I’ve been combing through old microfilm of the Louisiana Weekly newspaper, New Orleans’ long-running African-American newspaper, and I’ve come across some pretty cool stuff, contained herewith.
This first image is from mid-1932. That year was a big one for blackball in Louisiana: The Monroe Monarchs won the Negro Southern League during the one season in which it was a “major league” blackball circle; Crescent City Park opened in NOLA as one of only two public ball fields open to the city’s black residents; and Allen Page, a businessman, entrepreneur and popular hotel owner, launched a new era in Big Easy black baseball circles when he made his first foray into local sports circles by first becoming half-owner of the New Orleans Black Pelicans, then full owner later in the year. Thus began his long tenure as arguably the most influential figure on the Louisiana Negro Leagues scene and a prime player on the national stage. Here’s a clipping of the Weekly article announcing his new ownership of the Black Pels:
Next up is a clipping from October 1932 about Mildred Powell, who as a teenager led a local NOLA team of boys to a string of victories. This piece shows a picture of her, then hints at another up-and-coming female pitcher who will twirl for a team of guys very soon. Move over Toni and Peanut!
Now here’s an article that shows exactly how massively important Rube Foster was. When he was committed to an asylum in the late 1920s, it created massive shockwaves through not only the Negro Leagues world, but African-American society in general, where he was a revered figure. That includes in New Orleans, where his commitment made the front page of the Louisiana Weekly, which at that point was just a year or two old and still had scant sports coverage:
Finally, something quirky … In my research I keep coming across a NOLA-based pitcher named Edgar Populus, who toted the nickname “Iron Claw” because he reportedly had only one arm, a disability that apparently didn’t prevent him from being in high demand on local hurling mounds. I hope to do some more research into him in the near future, which of course I’ll report on here …