Baseball in Evansville

Stories From the Cutting Room Floor

Black Ball in Evansville:

Diamonds in the Shadows 1900 to 1960s


Author Kevin Wirthwein chronicled nearly 100 years of baseball in Evansville in his first book, Baseball in Evansville: Booms, Busts and One Global Disaster. While researching and writing about mostly white baseball teams, players and events, he observed that there was an African American element of the sport that was playing all those years in the shadows of virtual obscurity. That set off a drive to uncover the stories about and behind the small newspaper and media spaces afforded black teams, players and stories of black baseball during that period.

Black Ball in Evansville is a journey deeper that recounts the stories behind the teams and personal histories of negro league players who hailed from the City on the Ohio River. Along the way Kevin found that players from Evansville earned distinction in the era of negro league baseball that is now consider a part of major league baseball. One such Evansville native now holds the record for major league players that will not likely be broken. In this comprehensive view of Black Ball in Evansville, you’ll find stories about the teams, players, visitors and barrier breakers that made the history of Baseball in Evansville even richer.

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Baseball in Evansville:

Booms, Busts and One Global Disaster

Description: Baseball exploded in Evansville after the Civil War. Early clubs like the Resolutes, Blues, Brewers, Hoosiers and Blackbirds played, built ballparks, struggled financially and suffered scandals until the early 1900s. A near tragic event fueled the 1915 construction of Bosse Field, now the third-oldest professional ballpark in operation and the host to Major League Spring Training and the filming of A League of Their Own. After World War II, college baseball returned after lying dormant since the 1920s. In the late 1960s, a local entrepreneur attempted to build a third major league. When he failed, the city ascended to the minor leagues’ highest level. Join sportswriter and Evansville native Kevin Wirthwein as he recounts baseball’s illustrious history in the River City.

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