CLEVELAND RED SOX - The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History
The CLEVELAND RED SOX were a Negro League baseball team in the Negro National League in 1934. Owned by Prentice Byrd and Dr. E.L. Langrum, the Red Sox were managed by Bobby Williams, while Lem Williams ran the business operations. The team was the first black professional team to share LEAGUE PARK with the CLEVELAND INDIANS. The Red Sox finished in last place with a 4 and 25 record and folded at the end of the season.
The CLEVELAND CALL & POST accused the Red Sox of poor communication with the media. Sports writers claimed that they knew very little about the team and their performance in league contests, which meant that fans struggled for information as well. Attendance figures were unclear for the Red Sox's games, but they averaged about 2,500 fans on multiple occasions. The team left the Negro National League in September and chose to play the rest of the season independently. Both Dr. E.L. Langrum of the Red Sox and Cum Posey of the Homestead Grays were upset about how the Negro National League spent money. There was some displeasure over how certain league teams were treated, specifically Baltimore, Newark, Cleveland, and Atlantic City. The complaint was that the league hierarchy forced the teams in these cities to follow their will; these teams were referred to as the "goats of the League." According to Langrum and Posey, the NNL favored major markets like Chicago and Philadelphia at the expense of the smaller market teams like Cleveland.
Most of Langrum and Posey's complaints centered on the league's scheduling habits. The men complained that the league offered an unbalanced schedule that favored the major markets at the expense of the smaller ones. The Red Sox were further hampered by an ongoing spat between Lem Williams and the secretary of the NNL. This battle meant that the league was extremely unsympathetic in terms of scheduling where the Red Sox were concerned. The Red Sox folded after the 1934 season. Langrum and local promoter Wilbur Hayes (also the future general manager of the CLEVELAND BUCKEYES) hoped to form a sandlot team for 1935 that never materialized.Last Modified: 24 Jun 2009 08:57:52 PM
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