a lot of clubs in the in the teens and the very early part of the twenties there were they were mostly independent right or certainly ABC's ABC's were right. There were no if you will organize leagues per se obviously a bunch that came shortly thereafter. But but he's been a good amount of his time time in the earliest part of his career playing with the ABC's and or independently. No yes right. The first formal Negro League isn't formed until nineteen twenty so next year is the one hundredth anniversary of its formation Before that you just have as you say the independent teams Not playing in any leagues and sort of like college football. It used to be you have sort of mythical championships that are awarded often by themselves from teams themselves but The press Kinda gets involved before that time kind of identifying the best teams are there barnstorming across the country playing playing each other and it sort of becomes clear. So yeah that's what he's doing from Nineteen fifteen when he debuts ABC's through nineteen nineteen gene and What that means is as you point out like in postseason play? He might hook up with the team from St Louis to play some barnstorming warming Players from the Tigers or something like that or from the Saint. Louis Cardinals Andy might you know. Go to this team or that team very briefly just just to get in on some action you know basically to make some money. That's that's what baseball was alive. Not just before formal leisure started but even after the formal Komo Leagues are started If an opportunity not a player often would take advantage of it and oftentimes owner would would allow them to do that. especially if they could kind of split cuts so that's that part of the Negro Leagues Story. It's almost like You know being sort of a wrap for a concert tour right there. You're promoter really I mean you really. You're talking about gigs and stadiums and selling tickets and attracting as many people as you can. And then you know what it's done getting ready to move on to the next town and do the same thing all over again. Yeah exactly right so you might go to a like Oscar. A couple of years goes to Florida after sort of baseball to over north and plays in something called the Hotel League in Palm Beach where there were two hotels fielded teams eighteen two black players that played against one another one of the first the first time Buck O'Neil saw Oscar Charleston play totally for Later in the twenties he's going to Cuba the almost every year to play. Winter Ball goes to California one year in the winter and plays against white major leaguers out there so yeah there was always something going on it makes the giddying history but at the time but it felt like was just. What's the next opportunity down the road work and I go make some money flying my craft? Well give me a sense. It's in these in these pre league years with Charleston. I in your research like how does he start or in your mind. How does uh when does he starts to sort of get some Some notice I guess in in maybe in the in the research and the clippings and the the writings and stuff because obviously he's he's he emerges as one of the early players to To make his mark in the leagues as they got formed right. We'll get to foster. Ah but was was he standing out versus anybody else or was he just a solid player. That was just around and just naturally like everybody else kind of just gravitated you too now. A more semi professional league once it got going or was he a standout. was he becoming an attraction even his independent days he he stood out Right away He starts in Nineteen fifteen. He's only eighteen years old just out of the army. He's been playing baseball in the Philippines and he stand went out he. He shows a lot of power and it was a time. You know. deadball era when power was a rare. So he's like a couple of home runs in the first few games of his career and its file definitely blows people away and it doesn't hit anymore the rest of the year but he's still a call you know a powerful fugger for the rest of the rest of that year and the only way way stood out with his defense. He played really shallow Centerfield and and he went back on balls and made catches that people just could not believe So that was the other way stood out. And then there's a third way. He stood out and that was for getting into fights he got he got into a spectacular fight on the field. Feel an exhibition contest against a white team in Nineteen fifteen in Indianapolis In which he slides in a buyer that a white umpire at second base who is fighting with one of Charles Teammates at the time and that caused a riot of considerable scale. Like fuck page news news the next day in Indianapolis Star and Atlanta jail He's bailed out by his owner and they go to Cuba on a tour And it it doesn't end up paying a fine and that's pretty much but he's he makes them march is some good ways one bad way right away And so by the the time you then in nineteen eighteen I would say is I really great year. Hit something like three ninety by the best statistics we have today in Nineteen nineteen mice playing foster in Chicago. This is right after world. War One He it's something like four hundred and is just that's when he really becomes becomes a superstar. It's nine thousand. Nine hundred eighty twenty. Two people are starting to talk about him as the greatest player in the black game. So that's about when that would happen. Wow that's amazing especially given the fact that the the play was obviously not even quote unquote organized. I mean it was it was it was is not sort of within the league play but maybe maybe a little bit of a sense. I mean the fact that he was playing for the ABC's which was already a notable franchise perhaps along on the lines may of of folks like The Chicago American giants Recross Team Right. It seems like around that sort