Philadelphia Stars of the Negro League
I distinctly remember standing in the aisle of a clothing store with my parents in the early 1990s, begrudgingly looking for pants to try on as part of my Catholic school uniform. Bored and bothered, as most boys would be shopping for a school uniform, I was anything but helpful that afternoon until my eyes caught a cream-colored baseball cap a few aisles over. The hat had red pinstripes and a large "K" and "C" on the front panels. 
The hat was iconic, and more importantly, I knew the storied history behind it. I remember an almost immediate shift in my mood because I wanted that hat. I wanted to own a piece of baseball history. I guess I impressed my parents enough with my ramblings of the history of the Kansas City Monarchs and the feats of Josh Gibson, Satchel Paige, and others - all while still trying on charcoal-colored school uniform pants - that we left the store with the hat. 
I remember wearing that hat while playing stickball in the driveway behind my house nearly every day during that summer. I remember the white salt from sweat started to stain the red bill, thinking this is my way of paying respect to legends deserving of far more recognition than they ever received. 
My love for the history of the Negro Leagues continues, more so now as a baseball writer and historian. I've authored countless articles highlighting the teams, players, executives, and media personalities that made Black baseball a historical institution. Thankfully, other outlets also continue to prioritize the story of the Negro Leagues., the most noteworthy repository of baseball statistics on the Internet, announced last week the recategorization of Negro Leagues and teams from 1920 through 1948, giving them the same recognition on their site as their American League and National League counterparts. This change means it's now possible to dig deeper into Negro League franchises and explore their year-to-year data. It's also now possible to compare how players performed compared to those in the American and National Leagues.
It's important to note that though it's fantastic that we have these data points, we'll never have a complete statistical picture of the Negro Leagues. The infrastructure, record keeping, and press coverage weren't anywhere near equal to the American and National Leagues. 
The Philadelphia Baseball Review will explore some of the forgotten stars that played in the Negro Leagues over the coming weeks, using some of the newly published data from In particular, we'll highlight Philadelphia's best players and individual seasons while also exploring the contributions made by all-time Negro greats like Oscar Charleston and others on the Philadelphia baseball scene. 
Beginning this weekend, we'll publish weekly articles celebrating the importance Negro baseball plays in the history of the sport in the Philadelphia region.

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