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Negro American League

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Negro American League
ClassificationMajor league (to 1948)
SportNegro league baseball
First season1937
No. of teams~18
CountryUnited States
Most titlesKansas City Monarchs (8)
Declined to minor league status after integration from 1949

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.

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Negro American League franchises

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

Member timeline

Major league to 1948; minor league from 1949.

  • 1937: Formation of NAL consisting of 8 teams — Birmingham Black Barons, Chicago American Giants, Cincinnati Tigers, Detroit Stars (III), Indianapolis Athletics, Kansas City Monarchs, Memphis Red Sox and St. Louis Stars (II).
  • 1938: Dropped Cincinnati Tigers, Detroit Stars (III), Indianapolis Athletics and St. Louis Stars (II); Added Atlanta Black Crackers, Indianapolis ABCs (II) and Jacksonville Red Caps.
  • 1939: Dropped Birmingham Black Barons; Added Toledo Crawfords.
  • 1940: Dropped Indianapolis ABCs (IV); 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.
  • 1951: Indianapolis Clowns relocate to Buffalo, New York but retain the Indianapolis Clowns name.[1]

League champions

Pennant winners

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. For example, the 1937 season featured Kansas City being first place with a 52–19–1 record (.732). However, they still competed in a Championship Series, albeit against the third place team in the Chicago American Giants (36–24–1), who played less games than the 2nd place Cincinnati Tigers (35–18–1) but had one more win.[2]

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. From 1942 until 1948, the pennant winner (as determined by record or by postseason series victory) went on to the Negro World Series.

  Pennant awarded by victory in the Championship Series
Year Winning team Manager Reference
1937 Kansas City Monarchs (1) Andy Cooper [3]
1938 Memphis Red Sox (1) Ted Radcliffe [4]
1939 Kansas City Monarchs (2) Andy Cooper [5]
1940 Kansas City Monarchs (3) Andy Cooper [6]
1941 Kansas City Monarchs (4) Newt Allen [7]
1942 Kansas City Monarchs (5) Frank Duncan [8]
1943 Birmingham Black Barons (1) Winfield Welch [9]
1944 Birmingham Black Barons (2) Winfield Welch [10]
1945 Cleveland Buckeyes (1) Quincy Trouppe [11]
1946 Kansas City Monarchs (6) Frank Duncan [12]
1947 Cleveland Buckeyes (2) Quincy Trouppe [13]
1948 Birmingham Black Barons (3) Piper Davis [14]

Post-integration champions

† – 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

On numerous occasions, 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. Five times a League Championship Series was played, with varying games needed to win the Series; the 1938 series ended prematurely because of problems with finding a suitable venue for the rest of the series.

Year Winning team Games Losing team Reference
1937 Kansas City Monarchs (1, 1–0) 5–1–(1)T Chicago American Giants (1, 0–1) [15]
1938 Memphis Red Sox 2–0 Atlanta Black Crackers [16]
1939 Kansas City Monarchs (2, 2–0) 4–1–(1)T St. Louis Stars [17]
1943 Birmingham Black Barons (1, 1–0) 3–2 Chicago American Giants (2, 0–2) [18]
1948 Birmingham Black Barons (2, 2–0) 4–3–(1)T Kansas City Monarchs (3, 2–1) [19]

Negro World Series

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


  1. ^ Graham, Tim (22 September 2004). "Class Clowns The Indianapolis Clowns Have A Rich Place In Buffalo Baseball History; For Example, Hank Aaron Was "Discovered" At Offermann Stadium". The Buffalo News.
  2. ^ "1937 NAL Championship Series - Kansas City Monarchs over Chicago American Giants (5-1-1) |".
  3. ^ "1937 Negro American League Season Summary |".
  4. ^ "1938 Negro American League Season Summary |".
  5. ^ "1939 Negro American League Season Summary |".
  6. ^ "1940 Negro American League Season Summary |".
  7. ^ "1941 Negro American League Season Summary |".
  8. ^ "1942 Negro American League Season Summary |".
  9. ^ "1943 Negro American League Season Summary |".
  10. ^ "1944 Negro American League Season Summary |".
  11. ^ "1945 Negro American League Season Summary |".
  12. ^ "1946 Negro American League Season Summary |".
  13. ^ "1947 Negro American League Season Summary |".
  14. ^ "1948 Negro American League Season Summary |".
  15. ^ "1937 NAL Championship Series - Kansas City Monarchs over Chicago American Giants (5-1-1) |".
  16. ^ "1938 NAL Championship Series - Memphis Red Sox over Atlanta Black Crackers (2-0) |".
  17. ^ "1939 NAL Championship Series - Kansas City Monarchs over St. Louis Stars (4-1) |".
  18. ^ "1943 NAL Championship Series - Birmingham Black Barons over Chicago American Giants (3-2) |".
  19. ^ "1948 NAL Championship Series - Birmingham Black Barons over Kansas City Monarchs (4-3-1) |".


  • 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
This page was last edited on 30 April 2024, at 21:47
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