Jun 4, 2024 - Sports

Remembering Cleveland's rich Negro League history

Members of the Cleveland Buckeyes Negro League team pose for a photo.

The Cleveland Buckeyes circa 1947. Photo: Mark Rucker/Transcendental Graphics, Getty Images

Major League Baseball announced last week that it would add statistics from the Negro Leagues to the Major League historical record.

Why it matters: The move reshapes MLB's record books and shines a spotlight on the history of Black and Latino baseball players, some of whom played in Cleveland.

Zoom in: The city had several professional Negro baseball teams, most notably the Tate Stars, from 1919-23, the Cubs (not associated with the Chicago MLB team) in 1931 and the Buckeyes, who existed from 1942 to 1950.

  • The Buckeyes played at League Park in the historic Hough neighborhood and won the Negro World Series in 1945.

The intrigue: MLB's announcement follows years of debate and recommendations from the independent Negro League Statistical Review Committee.

Between the lines: Paige pitched five games for the Cleveland Cubs, who played their games on a field near the corner of Beyerle Road and Hugo Avenue.

Fun facts: Buckeyes star centerfielder Sam Jethroe went on to win MLB's Rookie of the Year for the National League's Boston Braves in 1950.

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