Cleveland Cubs

From Ohio History Central

The Cleveland Cubs was a professional African-American baseball team.

During the late 1800s and the early 1900s, professional baseball teams and leagues were segregated. African Americans did not play on teams with white players. White teams and black teams did not play in the same professional leagues. As a result of this segregation, there were separate leagues and teams for whites and blacks in professional baseball's early decades.

The Cleveland Cubs was part of the Negro National League and played in the 1931 season in Cleveland. The Cleveland Cubs team originally was located in Nashville, Tennessee, and was known as the Nashville Elite Giants. Following the 1930 season, the team's owner, Tom Wilson, moved the organization to Cleveland. The Elite Giants failed to earn Wilson a sufficient income in Nashville, and the owner hoped to make more money by moving the team to a larger market.

The Cleveland Cubs had Leroy "Satchel" Paige on its roster. At the time, Paige was the most famous player in the Negro National League. Despite the move and the reputation of Paige, the Cleveland Cubs lost money. Following the end of the 1931 season, Wilson returned the team to Nashville. In that same year, the Negro National League collapsed and the Nashville team joined the Negro Southern League.

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