of turn of the decade. Those were kind of the two teams in this even pre league kind of play that were kind of standing out already. I mean it probably didn't hurt the fact that he was on one of those teams teams as as a League was starting to get formed. Yeah definitely didn't It they were to the bigger teams going at that time. ABC's actually didn't feel the team in one thousand nine hundred ninety or at least didn't at the beginning of the season because of Gordon some complications. That arose from that. The east defy. You have a couple of big teams in the East in New York like the Lincoln Stars. I think at that time would have been a a a big team or the giants and may be mixing those up so the names are so similar hardware. Yeah mix mix all these teams up right. I the students have a tough time all of it. I don't try I'll say this when when the League is formed when Rube Foster gathered together all these prospective owners he calls into a meeting in Kansas City the Ymca is still standing near the Negro Leagues Museum today and he hands them all All these articles inc.. I've started the you know. And he's registered the corporation all these different estates and they're very suspicious because rube was ultracompetitive and they're like what's the angle at one of the ways. He persuaded and everybody that he was doing this for the greater good of black baseball was he gave Charleston back to the Indianapolis. AP's he he. We have to have competitive. You know. Some parody right and Gave them back. So that's author SORTA figures into the League's formation in that way. Not only. What's he probably the biggest superstar within the League started but Re rubes great gesture giving an Oscar. ABC's regarded as proof of his goodwill. Well but foster's also the guy behind the the rise of the Chicago American giants right and I'm guessing that And now you correct me on this right so when Charleston goes to Harrisburg known as the giants. Is there a relationship there with the Chicago. Okay okay this is me moment so many yearly teams or call the giants okay. It seems like nobody knows exactly why but it became sort of code for this is probably probably a team if you just read it in print got it so I was just getting a sense of. I was trying to figure out to your point earlier. What was fosters angle right? Because it's clearly the American John was his baby and arguably it's I don charitable. He was trying to be by creating a leaky boys. I think he used league was gonNA raise all boats. I mean he knew he was going to ultimately profit and benefit from the formation of a leaf but I think he rupe was able occasionally to transcend narrow self interest. And I think that was one of the occasions if he did that Yeah I mean there's a later occasion which he loans money to the Olivia Taylor who see I Taylor's widow who come into possession of the ABC's and finances are in terrible shape and he loves Our money To get through the rest of the season with the idea digital trade him Charleston. After this season now he's going to benefit from that arrangement but at the same time he snows. I can't just want. The team collapsed during the year. We gotTa have people play you know. We have to have some stability so ru always looking out for himself but at the same time he can take you take a big picture view all right. So how does Charleston get from a relatively seems stable and standout Kind of situation in Indianapolis Annapolis and go go to Harrisburg which was independent in twenty two and twenty three and joins this. I guess rival League or direct Challenger to the Negro National League the first one the eastern Colored League it comes back to what I was just saying. the ABC's we're a financial mess and and Olivia Taylor had driven some players off and there was all sorts of fights intention. So that's that's the first first thing like Indianapolis was no longer a possibility but the real reason whether to other reasons want his wife was from Harrisburg and she was a strong. A woman Very attractive both physically and inner personality l. from everything I could tell and she I think played a big part wanting to get back east near family To whom she was close and third he could manage at Harrisburg You you couldn't go back to Chicago. Manage Rube Foster had asking So I think all those factors coming together are what led him out to the. You know fairly small town Harrisburg and this upstart league. Why are so? Let's talk about that because this is i. I'm guessing the first time that he not only is is a player but also a manager or is able to source straddle both of those roles goals for the first time. Yeah that's exactly right and and being a manager At least at that time at least for Charleston meant really putting together the roster. You're the general manager. As much as you are a manager The mandate the teams. A man named Colonel Struthers who was like the second black policemen? Lebron Harrisburg Way. Something like three hundred pounds but taught ballet dancing to use the parents use quite a character He wasn't necessarily so well connected in the world of Major League Baseball to put together To be able to together really good roster that was that was Charleston's job and that was something I think he really I wanted to do so. Give me a sense. Then of of of the Harrisburg experience because I think it's also important period of time In the Negro Leagues generally right. Where a lot of things in this country things kind of stumbled along as the Great Depression effectively took root if you will electronically macro to the point where there was a from all indications? It seems like You know the leagues that had had sort of gotten sort of their starting in the early part of the twentieth kind of kind of crumbling and and really kind of you know kind of went dark after a while after say twenty nine nine and thirty