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Pop Lloyd

  • Series: Diamond Heads '15
  • City: Chicago
  • Team: American Giants
  • League: Independent
  • Hall: National Baseball Hall of Fame

John Lloyd (1884-1964) was one of the best shortstops in baseball history. Called by whites the “Black Wagner,” Honus himself deemed that association with Lloyd an honor. Lloyd was a pillar of black baseball with a lifetime Negro League BA of .343. He also spent 12 seasons in the Cuban League, batting .329.

  • Babe Ruth called Lloyd the best baseball player ever
  • Elected to Hall of Fame: 1977

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Rube Foster

  • Series: Diamond Heads '15
  • City: Chicago
  • Team: American Giants
  • League: Independent
  • Hall: National Baseball Hall of Fame

Andrew Foster (1879-1930) was “the foremost manager and executive in history of the Negro Leagues” according to his Cooperstown plaque. He is known by many as “the Father of Negro Baseball,” a title earned by decades of playing greatness on the mound, managing championship teams, and founding the Negro NL in 1920. John McGraw recruited Foster to instruct his pitchers. Foster is said to have taught Mathewson the screwball. His nickname may derive from his defeat of Waddell in one of many exhibitions with the “real” big leaguers.

  • Honus Wagner said Foster was “one of the greatest pitchers of all-time”
  • But it was his brilliance as an executive that left a legacy of greatness in African-American history as the league he founded finally gave a national platform for the talents of black players
  • Elected to Hall of Fame: 1981

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Pete Hill

  • Series: Pilgrims
  • City: Chicago
  • Team: American Giants
  • League: Cuban-American Negro Clubs Series
  • Hall: National Baseball Hall of Fame

John Preston Hill (1882-1951) was a giant among early 20th Century players, starring for the Cuban X Giants, Philadelphia Giants, Leland Giants & the Chicago American Giants of the Negro Leagues. The Virginia native broke in with the Pittsburgh Keystones in 1899 & went on to a renowned career in the US & Cuba playing & managing for 11 teams until his final tenure with the Baltimore Black Sox in 1925. Hill forged a strong bond with Rube Foster while playing for the Leland Giants. Following their phenomenal 1910 season (123-6), Hill was Foster’s captain when he formed the Chicago American Giants. While relegated to playing against minor league white teams, Hill’s teams also held their own when given the chance with MLB squads. For example, the vaunted 1908 Cubs (104 wins) played an October exhibition against the Leland team. Mordecai Brown won two close games to edge the black team.

  • Hill’s HOF plaque notes his “rifle arm” in CF, and calls Hill “one of the greatest line-drive hitters of his era”
  • Homestead Grays’ Cumberland Posey called Hill “the most consistent hitter of his time”
  • Elected to Hall of Fame: 2006

Auction History


T201 Mecca Canvas: Ed Summers