Page Fence Giants
|Page Fence Giants
One of the top black baseball teams of the 1890s, the Page Fence Giants were based in Adrian, Michigan and named after the Page Woven Wire Fence Company. The team was sponsored by the company's founder, J. Wallace Page.
Formed in 1894, the team played its first game on April 9, 1895. Bud Fowler and Home Run Johnson organized the team, which was managed by Gus Parsons. Fowler chose players who did not drink and aimed for a group with high moral character. Five of the twelve players were college graduates. Fowler played second base while Johnson manned shortstop. The team played in 112 towns that year against all levels of competition, going 118-36-2. They were 8-7 against clubs from the white Michigan State League. They lost games by scores of 11-7 and 16-2 against the Cincinnati Reds. The club lost Fowler and pitcher George Wilson to the white Adrian-based team in the MSL during the season.
In 1896, Charlie Grant replaced Fowler at second. The Page Fence Giants beat the Cuban X-Giants in a 15-game series, 10 games to 5, to claim they were the top team in black baseball. Overall they went 80-19 through August 1. In 1897, they went 125-12 with 82 consecutive wins. The 1898 tour was the club's last, and the next year many of the players went to the new Columbia Giants.
- Bud Fowler — 2B and manager, 1895
- Charlie Grant — 1896 to 1898
- Billy Holland — pitcher, 1895–97
- Chappie Johnson — LF, 1B, and catcher, 1896–98
- William Binga - 1895-98
- Grant Johnson — SS and captain, 1895–98
- John W. Patterson — 1897-98
- Sol White — 1895
- George Wilson — pitcher, 1895 and 1898
- George Taylor 1898
- Sherman Barton 1898
- Peter Burns 1895-1898
Sources: Riley 294, 330, 387, 432, 434, 609, 836, 872.
Fowler and Wilson left the team before the end of its first, 1895 season to play in the primarily white Michigan State League.(Riley 295, 873)
- The prose section is from the Baseball Reference Bullpen. The original can be viewed here. It is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.
- Holway, John. The Complete Book of Baseball's Negro Leagues. ISBN 0-8038-2007-0. The complete book is available for online viewing at Google Books.
- Riley, James A. (1994). "Page Fence Giants". The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues. Carroll & Graf. pp. 595–96. ISBN 0-7867-0959-6.
- Chronology from Negro League Baseball Players Association