Foster, Rube

Foster, Rube

Foster, Rube (Andrew Bishop Foster), 1879–1930, African-American baseball player and executive, b. Calvert, Tex. Known as “the father of black baseball,” he turned professional with the Chicago Union Giants in 1902 and played for a time with a white semiprofessional team in Otsego, Mich. Joining the Cuban X-Giants of Philadelphia (1903), he led to the “colored championship of the world.” He then played for the Philadelphia Giants (1904–6) and Chicago Leland Giants (1907–10), where he was player-manager and shared the 1908 championship with the Philadelphia Giants. In 1910 Foster obtained legal control over the team, which became (1911) the Chicago American Giants and then won the western league championship four years in a row. After 1917 he was solely a manager and team owner. In 1920 his team, along with six others, formed the Negro National League, with Foster as president and treasurer. His American Giants won 3 pennants (1920–22) before mental illness led to his commitment during the 1926 season. He was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1981.


See biography by P. Dixon (2010).

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Foster, (Andrew) Rube

(1878–1930) baseball player, manager, executive; born in Calvert, Texas. Nicknamed "Rube" for outpitching Hall of Famer Rube Waddell, Foster rose through the ranks from star player (1902–17) to club owner, emerging as the dominant figure in black baseball after pitching and managing his 1910 Leland Giants, who dominated African-American baseball for the following decade, to a 126–6 record. Friend and confidant of major league managers including John McGraw, as a manager (1910–23) his skills achieved legendary proportions; several of his strategies became standard in major league ball. In 1920 he created the Negro National League, which placed black baseball on a solid footing for the first time and gained him the reputation of being "the Father of Black baseball." As president, his fifteen-hour days contributed to a nervous breakdown (1926) from which he never recovered. He was named to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1981. His half-brother, “Big Bill” (William Hendrick) Foster (1904–78), also compiled an outstanding pitching record in the black leagues (1923–37).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
References in periodicals archive ?
Foster, Rube's son, remembers one time Jelly Gardner was sent up to bunt and he tripled.