but this is during his time in Harrisburg where he's arguably kind of the peak but he's he's being able to do both thinks thanks right and and kind of stand out in in both those categories both managing and playing. Yeah absolutely it. Is it definitely part of his peak. I mean some of the statistics. Sixty was up in Harrisburg Are Crazy they were considered crazy at the time. And and and this sort of more exacting research down in the last few years that people going back to them. All box scores There's still crazy can nineteen twenty four. It's four zero five. Nineteen twenty five. It looks like he hit like four twenty seven. I mean insane numbers But Harrisburg this is twenty four twenty five. This is before the Great Depression. His four year. Run Their Eastern color the had probably problems were not caused by the incipient Great Depression. That was probably just more. The usual. All endemic now under capitalization issues of the Negro Leagues. It's when he goes to Hildale and that's in twenty eight twenty nine that's from. The depression starts to catch up with him. Another league folds in which Dale is playing and That creates a lot of this Again player movement like crazy only with L. deal for a couple of years and that's with the depression and the folding of that team in that league pushes them out to Pittsburgh Eric where he spends the last sort of prime vague if he's playing career and ends up with a man named Cumberland Posey and his homestead Greece. All going Eh. Get to come hosie in this in a minute and held in Pittsburgh in particular in a second but but maybe this is a good opportunity to kind of maybe delve in a little bit in to some of the the numbers that he's putting up both on all parts I guess fielding certainly in hitting and maybe as you sort of answer or give give our audience a sense of just how dominant and standout his stats and his play was slash work. Can you square that though also with what I would imagine magin would be you know a a trust factor when it came to statistics in these. Because you know how how how credible how not or how we're lucky exactly the question dead. That's exactly the question asked the question I asked right. I WANNA know that too. I don't WanNa just rely on sort of mythical. Oh number Unfortunately we don't have to so let me answer your question. In a couple of ways I bush is. How good are Negro League statistics today? Can we trust them. And it's really odd in if you think about it but the stats we have. Today are much much better than we've ever had before including at the time When teams were very lax about affording stats or league certainly relaxed about collecting them? oftentimes and then you know numbers just sort of get made up in the press o without too much to back them up so what happened and this is just one of the great things happen in sports forth in the last generation the last ten or fifteen years really this army of volunteer researchers have gone back all. These newspapers have been digitized. A lot of box scores were reported. And they compiled like we compile statistics from those scores and and the site. I'd recommend any of your listeners are interested in this this I called team heads dot com houses. All of this and it's really well done and only counts gains against top competition petition. So this isn't just games against the little sisters of the poor. This is Major Negro League competition and also includes games at these teams played against Major League. Teams As well as you'd like the Latin America as well so. That's a pretty good answer that first question the quality we don't have all of them The estimate that I've gotten from people who are really know this well. It's like seventy five eighty percent of the box scores between teams so it good representative sample for the stats are pretty good Sorry if you wanted to jump in there but the second thing is We know that and we know. I know that Oscar right now and they're still putting a new numbers from time to time. Box Go right now at about half the plate appearances Willie mays add get some context tax. He had two hundred ten runs. Three hundred fifty five stolen bases hits three fifty one four thirty one days five seventy five slugging percentage. That's really good and I've sort of played around constructing. Like what would an alternative Major League Oscar truly been able to do it seems to me. You just very conservative and say well what did he at least three hundred home runs. He would've still in at least four hundred basis. He almost does again in half the plate. Appearances may have. It was very durable. He would hit at least three hundred three fifty one the Negro Leagues Um and we know who would have been like a positive defender you know in the advanced analytics language language you know above zero defensive wins above replacement who else in major league history has done that nobody nobody has has hit those used for marks. So that gives you some sense of. How unique is guilt? That was all right. What's this Mac? Wellman Mac weld and of course smack. Wellness the premium. Men's essentials brand that believes in smart design and premium fabrics and You know they go out on a limb macworld. 