The History of the Hilldale Club

Ed Bolden founded the team in 1910 as an amateur athletic club for local young men. They won the first three Eastern Colored League pennants beginning in 1923 and in 1925 won the second Colored World Series. Hall of Fame player Judy Johnson was a Hilldale regular for most its professional era with 12 seasons in 15 years (1918–1932). Pitcher Phil Cockrell played for Hilldale throughout those years. Oscar Charleston, Biz Mackey, Louis Santop, Chaney White, and Jesse "Nip" Winters were also important Hilldale players in the 1920s.  

Hilldale was a charter member of the Eastern Colored League in 1923 and won the first-place pennants in 1923, 1924, and 1925. They lost the inaugural, 1924 Colored World Series to the Kansas City Monarchs five games to four (with one tie). Next season they won a rematch with the Monarchs five games to one. The 1925 club featured star catcher and cleanup hitter Biz Mackey, third baseman Judy Johnson, and outfielder Clint Thomas. Player-manager Frank Warfield's pitching staff was led by left-handed ace Nip Winters and spitballer Phil Cockrell. Hilldale dropped to third in 1926 and fifth in 1927.
Frustrated by the league's lack of organization, Bolden withdrew his club from the ECL prior to the 1928 season. When the American Negro League was organized in 1929, Hilldale joined, but the league lasted only one season. Bolden was subsequently forced out of club management, and Hilldale corporation member Lloyd Thompson assumed control of the club in 1930.

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