CLEVELAND HORNETS - The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History
The CLEVELAND HORNETS were the city's representative in the Negro National League during the 1927 season, with offices located at 2286 E. 55th Street. Originally called the Cleveland Buckeyes, the team changed its name to Hornets by mid-season. Cuyahoga Amusement Co., a group comprised of Cleveland businessmen, purchased the Indianapolis ABC franchise at the end of 1926 and moved it to Cleveland for the 1927 season. The only player on the ABC's roster that did not make the move was manager "Bingo" DeMoss; Frank Duncan remained in Cleveland as the manager of the new squad. The team only survived for one season in Cleveland and finished with a 14-38 record in league contests.
The Hornets played their home games at Hooper Field, and reported that as many as 2,500 fans were in attendance on multiple occasions. This may be due to the fact that the team had a better relationship with the media, as L.S.N. Cobb and S.M. Terrell often acted in a public relations capacity for the team. Even though The Cuyahoga Amusement Co. and the Cleveland Gazette bragged that the Hornets were likely the best black professional team in Cleveland to date, they played mediocre to poor baseball for much of the season. During a summer game against the Chicago American Giants, the Hornets committed seven errors. Due to a lack of money, the team was forced to withdraw from the Negro National League by the month of July. Reportedly, the Hornets barely broke even once operating costs were taken into account; team officials blamed a rainy spring and summer, which led to moved or cancelled games and lost income.
The Hornets completed their 1927 schedule against both league and non-league teams, but all of the games were considered exhibition. Even though they were no longer a member of the league, the Hornets continued to tinker with their roster through the remainder of the season, as they added and released multiple players. The Cuyahoga Amusement Co., which included familiar names such as S.M. Terrell (president), L.S.N. Cobb (business manager), and Col. Jake Reed (board of directors), apparently dissolved after the season. The Hornets never re-entered the Negro National League, but did play as an independent team, the Euclid-13th St. Recreation Co., in 1928.
Last Modified: 24 Jun 2009 07:53:49 PM
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