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So they're there to two things I'll say eh one with just respect to Oscar We do have stats from one. Hundred fifty eight plate appearances. He had major league pitching as batting average. A little bit higher fire is on basis. Just take lower in. Its liking his way higher. So he he he kill Major League pitching to. But there's other things what are those are what exhibitions or situations where Major League and Negro Leagues were playing each other like the dynamics behind those because I I'm very ignorant about sort of those shall we say cross pollination matches game series. This is something I didn't really realize and I'd probably a lot of people don't but it was extremely odd. Aw Man After the regular season was over for so-called organized all like you say aim for the Negro Leagues for the for promoters loaders to gin up a team of all stars and a team of white all stars and put them against each other either in just one city or as traveling show right a barnstorming show all so and neither great players dumb barges major leaguers hand out talking about lefty grove and altered. Johnson Jimmie Foxx players like that Lou. GEHRIG Google Oscar himself played against so those those are the contests are talking about usually in October Bleeding maybe even into November Win Those Games would have taken place interesting okay so but but then exhibition that quality of but obviously obviously we're not talking about water down quote unquote white teams right. You the these are. These are head-to-heads and so these stats aside from the most. We'll start right okay. So so that okay. Clearly some standout them and he make experiments part. I'll here's the thing so sorry. Two more things really. Illuminate this so. Do we know that in those contests. Black teams won the majority of the time a little over fifty percent. I don't remember exactly what it is. Say Fifty two percent however we're on the other side if you look at how all black teams fared against teams different levels college teams military teams AAA AAA teams and all down the line. Because they're winning percentages. Then you look at the winning percentages of of White Major League teams playing exhibition contests. You can still save levels which which also happened. Frequently in this era the white teams have higher. Winning percentage is in every category. Not by a lot but by little so what I would say answers is. Your question is when you look at all the evidence. The White Major League teams had more depth Overall that competition petition the White Major Leagues. Because of that fact was a little bit better. Just the top from the top to the bottom of the roster they were deeper than Your your ordinary your average Negro League team which would have say the top seven or eight players. I would say were major league quality but it'd be feeling out the roster with guys who would be probably in the minor leagues In you know so-called organized baseball and that just makes sense when you think about it right. They're just population differences. Here are are there just aren't many players for the Negro Leagues Teams to select from. So that's the answer of the top of the rosters were totally every be this good And the best teams could definitely have competed in the major leagues and comported themselves. Well but overall probably just a tick Take more but again and I've got a couple of examples in the book. Of course they elude me right this moment but I clearly he got some attention attention Despite the segregated nature of baseball at the time from the white teams white structure know about as play. Yeah absolutely I mean first of all. I actually wasn't that uncommon for White let's say the Charleston would dolphin played at Forbes field. Even before he was in Pittsburgh there'd be a lot of games played it for it wasn't uncommon for a honus Wagner or a Paul Waner or somebody like that to in the stands watching and these guys were interested you know they they wanted to to see you know how how good these African American players were and so that's where there's some of these observations come from later and then even more come from guys who played against Oscar and that That's happening very early on in nineteen eighteen. Fifteen the very beginning of his career really until its end and Not Just Oscar but a lot of other Negro Leagues players so they they see firsthand. That's just how good he is. And how good his peers are. And they're not. It's not very shy at least some of them about reporting it. You know about saying these guys are every bit as good as you know You know what we have You know and some of them say One man in particular. I think it was Hollis Thurston who who hails down a former Negro League player at one point ask played with Charleston. He says yeah he was my manager actually and Thurston who had been a pitcher in the major said I I tell you. I- Barnstorm begins him and he was better than any other player I've ever played against. I'm counting Ruth Cobb Hornsby and all of them so He's not the only one say that kind of thing so yeah it was A lot of testimonials from white players based on what they saw well and ownership ownership to and and and maybe we can kind of you know sort of speed up on one of the tracks here. 'cause it'll become obvious in the forties and I WANNA come back to Hildale and Pittsburgh in the second but but it didn't escape notice and I guess I really a constantly. Curious about is during this era. Let's say the twenties in thirty in particular before integration and before you know realities it finally broke through and kind of corrected. Some of the worst in hindsight is just as craziness of segregation. How how what was the you know the the Party line I guess versus the realities right because it is clear that you're getting at even even the book right that some of these players in the quarter go to organized major league recognizing darn good these players are and and not only what if but how how can we sort of you know rectify and or harmonize this kind of stuff? Because the players are players in baseball is you know always a sport beyond arguably color degree question. I mean and you when you phrase it that way I realized Probably more pointedly they have and I wrote the book just how much tension those testimonials probably created for the Party line which was The Twenties Eastern in in the thirties. That they aren't as good you know they're just not as prepared You know maybe they don't have the discipline