Fowler, John W. - Bud


In 1867, just two years after the end of the Civil War, organized baseball made its first attempt to ban blacks. The National Association of Baseball Players refused to allow an all black team from Philadelphia join the league.

During the next twenty-five years, more than 50 blacks managed to play on white teams and Bud Fowler was the first when he joined a white professional team in New Castle, Pennsylvania in 1878. Bud Fowler is credited with inventing the first shin guards. White players were spiking him so often that he began to tape pieces of wood to his legs to protect himself.

In 1895, Bud formed the independent Page Fence Giants team which played all 130 of their games on the road.  They traveled around the country in a custom-made railroad car which featured sleeping quarters, a cook and a porter.