Hidden History: The Homestead Grays

Black History Month

It’s an American sport.

Baseball.

And it’s a sport that has historically been loved in the city of Pittsburgh for many years.

In fact, Pittsburgh was once the home of two dominant negro league baseball teams, the Pittsburgh Crawfords and the Homestead Grays.

And inside the walls of the Heinz History Center, their phenomenal story lives on.

Beginning with the Homestead Grays they are a much older franchise then the Crawfords. The Grays were actually steel workers in the early 1900’s and most steel mills had these baseball teams or basketball teams and the Homestead Grays were the team of still workers who worked at the Steel Mill in Homestead

Samuel W. Black

In the year 1910, the negro leagues in Pittsburgh became more organized, attracting some key talent, including “Cool Papa Bell,” Josh Gibson, and Judy Johnson, along with a number of Hall of Famers.

From 1937 to 1945, the Homestead Grays won nine consecutive league titles and three Negro League World Series titles.

When the Crawfords came around, they were able to do the same thing which is attracting some of the best Negro talent in the country

Samuel W. Black

Gus Greenlee bought the Pittsburgh Crawfords in 1931 and turned the baseball team into a power- house, earning a Negro National League Championship in 1935.

I think people can gain inspiration from the Negro League Story. One is if you love baseball and you love the history of baseball, baseball is a sport that really loves history, history is what drives the sport. And if you love baseball, you have to love the Pittsburgh Grays the Crawfords for what they were able to accomplish at that time

Samuel W. Black

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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