disciplined to play this level. Whatever I mean that that would be sort of the official racist Party line then you have sort of backing that up? Some sort of consequentialist arguments right like well. The fans would never accept you know whites and blacks playing together on the eighteen. So that's why we have to hold this or Well they might. But this other white players certainly wouldn't and you know and that's just an super bowl obstacle so we'll have to wait until things change in the south so those to be sort of the more hardline answers. Well I guess the financial instability of of a lot of the leagues and the play and stuff to probably didn't help because either because despite any great playing and all that kind of stuff and all these exhibitions. It's still it just seemed like there was a litany of leagues and teams sort of coming and going and and coming back and not a lot of great right so the very conditions That are responsible for segregation in organized. Baseball are also responsible for that sort of instability in the black game right. Yeah so but it provide you write a convenient excuse. Well they can't even get their you now. They're leagues really together. I mean Is this something really need to take seriously. You might hear some argument along those lines which Very Ironic stances. GimMe all right. So let's get back to Charleston specifically so give me a sense now. What what is this Hildale thing all about because that's that's even a smaller? The market than Harrisburg I. I guess I think certainly by today's actually okay stored Elvia Hillsdale is Philadelphia It's Darby Pennsylvania we should as as an inner ring suburb of Philadelphia. So that why they were called Philidelphia. I have no idea They never even got really a real nickname. Ain't sometimes you recall the daisies but oftentimes just called Hillsdale's love but they were essentially Philadelphia's black team until the Philadelphia stars come along in the nineteen forties. Interesting okay so let's talk about hit that phase of his career not only there but then also Pittsburgh seems like this is really where a lot of things started to kind of you know Really stand out Charleston across a lot of different sort of people's radars. Yeah he's signing in both places celebrated as a major coup Hildale will that Nineteen Twenty eight club when he was there along with Martinez Hugo was this multi-talented. Kinda Shohei ohtani Flash Babe Ruth of his time using a pitcher and hitter great at both were the leaders of that team and a great great expectations super high expectations and Charleston. Was the manager manager. We got off to a slow start and very impatient owner mandate Ed bolden Fired Charleston as a manager like a month into the season and things sort of went south for the team Charleston still put up a good season but his days were numbered with them He still gets through the nineteen twenty nine season with them but in one thousand nine hundred ninety when he has a chance he he pulls to homestead grays based Peru. Maybe this is a good example. Though perhaps an another push push pin on that what of his personality right there plenty of examples in the book of give our audience sense of sort of what drove ham beyond is play because it seems like he had some interesting moments in time and he wasn't as you said earlier not shy about outstanding up for himself or others or or mixing it up so to speak. What was it just a competitive streak was a a personal sort of thing in his background? what what drove him so to speak in terms of. Yeah no he was a great question so he was Give he had had flares of temper which he inherited I pretty honestly from at least his mother who wants created a deputy in our on her doorstep with an axe So she must have. I've been giving flair to temper as well But he goes on an angry man so he was intensely competitive on the field. There's also really charming and charismatic and well liked and popular and cheerful. So you have to keep both of these polls together in your mind to understand who Charleston was so to give you a great example and nineteen. I think it was nineteen twenty thirty nine. He's playing for Hillsdale. And it gets the homestead grays and the owner slash manager. Cum Posey comes out on the field to argue call and to get into a fight. CHARLESTON GETS INTO FIGHT WITH ANY CHARLESTON. slugged him in the jaw right well by the end of that season Posey has invited Charleston to come barnstorming with them and signed him for team next year so he was the kind of guy who could hit you and you still like that. That's the best way to put it Charleston. You know he was Wanted him on your side and there was something just are likable about the guy. Even that he was just an medically competitive on the baseball diamond. Also yeah it also seems that in the thirty s going to Pittsburgh and the Crawford's in particular he also also started as exhibit a flare. Not only for his play in his managerial talents. But also scouting you can give us a sense of just how successful and stand out. The Crawford's were in the early thirties because he was helpful in putting together arguably one of the best teams of love either or set of Baseball League in their early thirties. It's exactly right. Yeah so the guy who starts the Pittsburgh offered offers At least put them into the big time is a gangster named Gus Greenlee and he he was a big time team and he Lures I Charleston away from the grace to come. Be the manager of the coffers but again it's Charleston's job but together the roster that they already had Satchel page. The Charleston helps convince Josh Gibson. Come over from the grays and Cool Papa. Bell comes on board and Judy Johnson and Judd Wilson joined the team mid year. Those those future hall tamers. This team was bristling with talent. Can give you even even to the to the to the the