J. L. Wilkinson

James Leslie Wilkinson (May 14, 1878 - August 21, 1964) was an American sports executive who founded the All Nations baseball club in 1912, and the Negro league baseball team Kansas City Monarchs in 1920.

J. L. Wilkinson
Wilkinson James Leslie 1922
Wilkinson at the Negro National League annual meeting in Chicago, Illinois, January 28, 1922
Owner
Born: May 14, 1878
Algona, Iowa
Died: August 21, 1964 (aged 86)
Kansas City, Missouri
Batted: unknown Threw: unknown
Teams
Career highlights and awards
Member of the National
Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Baseball Hall of Fame Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg
Induction2006
Election MethodCommittee on African-American Baseball

Early life

Born in Algona, Iowa, Wilkinson was a promising pitcher until he hurt his throwing wrist. He turned to team ownership and management, parlaying a promotional flair into an association with the game that lasted more than 50 years.

Team ownership

In 1909, he developed a women's baseball team—possibly with a few men in drag—to draw up to 2,000 fans to a covered grandstand moved around the Midwest by train. A team band whipped up tunes for crowds, a male catcher wrestled all comers and a brown bulldog served as the mascot. Town teams throughout Iowa and surrounding states faced Wilkinson's gimmick-laden squad.

In 1912, he founded the multi-racial All Nations team in Des Moines, Iowa. The team consisted of whites, blacks, Polynesians, Asians, Native Americans and – at one time – a woman. As did Wilkinson's first venture, it also had a team band and a number of other promotions, but featured a number of athletes of major league calibre, including John Donaldson and José Méndez. He moved the team to Kansas City, Missouri in 1915, and the team continued to barnstorm in the upper Midwest for a few years after the Monarchs were born, still fulfilling its original role but also serving as a farm team for the Monarchs.

When the Negro National League was founded in February 1920, Wilkinson built the Monarchs from the best of the All Nations team, and from the 25th Infantry Wreckers, an all-black U.S. Army team that starred Bullet Rogan, "Heavy" Johnson, Lem Hawkins, and Dobie Moore, among others. Wilkinson was the only white team owner trusted by Rube Foster when the Negro National League was founded; Wilkinson became a trusted member of Foster's inner circle. Stories were told by his players that during the Depression, Wilkinson would bunk with his coaches and players when the team was on the road and hotels were short of rooms.

Wilkinson was the first owner in the league to secure the services of African American Umpires for the Negro National League and by 1923, at least six Umpires were non-white.[1] During his ownership, the Monarchs won ten league titles and participated in four Negro League World Series, winning in 1924 and 1942.

In 1930, Wilkinson's Monarchs became the first professional team to play night baseball, using a portable set of lights. Wilkinson also signed Jackie Robinson to his first professional contract, in 1945.

Death and legacy

He sold the Monarchs in 1948, and died in poverty in a Kansas City nursing home. "Wilkie", as he was affectionately known to players, sportswriters and fans, was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006.

References

  1. ^ a b "Monarchs Open 1923 Season Tomorrow at Association Park" The Kansas City Advocate, Kansas City, KS, Page 1 and 3

External links

1878 in baseball

The following are the baseball events of the year 1878 throughout the world.

1924 Colored World Series

The 1924 Colored World Series was a best-of-nine match-up between the Negro National League champion Kansas City Monarchs and the Eastern Colored League champion Hilldale. In a ten-game series, the Monarchs narrowly defeated Hilldale 5 games to 4, with one tie game. It was the first World Series between the respective champions of the NNL and ECL. It was the second year of existence for the ECL, but no agreement could be reached in 1923 for a post-season series, owing primarily to unresolved disputes between the leagues. Five members of the Baseball Hall of Fame participated in the series: Biz Mackey, Judy Johnson, and Louis Santop played for Hilldale, while Bullet Rogan and José Méndez played for the Monarchs. In addition, Monarchs owner J. L. Wilkinson was also inducted into the Hall.

