J.L. Wilkinson

  • Card series: Diamond Heads '15
  • Team: All Nations
  • League: Independent
  • Hall: National Baseball Hall of Fame

James Leslie Wilkinson (1878-1964) loved to play baseball and he loved to see everyone play the game. He organized women’s teams, black and Cuban teams, and the multi-hued All-Nations team. He barnstormed with the House of David and brought night baseball to the heartland. His KC Monarchs sent more black players to the majors than any other Negro League club and eleven of his players are in Cooperstown. Being the sole white owner in the black circuits may have seemed an unlikely role for this modest Midwesterner, but “Wilkie’s” integrity and fairness earned the trust of Rube Foster when he organized the NNL in 1920. Few men of any background have left the legacy that Wilkinson established.

  • Won 17 titles and two Colored World Series
  • An inveterate entrepreneur and showman, Wilkie brought the joy of America’s game to all of America thru the Roaring Twenties, the depths of Depression, and the darkness of WWII
  • Elected to Hall of Fame: 2006

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