Casual Negro League Observer. That's that's a that's stellar lineup. Yeah and it was. It was Charleston's job to You know with the team manage them get paid to show up for Games on time. I am and You Know Mentor Gibson. And all the rest. So yeah that gives you a sense of his leadership A lot of the players on that team in oral interviews he's conducted later. Reflect back and say How tight they were as a team? How connected they were and Charleston had a big role in that you know he was very you know terrific and the way he ran team he was his old schools? They got you know if you were if you were on time. He was ten minutes too late. You know but he also stood up for them and and Really helps bomb them. oftentimes and intense situations arise on the road. If they were barnstorming south for instance you know. It wasn't unusual usual for there to be some sort of Some tense moments with fans or something like that added with cops for that matter So he had a big part heart and making that Crawford's team what it was but it was one of the most celebrated Negro Leagues Teams of all time. Can you describe for audience. I don't think we've kind of talked about this. Is he obviously played in this thing. Called the East West All Star game which was a big deal in Chicago's Comiskey Park for years and he had a couple of great years around this time. That game too. So maybe you can give it a little sense of of how you know what that was. And and why he was just a regular bright in for for those games in the Mid Thirties. Yeah he The East West game was gus green and these idea. He was being the first Major League All Star game and it just got play these all an opportunity to promote the game and make some money and it became. I'm one of the most celebrated social occasions on the calendar actually in the African American community especially in Chicago but people came from all over to go to the game and KALEO showcase for the League's later on a lot of White Scouts show up at that game looking for talent but often was the leading vote getter in the first game Making thirty four. I believe Is What we're talking about now so it. It speaks to his popularity that he was still even at that time. during relate just career the most popular player in the game and later he's often selected to be manager the manager of various teams In that game name And it's really probably know player probably received more cumulative votes you know at least in the first few years Then Oskar did and It was a showcase for him for sure. So th that didn't hurt his popularity not only in the Negro Leagues but I guess also more. Broadly broadly around baseball. Generally but it also it just seems to me now. I know this is probably too obvious but it seems to me that as his career was starting to you know along aid and Wayne get older and your your your skills can decline over time. But also the Crawford's themselves seem to kind of wobble wobble as the third war on and it was almost a just a Qismat or the right word parallel that both he and the team were kind of sort of segway. I guess into away and and sort of him winding down his playing career to go more fully early managerial by the end of the decade well Yes or no I mean certainly Oscars declining skills didn't help And you know by Nineteen nineteen thirty five. He really struggled the first bad here since he was rookie. Had A good year in nineteen thirty six but that was pretty much it for him. But what really killed. The coffers were Gus Greenlees Illegal street lottery empire crumbled and so we had no money anymore and He had he had basically sell off Josh Gibson terrible trade and then the other thing they kill them was it's actual page In a bunch of players jumping team nineteen thirty seven to go play in the Dominican Republic for Rafael Trujillo the dictator and the Dominican Republic. You were them all with the pilot cash. Yes we want to get into that at some point notorious team right right exactly so it really those things. What killed the Crawford's just as much as Oscars out in deteriorating skills? Well it's interesting because I I. I think a lot of people based on what I've read and maybe a research corroborates that are augmented. Or maybe even Denigrates a little bit but I mean a lot of people look at the Crawford's team team in say thirty five is being one of the best of best ever in Negro League in the Negro Leagues History yet. Br Relatively soon thereafter it. It kind of falls apart right. Exactly yeah really. You could pick of the nineteen thirty two team actually sort of under achieves but the nineteen thirty three three in nineteen thirty five teams both on championships of sorts. Thirty five team dirty clear championship And they were good again in nineteen thirty six exterior good again in nineteen thirty six but yet it all crumbles into that never to come back The end up going to Toledo. And Jesse Owens editors the story around that time as well well okay. So why. Don't we round third base than in that. Let's maybe make that illusion there and I really WanNa get into his Charleston's Charleston's managerial and scouting fulltime job in particular his relationship with a one branch rickey. Because it's clear that he's made some kind of impression. Charleston hens with perhaps more influential Owners in Major League Baseball at the time. But maybe you can kind of walk us through how that sort of all comes out. I wish I knew how Ricky in Charleston I met But I have is a little. Bit Speculative He Ricky was managing the Saint Louis Cardinals when Charleston was playing in postseason exhibition contests against them in the early nineteen twenties. Certainly possible that they met then And Ricky has some things in his in his archives in the library of Congress like programs from Oscar Charleston manage teams even later after after he was connected with him so anyway