When baseball championships are discussed metropolitan giants like New York, Chicago and Los Angeles figure prominently in the conversaion. A small town like Darby, Pa. seems out of place on the map of baseball capitols, but Darby lays claim to a baseball world championship of it's own--the 1925 Negro World Series championship.
After fifty years of indifference and neglect the great teams and players of Negro League baseball have stepped into the public consciousness during the past few years. Legendary Negro League squads like the Homestead Grays and Pittsburgh Crawfords have been the subjects of print, television and movie projects, and virtually every major league and minor league team across the nation now regularly pays tribute to these legends of yesteryear on at least one "tribute" or "throwback" night at the ballpark annually. But what about Darby, Pa. and it's club of world champions?
Negro League baseball came into it's own during the early 1920s, and the Hilldale club of Darby was at the heart it all. While the Kansas City Monarchs dominated the Negro National League (a circuit that operated primarily in the West), the Hilldale Club reigned atop the Eastern Colored League. With a lineup peppered with Hall-Of-Famers like Oscar Charleston and Judy Johnson, and "oughta be Hall-Of-Famers" like Biz Mackey, the Hilldale Club found itself pitted against the Monarchs in both the first and second Negro World Series matchups in 1924 and 1925. After coming up short in a 5 to 4 series in 1924, Hilldale routed the powerful Monarchs 5 games to 1 in 1925.
Today, 80 years after Hilldale brought the world championship flag to Darby, local residents are mounting an effort to properly commemorate the team and catapult at least one of it's worthy players Biz Mackey into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. A feature story in the San Jose Mercury News provides the details. Read it here...