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Baltimore Elite Giants

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Title: Baltimore Elite Giants  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: List of Negro league baseball players (A–D), List of Negro league baseball players (M–R), List of Negro league baseball players (S–Z), List of Negro league baseball players (E–L), Negro American League
Collection: 1920 Establishments in Tennessee, 1950 Disestablishments in Maryland, Baseball Teams in Maryland, Baseball Teams in Tennessee, Baseball Teams in Washington, D.C., Negro League Baseball Teams, Sports Clubs Disestablished in 1950, Sports Clubs Established in 1920, Sports in Baltimore, Maryland, Sports in Columbus, Ohio, Sports in Nashville, Tennessee, Sports in Washington, D.C.
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Baltimore Elite Giants

Baltimore Elite Giants
Baltimore, Maryland
Team logo Cap insignia
League affiliation(s)
  • Nashville Standard Giants (1920)
  • Nashville Elite Giants (1921–1930, 1932–1934)
  • Cleveland Cubs (1931)
  • Columbus Elite Giants (1935)
  • Washington Elite Giants (1936–1937)
  • Baltimore Elite Giants (1938–1950)
League titles 1939, 1949

The Baltimore Elite Giants were a professional baseball team that played in the Negro leagues from 1920 to 1950. The team was established by Thomas T. Wilson, in Nashville, Tennessee as the semi-pro Nashville Standard Giants on March 26, 1920. The team was renamed the Elite Giants in 1921, and moved to Baltimore, Maryland in 1938, where the team remained for the duration of their existence. The team and its fans pronounced the word "Elite" as "ee-light".[1]


  • Barnstorming years 1
  • Negro league years 2
    • National League 2.1
    • Southern League 2.2
    • Second National League 2.3
    • American League 2.4
  • Notable players 3
  • References 4

Barnstorming years

The Nashville Standard Giants were formed as a semi-professional all-Negro team in

  1. ^ "Lipman Pike of the Baltimore nine was famous". The Baltimore Sun. July 25, 1992. Retrieved February 8, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Nipper, Skip (October 18, 2013). "Tom Wilson and the Nashville Elite Giants". 262 Down Right. Retrieved February 2, 2015. 
  3. ^ "Baltimore Elite Giants". Negro League Baseball Players Association. Retrieved February 2, 2015. 
  4. ^ Holway, John (2001). The Complete Book of Baseball's Negro Leagues: The Other Half of Baseball History. Fern Park, Florida: Hastings House Publishers. p. 160.  
  5. ^ "Negro Southern League (1920–1951)" (PDF). Center for Negro League Baseball Research. Retrieved February 2, 2015. 
  6. ^ a b "Negro National League Standings (1920–1948)" (PDF). Center for Negro League Baseball Research. Retrieved February 2, 2015. 
  7. ^ a b c Healey, Paul. "Tom Wilson Park". Project Ballpark. Retrieved February 2, 2015. 
  • Nipper, Skip. Baseball in Nashville. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2007. ISBN 978-0-7385-4391-8
  • "Baltimore Elite Giants." Negro League Baseball Players Association. 2007. 28 December 2007.


A number of future major leaguers wore the uniform of the Elite Giants, including Hall of Famers Roy Campanella and Leon Day. Junior Gilliam (1953 National League Rookie of the Year), and Joe Black (1952 National League Rookie of the Year) were both former 'Elites' and won consecutive Rookie of the Year honors for the Brooklyn Dodgers in the early 1950s.

Notable players

In 1949, the Negro National League ceased operations, and the Elite Giants joined the Negro American League. In their first season with the new league, Baltimore captured the Eastern and Western Division titles, earning them a second Negro National Title. In thirteen seasons in Baltimore, of the eleven which have available standings, the Elite Giants finished in the top three during nine of those seasons. In dire financial straits, the club played one final season in 1950 before dissolving.

American League

The team moved again in 1938 to Baltimore, Maryland and became the Baltimore Elite Giants. In 1939, the Elites won the Negro National Title, defeating the Homestead Grays. In 1948, they won the first half, but lost the championship to second half winners, the Homestead Grays.

In 1936 the team moved to Washington, D.C. and became the Washington Elite Giants. In their first season, they finished in fifth place with a 21-24 record. In 1937, the Elites finished in third place with a 27-17 record.

In 1935, the team moved to Columbus, Ohio and became the Columbus Elite Giants. They played only one season in Columbus, 1935, finishing in fourth place with a 16-17 record.

A second incarnation of the Negro National League was formed in 1933, where the Elite Giants played for the following two seasons. Nashville finished the 1933 season in fifth place with a 29-22 record and tied as winners of the second half of the season with the Pittsburgh Crawfords. Nashville lost a three-game playoff with Pittsburgh for a spot in the league championship game. In 1934, the Elite Giants finished in fourth place with a 20-28 record.

Second National League

The Negro National League collapsed after the 1931 season, and the team moved back to Nashville, reverted to being called the Elite Giants, and joined the Negro Southern League, where they played in 1932.

Southern League

The following season, 1931, Wilson moved the team to Cleveland, Ohio and renamed the team the Cleveland Cubs, remaining in the same league. The team finished in seventh place with a 25-28 record.

In Negro National League. The Elite Giants finished in seventh place with a 39-47 record.

National League

Negro league years

In 1929, Nashville was granted an associate membership in the Negro National League.[6] The team finished in eighth (last) place with a 10–20 (.333) record.[6] That same year, Wilson built a new ballpark for his team, Tom Wilson Park, which also served as a spring training site for other Negro league teams, as well as white-only minor league teams, such as the Southern Association's Nashville Vols.[7] Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Roy Campanella are known to have played at the park.[7] The 8,000 (or 4,000)[2] seat facility featured a single-decked, covered grandstand.[7] The ballpark was centrally located in Nashville's largest black community, known as Trimble Bottom, near the convergence of Second and Forth Avenues, just north of the fairgrounds.[2]

The team was renamed the Nashville Elite Giants (pronounced EE-light) in 1921.[3] That same year, they swept the Montgomery Grey Sox (of the minor league Negro Southern League) in a four-game championship series to win the right to declare themselves the Southern Colored Champions.[4]They continued to play independently until joining the Negro Southern League in 1926.[2] Nashville completed its first season in the league with a 15–15 (.500) record.[5]


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