During the Great Depression baseball fans along the Atlantic seaboard may have had very little silver in the pockets, but they could certainly watch a sterling performance on the diamond when the Baltimore Silver Moons came to town.
During the mid-1930s the roadways of the mid-Atlantic states were heavily trafficked by independent baseball squads, each of them vying for their share of the scarce entertainment dollars of regional fans. Teams that played a "fast" brand of ball were more likely to find success, and those that combined fast baseball with high quality entertainment quickly developed a following that guaranteed them return engagements in the ballparks of the region. The all-black Silver Moons was such a club, usually treating fans to a solid, professional baseball performance as well as the entertaining routines of an umpire (employed by the team) that the Frederick (MD)Post newspaper referred to as "the life of the party."
The Silver Moons began life as the "Baltimore Pirates", booking games in 1932 and 1933 against area amateur, semipro and minor league teams. As their reputation for solid entertainment spread throughout the region the team became increasingly in demand. Looking to further enhance their appeal as a quality "attraction" the team adopted the intriguing "Silver Moons" moniker for the 1934 season.
In 1934 the Silver Moons drew record crowds in middle-market ballparks. The team began the season with a slick fielding infield, a full slate of faster-than-most baserunners, but found their pitching staff thin and lineup lacking in power at the plate. These shortcomings proved increasingly apparent as the season wore on, and the team failed to live up to it's self-claimed title of "colored champions of Baltimore".
The Moons suffered several embarrassing late season defeats at the hands of their hometown rivals, the Baltimore Giants, and dropped several games by embarrassing margins to lesser team, including a few amateur squads. As the team's on-field fortunes diminished, so did the Silver Moons' fortunes as a gate attraction. The team disbanded at the end of the 1934 season.
Available At The Negro League Baseball Shop