Time Capsule: Philadelphia hosts Game 1 of the 1924 Negro World Series

Philadelphia hosts first Negro League World Series Game
Philadelphia is one of America's greatest baseball cities with a storied past that extends beyond Major League Baseball. Unfortunately, the narrative behind one of the city's great Negro franchises - the Hilldale Daisies - is often overlooked.

Today marks the 95th anniversary of Game 1 of the 1924 Negro World Series. The series marked the first time in black baseball history that the pennant winners of the Negro National League and the Eastern Colored League would meet on the diamond in a postseason contest to crown a Negro League champion.

Hilldale reached the postseason by clinching the ECL pennant with a 47-26 record and were led by three future Hall of Famers in infielders Judy Johnson and Biz Mackey, and catcher Louis Santop. Meanwhile, the Kansas City Monarchs tore through the NNL and finished 57-22, led by dual-threat Bullet Joe Rogan, outfielder Heavy Johnson, and catcher Frank Duncan.

With two stable leagues in tow, the thought of a Negro World Series to rival Major League Baseball's fall classic was fancied by many in the black community. Aware of the interest and potential money to be made, Rube Foster, president of the Negro National League, and Ed Bolden, president of Hilldale, met in New York City in September of 1924 to negotiate and plan logistics. The result was an agreement for a best-of-nine Negro World Series to be played in four different cities - the two hosting towns, plus Chicago and Baltimore.

Hilldale played host to Game 1 at Philadelphia's Baker Bowl, home of the Phillies. The Monarchs entered the series as slight favorites and ultimately won the opening contest, 6-2.

Hilldale starting pitcher Phil Cockrell, who finished the regular season with a 10-1 record, started the contest for Hilldale and fell victim to his own defensive miscues - committing four errors on the afternoon, including three throwing errors in a five-run sixth inning that allowed the Monarchs to cruise to victory.

Mackey, Santop, and Otto Briggs collected two hits each for Hilldale in the loss. The club combined to commit eight errors on the day.

Rogan tossed a complete game for the Monarchs to secure the win. He struck out four.

The two clubs resumed the nine-game set the next day at Baker Bowl.

To celebrate the 95th anniversary of the inaugural Negro World Series, the Philadelphia Baseball Review will run a series of articles highlighting each game on the actual day they were played.
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Follow Patrick on Twitter: @PGordonPBR

BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

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