2006 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting

Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 2006 proceeded in keeping with rules enacted in 2001, augmented by a special election; the result was the largest class of inductees (18) in the Hall's history, including the first woman elected. The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) held an election to select from among recent players. The Veterans Committee did not hold an election; the 2001 rules changes provided that elections for players retired over 20 years would be held every other year, with elections of non-players (managers, umpires and executives) held every fourth year. The Committee voted in 2005 on players who were active no later than 1983; there was no 2005 election for non-players. Elections in both categories were held in 2007.

On July 26, 2005, the Hall announced that its board of directors had approved a special election to be held in 2006, by the Committee on African-American Baseball, of Negro leagues and pre-Negro leagues candidates.

Induction ceremonies in Cooperstown were held July 30 with Commissioner Bud Selig presiding.

Algona, Iowa

Algona is the county seat of Kossuth County, Iowa, United States. The population was 5,560 at the 2010 census. Ambrose A. Call State Park is located two miles southwest of the city.

All Nations

All Nations was a barnstorming professional baseball team that toured the Midwest from 1912 to 1918, and again in 1920 and 1921, and from 1923 to 1925. It derived its name from the fact that its team included players of several nationalities, including blacks and whites, Indians, Hawaiians, Japanese and Latin Americans. The team was founded by the Hopkins Brothers sporting goods stores. One day, however, the team's manager absconde with the daily gate proceeds. J. L. Wilkinson, who played for the team, replaced him as manager, later becoming owner as well. The team was based out of Kansas City and Des Moines.

Under the management of Wilkinson, the All Nations' approach to the game was more serious than that of many teams who followed Abe Saperstein's farcical approach. They did however provide additional entertainment for their audiences, including having a dance band to play before the games and wrestlers like Ben Reeves to perform after their games.Wilkinson transported the team from location to location in a $25,000 Pullman car, which also held portable bleachers which would be set up for the game. He did not pay for rooms for his players, however, instead having them sleep the night before the game in tents they brought with them on the field on which they would play.

Under Wilkinson, the team became "strong enough to give any major league club a nip and tuck battle", according to Sporting Life. It went 3-1 against the Indianapolis ABC's in 1916 and splitting a series with the Chicago American Giants.

The team encountered difficulties during World War I, when it found most of its better players were drafted, and was finally disbanded in 1918. Pitcher John Donaldson managed the All Nations from 1923 to 1924. The All Nations were still owned by J.L. Wilkinson and was used as a traveling team that trained inexperienced players and found talent in the Midwest.

Andy Cooper

Andrew Lewis Cooper (April 24, 1898 – June 3, 1941), nicknamed "Lefty", was an American left-handed pitcher in baseball's Negro Leagues. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006. An alumnus of Paul Quinn College in Dallas, Cooper played nine seasons for the Detroit Stars and ten seasons for the Kansas City Monarchs. The Texan was 6 feet 2 inches (188 cm) tall and weighed 220 pounds (100 kg; 16 st).

In defiance of a threatened five-year Negro league ban for contract jumping, Cooper joined a 1927 barnstorming team that toured Hawaii and Japan. He spent most of his later career with the Monarchs. Cooper is the Negro league record holder for career saves. In a 1937 playoff game, he pitched 17 innings. Cooper served as manager or player-manager for the Monarchs from 1937 to 1940, leading the team to the pennant three times during those four seasons.

Ben Reeves (baseball)

Ben F. "Cyclone" Reeves (born 1887) was an American baseball player who played for the All Nations as a catcher, and also wrestled in a match before or after many of the baseball games as they traveled a large part of the United States, mostly in the Upper Midwest. Reeves appears to have known manager J. L. Wilkinson long before the All Nations team was formed, when they both toured with the Des Moines Hopkins Bros. team, the Bloomer Girls.