they had some sort of connection that we don't know exactly how it came about but we do know that nineteen forty five Ricky is in the midst of trying trying to find the first African American players signed the dodgers and the plan to get a jump on the rest of the League and be ready to win. The war ends right right but he has a problem He's His scouts or him personally Really can't go to Negro Leagues Contests without drawing attention to themselves and making it. It kind of clear what they might be doing. Because there's a lot of agitation for integration at this point so his answer solution to that problem is to is to hire hire Charleston to scout for him and to cover for that is Charleston becomes a manager of a team called the Brooklyn dodgers which plays in ebbets field in a new the call. The United States league that ricky gets involved with Probably just for this reason to scout black players more easily so We know from the testimony of Ricky's lead Scout Clyde soup fourth. That Charleston did a lot of scouting for the dodgers in nineteen. Forty five he background is Roy. Campanella For Them I convinced the campanella wasn't too old to sign their real age. He said was Israel Age and he probably also also scouted a number of the other early Black Fair sign by the dodgers We have that again directly from soup for so. Yeah that was Charleston's and scouting for organized baseball role. Probably the first African American to be paid to scout for a major league team I don't never gotten credit for that but I think I think that is the case. So so what this United States league it feels like almost a an artificial slash retention for. I guess what was effectively understood is going to be eventually an integrated approach to baseball once the war was over Cetera. It was weird it was it was gus greenlees idea. We'll ricky's idea Greenlee wanted to get back into big time Negro Leagues Baseball. I guess it's finances inches had had recovered. And he starts the United States League with a few other guys and He is just meant to rival. The two other Major Negro. The League and in Charleston comes on board to manage the team in Philadelphia and that sort of where things stand when ricky gets wind. The league probably from Pittsburgh Courier Journalists Wendell Smith and Ricky decision opportunities like how you're looking they're put a team in New York how about ebbets field. First of all I you can make some money doing that. But secondly he he just saw the opportunity was opportunistic on Ricky's part and then he grandstands about it. You'll the press conference and says how the other leagues are. Big Time rackets. This is going to be different and you know and maybe someday Kinda thought was maybe someday this will go into organized baseball as the league like as a minor league it's a feeder just like any other minor league is Two Major League baseball let seems to have been sort of the thought behind. The very short lived United States. Yeah and in this book. There's a couple of great pictures that you've got in the inset of of Charleston in his dodgers uniform as well as able with with branch rickey and and some other some other gentlemen in that process and almost feels like it's you know maybe he he's arguably maybe trying trying out out for being a manager wants integration. SORTA happens having a role. I'll be not as a player in in an integrated sort of major league system Yeah exactly I wonder if you lived beyond one thousand nine hundred eighty four I wonder if you would just at least become a coach you know. And maybe for Ricky maybe it was the pirates at that point back in Pittsburgh entirely plausible. That would have happened. You know he did manage an integrated baseball team in nineteen Forty two forty three. I think even into nineteen forty four but it was a semi pro team playing in the Philadelphia industrial but he was very proud of that eclipse. A bunch of photos of that for as personal scrapbook There were newspaper articles about black press and again. I wonder like what's did any other African American manage even a semi pro team there was integrated before nineteen forty two until the nineteen sixties still happens in organized baseball. So so you may have been a pioneer there as well but it tells you kind of how he's regarded. He could do that. Okay so let me ask you a couple of last questions. So what's what's his waning years because it almost feels to me like. He was almost sort of an elder statesman at that point having at least some some credibility with the quote unquote white establishment On managerial terms and scouting terms Clearly it didn't sort of net out into into something more substantial in the majors after after integration happened. But maybe a sense of sort of his later years was he was he maybe uproar or in the midst of being considered for some some other roles or were his health issues or or whatever. Were there other distractions. That may be prevented it or was was it. Just kind of just didn't happen for him for whatever reason. Yeah well we don't know and I kind of think whether there'd even been a black coach at the time abby died in one thousand nine hundred eighty four. I'm not sure there had Yeah alright thank Neil those the cubs maybe around that time but The new manager directing US right now. But I'm sorry about that whatever. They're saying they're correcting as as we as we speak here. Great So he he. He's measuring the Philadelphia Stars after Jackie. integrates baseball nineteen forty seven year. In which Oskar sort of out of the game on firing He gets back in the game in nineteen forty eight and from nineteen forty eight through nineteen fifty two. He manages the stars and and says publicly oftentimes. Like you know here's goal was just to send up as many as these players as you can to the majors everyone goes up makes up a little bit for him. Yeah