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Studies of Negro Leagues baseball from 1920 through the 1950s address various aspects of the organization and operation of the leagues, and provide portraits of the teams, players, and other prominent individuals. However, there were earlier attempts by black teams to organize leagues during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Given the many proposed and short-lived black leagues prior to 1920, the focus of this monograph is the proposals that included clubs from Kansas City. None of the leagues proposed before the First World War survived beyond its inaugural season, but the number of proposals offered over three decades reflects a persistent interest in a black baseball league. Their failures provide insight into some of the challenges that had to be overcome before the Negro National League could be organized in Kansas City in 1920. Following an overview of attempts to organize black baseball leagues across the country prior to 1890, the various proposals from 1890 through 1916 for leagues including Kansas City are described. The financial considerations and other challenges faced by the organizers are also described.


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Toward a Black Baseball League for Kansas City, 1890–1916: Proposals and Challenges

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