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Andrew “Rube” Foster was born September 17, 1879, in Calvert, Texas. He was the fifth child born to religious parents. His father, Andrew Foster, Sr., was a reverend. At an early age, Foster developed a passion for baseball. By the time he completed the eighth grade, in fact, he quit school to pursue baseball full-time.
Foster was tall and powerful. His build made him one of the fiercest pitchers in baseball during that time. He first joined the Waco Yellow Jackets, a local team. While playing with them, he encountered racism and discrimination, motifs that would affect the rest of his career. In 1902, he played for the Chicago Union Giants, a top Black baseball team in the country.
In 1903, Foster began playing for the Cuban X-Giants. He played with them for one season, assisting them in defeating the Philadelphia Giants during the 1903 playoffs. In 1904, he began playing for his former opponent, the Philadelphia Giants.
By 1907, Foster had joined the Leland Giants in Chicago. In addition to being a player on the team, however, he was also a manager. His managerial skills proved to be as effective as his pitching and hitting skills. He then decided to form his own team. His 1910 roster included John Henry Lloyd, Bruce Petway, and “Home Run” Johnson.
Foster’s team developed into the Chicago American Giants. His team became one of the leading all-Black baseball teams in history. In 1920, he established the Negro National League and served as the league’s president and treasurer. The Negro National League was the first successful baseball league for Black players.
Just six years after founding the league, Foster suffered a mental breakdown. From 1926 until the day he died, he was institutionalized within an asylum in Kankakee, Illinois. Andrew “Rube” Foster died December 9, 1930. He was 51 years old. In 1981, he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. He is remembered as the Father of Negro Baseball, the Father of the Negro Leagues, and the Father of Black Baseball.
**The views and actions of the DDH historical figures that are featured may not reflect the views and beliefs of Ramiro The Writer (Nikodemus Mwandishi). Thank you.**