you know. And the and the other his generation who didn't get the chance so he does play that sort of mentoring coaching role. He's really calmed down by now because remember in really beloved terms by players who Who played under him during that time and then in nineteen fifty four? His last year in the game he manages the team called the Indianapolis clowns which is essentially just a barnstorming team Henry era and has played for the clowns the year before. Unfortunately they don't have anybody that good on the nineteen fifty four teams but he does win one last championship. The clowns win the Negro American League Championship at the last week standing thing and So Charleston kind of gets to go out a winner and soon after the season ends he Fall down a flight of stairs and his home is diagnosed with cancer reese paralyzed from the waist. Down and dies very soon thereafter. Well at least he had sort of that that that luxury at the end there You wonder what happened. I mean he died relatively young right he was in his late. Fifty s fifty seven. Yeah definitely I mean he had he had twenty thirty more years in nature taking a different course all right well. So what have you taken out of the you mentioned at the at the outset that that you you kind. China had a sense of what Oscar Charleston Charleston was like. And what was going to be and you got a sense of something quite different by the time. This project was all said and done what you know. Here's the sort of the softball right. What is the sort of August because it took until nineteen seventy six for whatever reasons to kind of the Veterans Committee to to to bring him into the hall of fame right so what happens in those decades in between and and what is the legacy now that were arguably baseball and sports and culture is much more can we say woke about you? Know everything right. Yeah well he does. And the force he's sort of just falls back into obscurity after nineteen seventy six James that ranking leads to a blip of of interest interest but Not much you know. He's sort of have stayed obscure And for all sorts of reasons. I've mentioned Hopefully that will start to end now. Not just for him but for others especially his generation before in the Negro Leagues. His legacy In particular is Is clearly one of the greatest American athletes of all time. There's really no way to look at the evidence and not come to that conclusion and I do think think if it were better known There might be even more agreement with the claim I make that He may have the greatest all around complete resume. Resume of any figure in baseball history. When you take into account not only the fact that he was a maybe a top five top ten player all the time but he's also a great manager? Go to the greatest manager of Negro Leagues History by poll of ex players and was Pioneering Scout You know who broke the scouting color line and And that's a lot to put together into one. You Know Babe Ruth Babe Ruth on the field. He doesn't really have anything after that right Just in terms of his baseball resume So it's a very unique combination of achievements And not only that. He was an admirable admirable. Man That's that's the thing that surprised me. I find that. But he's a leader He was You really showed the toughness that it takes to make it under difficult conditions and I think that's just a great Great lesson you know. It's a great life to to to read about and get to know. Because of the toughness he displayed and the sort of steadfast does he displayed all sorts of different condition. mm-hmm Amazing Topic Amazing Story. Amazing history amazing player slash manager Slash Ashqout Oscar Charleston arguably the most underrated or. Were less than publicized. A standout in Negro Baseball League or arguably even baseball history And I I'm fascinated. I learned an amazing amount about this. And this book Will really set you straight and I of course recommended highly for the holidays and thereafter It's called Oscar Charleston the life and legend of baseball's false greatest forgotten player by our guest. Of course Jeremy Beer it is available wherever books founded is published by our friends at University of Nebraska. Press by buy it at your independent bookstore or if you like a comedian link to it to search up the episode number one hundred forty three holy mackerel on our website inside a good seats still available dot com and you'll be whisked away to Amazon to purchase that book Giving us a couple of of Nichols of love as you do so now and I think in the New Year we're also trying to get an affiliate link with the Independent Bookstore World is well To give you an alternate choice Clearly independent bookstores or very valuable thing in our in our in our nation and our frankly dying breed so whatever we can do to sort of help support them as well but We will do that a look for that in our linkage. Shall we say next year as we get into Twenty twenty but our thanks to Jeremy for this fascinating conversation and also if you'd like to Kind of celebrate a little bit of Some of the Negro League stories and goodness as we get closer to twenty twenty twenty and the one hundredth anniversary that you'll be hearing more about of the Negro Leagues you go to where our friends at old school shirts dot com and use the Promo code good seats get ten percent off all of your purchases including a whole host of very cool shirts devoted to some of the teams that we mentioned this week including leading the Detroit Stars in the Chicago. American giants. let's see there are a couple of others in there The homestead grazer represented with a cool looking shirt and there are few others in there but again old school shirts doc. I see the Pittsburgh Crawford's in there of course the Annapolis clowns really really cool Logo shirt there as well again. 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