Negro American League

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Negro American League
Sport Baseball
Inaugural season 1937
Country USA
Ceased c. 1960
Most titles Kansas City Monarchs

The Negro American League was one of the several Negro leagues created during the time organized American baseball was segregated. The league was established in 1937, and disbanded after its 1962 season. This article covers the time up to 1957, ten years after Jackie Robinson broke the color line.

Negro American League franchises[edit]

Annual final standings: 1937, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1944, 1945, 1946, 1947, 1948

Member timeline[edit]

(Only through 1948)

  • 1937: Formation of NAL consisting of 8 teams — Birmingham Black Barons, Chicago American Giants, Cincinnati Tigers, Detroit Stars, Indianapolis Athletics, Kansas City Monarchs, Memphis Red Sox and St. Louis Stars.
  • 1938: Dropped Cincinnati Tigers, Detroit Stars, Indianapolis Athletics and St. Louis Stars; Added Atlanta Black Crackers, Indianapolis ABCs and Jacksonville Red Caps.
  • 1939: Dropped Birmingham Black Barons; Added Toledo Crawfords.
  • 1940: Dropped Indianapolis ABCs (II); Re-added Birmingham Black Barons.
  • 1941: Dropped Indianapolis Crawfords.
  • 1942: Dropped St. Louis–New Orleans Stars (merged with New York Black Yankees); Added Cincinnati-Cleveland Buckeyes.
  • 1943: Dropped Jacksonville Red Caps; Added Cincinnati Clowns.
  • 1948: Standings and statistics were lightly reported in print starting around 1948.

League champions[edit]

Pennant winners[edit]

From 1939 through 1942 and 1944 through 1947, the team in first place at the end of the season was declared the Pennant winner. Due to the unorthodox nature of the schedule (and little incentive to enforce it), some teams frequently played many more games than others did in any given season. This led to some disputed championships and two teams claiming the title. Generally, the team with the best winning percentage (with some minimum number of games played) was awarded the Pennant, but other times it was the team with the most victories. The "games behind" method of recording standings was uncommon in most black leagues.

† – Pennant was decided via a split-season schedule with the winner of the first half of the season playing the winner of the second half of the season.
‡ – Pennant winner went on to play in the Negro World Series.

Post-integration champions[edit]

† – Pennant was decided via a split-season schedule with the winner of the first half of the season playing the winner of the second half of the season.

League play-offs[edit]

From 1937 through 1938, and again in 1943 and 1948, the NAL split the season into two halves. The winner of the first half played the winner of the second half for the league Pennant. As mentioned above, disputes also occurred in the split season finishes.

  • 1937 – Kansas City Monarchs (first half champions), second half not documented
  • 1938 – Memphis Red Sox (1st half) over Atlanta Black Crackers (2nd half), contested play-off declared "no contest" after Memphis up 2 games to 0 games
  • 1943 – Birmingham Black Barons (one half) beat Chicago American Giants (one half), 3 games to 2 games
  • 1948 – Birmingham Black Barons (1st half) beat Kansas City Monarchs (2nd half), 3 games to 1 game

Negro World Series[edit]

For the duration of the league, a Negro World Series took place seven times, from 1942 through 1948. The NAL Pennant winner met the champion of the rival Negro National League. Five out of the seven years, the Negro American League team (below in bold) succumbed.

  • 1942Kansas City Monarchs beat Washington Homestead Grays, 4 games to 0 games
  • 1943 – Washington Homestead Grays beat Birmingham Black Barons, 4 games to 3 games
  • 1944 – Washington Homestead Grays beat Birmingham Black Barons, 4 games to 1 game
  • 1945Cleveland Buckeyes beat Washington Homestead Grays, 4 games to 0 games
  • 1946Newark Eagles beat Kansas City Monarchs, 4 games to 3 games
  • 1947New York Cubans beat Cleveland Buckeyes, 4 games to 1 game
  • 1948 – Washington Homestead Grays beat Birmingham Black Barons, 4 games to 1 game

References[edit]

  • Holway, John B. (2001), The Complete Book of Baseball's Negro Leagues: The Other Half of Baseball History, Fern Park, FL: Hastings House, ISBN 0-8038-2007-0