In the 1912 and 1913 seasons, Reeves often caught for John Donaldson in games where the battery racked up an average of 15 strike outs per game. He also caught for Hall of Fame pitcher José Méndez, and many other well-known pitchers of the day.

Throughout the 19-teens, Reeves was very widely known across Iowa as a "Wrestling Champion." However, there were no official records kept except through newspaper accounts.

Reeves became an auctioneer in 1919, but in the 1920 Census, Reeves listed he was a farmer, renting land in the Graettinger, Iowa area. He started another baseball team in 1920, calling the team the "Twilight Stars." The team changed their name to the "Wolves" by 1922.

Reeves continued to wrestle in the early 1920s. And he even brought competition to farming, where in 1924 Reeves claimed he would have a higher yield than his neighbor, Mr. O. R. Gardner.

Cristóbal Torriente

Cristóbal Torriente (November 16, 1893 – April 11, 1938) was a Cuban outfielder in Negro league baseball with the Cuban Stars, All Nations, Chicago American Giants, Kansas City Monarchs and Detroit Stars. He played from 1912 to 1932. Torriente was elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006.

Frank Blattner

Frank "Blukoi" Blattner (April 8, 1890 – January 24, 1954) was an American Utility player almost exclusively working for J. L. Wilkinson teams All Nations and the Kansas City Monarchs from 1912 until 1922.

Blattner is a hard player to track, since he often played under a Pseudonym of "Blukoi" or "Frank Blukoi" or "Bluekoi", or even Frank "Blatnier" in an effort to make the All Nations baseball team appear more international. Oskaloosa, Iowa native Frank Blattner assumed the name "Blukoi" and was often called "the Hawaiian," which during the 19-teens was not yet part of the United States. Early newspaper clippings suggest Frank Blattner was "full-blooded Indian," however, more research will need to be done to discover his true heritage.

Frank Blattner was also known to have pitched a few games, and racked up a few strikeouts.Blattner registered for the draft, and served in the Armed Forces during World War I, was married to Lena until his death in 1954, and according to the Coroner's Certificate, he worked in the post office as a clerk after his career in baseball. The official Coroner's Certificate shows he died of Arteriosclerotic Heart Disease in his home in Chicago on January 24, 1954 and was buried in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Grover Cleveland Alexander

Grover Cleveland Alexander (February 26, 1887 – November 4, 1950), nicknamed "Old Pete", was an American Major League Baseball pitcher. He played from 1911 through 1930 for the Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago Cubs, and St. Louis Cardinals. He was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1938.

James Wilkinson (disambiguation)

James Wilkinson (1757–1825) was an American general and politician.

James Wilkinson may also refer to:

James H. Wilkinson (1919–1986), English mathematician and computer scientist

James Harvie Wilkinson III (born 1944), American judge

James Kemsey Wilkinson (1906-), British businessman, founder of Wilko

James Wilkinson (Australian politician) (1854–1915), Australian federal politician

Jim Wilkinson (Australian politician) (born 1951), Tasmanian politician

James Wilkinson (sailor) (born 1951), Irish sailor

Jim Wilkinson (communications), former U.S. government employee who works in the field of public relations

J. L. Wilkinson (1878–1964), American sports executive

John Donaldson (pitcher)

John Wesley Donaldson (February 20, 1891 – April 14, 1970) was an American baseball pitcher in Pre-Negro league and Negro league baseball. In a career that spanned over 30 years, he played for many different Negro league and semi-professional teams, including the All Nations team and the Kansas City Monarchs. Researchers so far have discovered 667 games in which Donaldson is known to have pitched. Out of those games, Donaldson had over 400 wins and 5,002 strikeouts as a baseball pitcher. According to some sources, he was the greatest pitcher of his era.

