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Harrisburg Giants

Harrisburg Giants
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
League affiliation(s)

Independent (1922-1923)


The Harrisburg Giants were a U.S. professional baseball team in the Negro Leagues, based in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. They joined the Eastern Colored League (ECL) for the 1924 season with Hall of Fame center fielder Oscar Charleston as playing manager. The Giants became known primarily for their hitting; along with Charleston, outfielder/first baseman Heavy Johnson, winner of the batting triple crown for the 1923 Kansas City Monarchs, was signed away from the rival Negro National League. Speedy outfielder Fats Jenkins, a well-known professional basketball player and member of the New York Rens, also played for Harrisburg throughout its tenure in the ECL.

Harrisburg finished in the middle of the pack in its first season, winning 26 and losing 28 for a fifth-place spot (out of eight teams). In 1925, however, the Giants picked up the pace, challenging defending champion Hilldale before falling just short with a 37-19 record. 1926 saw the Giants add shortstop/third baseman John Beckwith from the Baltimore Black Sox, and finish second again, this time behind the Bacharach Giants.

In 1927 the Harrisburg Giants fell to fourth, with a 41-32 record. The club dropped out of the ECL the following year to play an independent schedule, whereupon most of its best players signed with other teams.

The team returned to take part in the American Negro League in 1929.

See also


  • The Negro Leagues Book edited by Dick Clark & Larry Lester {1994} Publisher: The Society for American Baseball Research (Cleveland OH) ISBN 0-910137-55-2
  • Loverro, Thom. The Encyclopedia of Negro League Baseball. New York:Facts on File, Inc., 2003. ISBN 0-8160-4430-9.

External links

  • The History of Black Baseball in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
  • Harrisburg Giants State Historic Marker Historic Marker Database
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