Negro Leaguers Traveling Around The World


JAPAN 1927 and 1932, the Philadelphia Royal Giants, a team of Negro League All-Stars, traveled to Japan. Led by Biz Mackey, Rap Dixon and Frank Duncan, during the two tours they won 46, lost one, and tied one game. The Negro League players were given a great reception in Japan and helped the Japanese refine their baseball tactics. The success of these trips may have influenced a number of ex-Negro League players to join Japanese pro teams during the 1950s. In this incredibly rare Japense sports magazine (1927), the cover shot is of a Japanese player shaking hands with the Philadelphia Stars Biz Mackey and inside pages show American players black and white; one photo even shows Emperor Hirohito throwing a ball with black players watching -- something no American leader would have done at the time.

LEFT: Art “Superman” Pennington and Bill “Ready” Cash are shown posing for this 1952 Culiacan, MEXICO photo.

Many Negro League players felt more welcome in Cuba, Mexico, and other South American cities than they did in United States.


BELOW: A casual moment for the players on the 1947 Santurce, Puerto Rico team.

Many Negro Leaguers went south to play winter ball to hone their skills and to earn a living during the off season.