Kansas City Monarchs

The Kansas City Monarchs were the longest-running franchise in the history of baseball's Negro Leagues. Operating in Kansas City, Missouri and owned by J. L. Wilkinson, they were charter members of the Negro National League from 1920 to 1930. J. L. Wilkinson was the first Caucasian owner at the time of the establishment of the team. In 1930, the Monarchs became the first professional baseball team to use a portable lighting system which was transported from game to game in trucks to play games at night, five years before any major league team did. The Monarchs won ten league championships before integration, and triumphed in the first Negro League World Series in 1924. The Monarchs had only one season in which they did not have a winning record. After sending more players to the major leagues than any other Negro League franchise, the team was finally disbanded in 1965.

May 14

May 14 is the 134th day of the year (135th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. 231 days remain until the end of the year.

Mineola Black Spiders

The Mineola Black Spiders, also called the Texas Black Spiders, were an independent, generally all-black baseball team. They originated in and were loosely based from Mineola, Texas.

As a non-league barnstorming team, they often headquartered in other parts of the nation, especially northern Iowa, from 1932 until at least 1937. They were reported to have headquartered in Mason City, Charles City and Waverly, Iowa. Some newspaper accounts also list them as the Fort Worth Black Spiders as well as the Texas Black Spiders from Galveston.

Vernon "V.A." Klingaman, an Iowa native who settled in Mineola in the late 1920s, formed the team, which first began traveling in 1930's. Eventually attracting players from outside Mineola, Texas, they barnstormed throughout the nation in the 1930s, and likely traveled into Mexico with a team featuring Buck O'Neil. The Spiders played until at least 1941.

Negro league baseball

The Negro leagues were United States professional baseball leagues comprising teams predominantly made up of African Americans and, to a lesser extent, Latin Americans. The term may be used broadly to include professional black teams outside the leagues and it may be used narrowly for the seven relatively successful leagues beginning in 1920 that are sometimes termed "Negro Major Leagues".

In 1885 the Cuban Giants formed the first black professional baseball team. The first league, the National Colored Base Ball League, was organized strictly as a minor league but failed in 1887 after only two weeks owing to low attendance. The Negro American League of 1951 is considered the last major league season and the last professional club, the Indianapolis Clowns, operated as a humorous sideshow rather than competitively from the mid-1960s to the 1980s.

Newt Joseph

Walter Lee "Newt" Joseph (October 27, 1896 – January 18, 1953) was an American third baseman and manager in Negro league baseball. Born in Birmingham, Alabama, Joseph played most of his career for J. L. Wilkinson and the Kansas City Monarchs franchise.

When the Monarchs' train stopped on the way to Dallas for Spring training in 1923, it was said 200 fans in Muskogee were there after midnight to cheer the team. They picked up and carried Joseph from his berth on the train and "presented him with a handsome present." Joseph played among and against many of baseball's greats, including Hall of Famers Satchel Paige, José Méndez, Bullet Rogan, and pre-Negro league stars like John Donaldson, and "Big" Bill Gatewood.

A Utah paper called him one of the best third baseman in history, (part of J. L. Wilkinson's Kansas City Monarchs' publicity newspaper copy), and also called him "the noisiest coach in baseball." Joseph died at the age of 56, and is buried at the Highland Cemetery in Kansas City, Missouri.

Oxotrichlorobis(triphenylphosphine)rhenium(V)

Oxotrichlorobis(triphenylphosphine)rhenium(V) is the chemical compound with the formula ReOCl3(PPh3)2. This yellow, air-stable solid is a precursor to a variety of other rhenium complexes. In this diamagnetic compound, Re has an octahedral coordination environment with one oxo, three chloro and two mutually trans triphenylphosphine ligands. The oxidation state of rhenium is +5 and its configuration is d2.

Tom Baird

Thomas Y. Baird (January 27, 1885 – July 2, 1962) was an American baseball executive who served as the vice-president, co-owner, and eventual sole-owner of the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro leagues. Baird was associated with the Monarchs, and their founder and owner J. L. Wilkinson, from 1919 to 1955. Wilkinson sold the Monarchs to Baird in 1948, and Baird sold the team in 1955 to Ted Rasberry.

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