Philadelphia Baseball Review - Phillies News, Rumors and Analysis
1924 Hilldale
Located just under seven miles west of Citizens Bank Park lies a historical marker paying homage to one of the most illustrious franchises in the often overlooked history of the Negro Leagues. 
Established in 1910 in Darby by the ambitious 19-year-old Austin D. Thompson, the Hilldale Athletic Club swiftly rose to prominence as a leading Black baseball team nationwide. Taking the reins from Thompson in mid-1910 was Ed Bolden, initially a volunteer scorekeeper, who steered the club's destiny for the next two decades. 
Bolden, with his forward-thinking approach, propelled Hilldale from obscurity to eminence within the realm of Black baseball. Recognizing the latent potential within the club, Bolden made a pivotal decision to transition Hilldale from an amateur outfit to a professional establishment after the 1916 season, marking the commencement of its journey towards becoming one of the most formidable Black baseball teams in the East. 
Under Bolden's astute leadership, Hilldale flourished over the ensuing decades, transforming from a humble local amateur team into a professional powerhouse. His strategic acumen and business savvy reshaped Hilldale's fortunes, magnetizing top-tier talent and earning widespread acclaim. Bolden's foresight led Hilldale to turn professional prior to the 1917 season, setting the stage for its remarkable ascent. 
Bolden's influence also extended far beyond Hilldale as he assumed a prominent role in the Eastern Colored League (ECL), presiding over it from 1923 to 1928. As a founding member of the ECL, Hilldale cemented its status as a dominant force in Black baseball, underscoring Bolden's profound impact on the sport's landscape. 
In 1924, amidst the burgeoning professional Black baseball scene, the inaugural Colored World Series took center stage, featuring a showdown between the Kansas City Monarchs and the Hilldale Club. Rube Foster, commissioner of the Negro National League, and Bolden played pivotal roles in orchestrating this historic series, setting aside differences to showcase the pinnacle of Black baseball talent. 
The intense ten-game series, culminating in a narrow victory for the Monarchs, showcased the skill and determination of both teams, boasting future Hall of Famers on each side. Despite falling short of attendance expectations, the series garnered national attention and earned commendation from the white press, marking a significant milestone in the recognition of professional Black baseball. 
As the baseball world commemorates the centenary of the first Negro Leagues World Series in 2024, the legacy of Hilldale and Bolden's visionary leadership endures. In homage to their pivotal role in the 1924 Colored World Series, the Philadelphia Baseball Review will delve into the events of the 1924 season throughout 2024, celebrating Hilldale's enduring impact on the sport and shining a light on Bolden's legacy as a trailblazing leader in Black baseball history.
We'll publish game recaps from Hilldale's 1924 ECL contests, and provide insights on the roster and atmosphere surrounding Negro League baseball in the 1920s.

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Philadelphia Baseball Review - Phillies News, Rumors and Analysis