A Message from the Foster Family
The Foster Family is proud of the contributions made by Andrew “Rube’ Foster and William Hendrick Foster to the history of the negro’s plight in America, baseball and American history in general. We strongly believe that baseball might not be what it is today if it was not for the Foster brothers. Moving forward, it is our goal to share with the American public the impact and contributions that both Rube and William had on breaking down the racial barriers in baseball and America and their greatness as players and managers.
Andrew Rube Foster was known by many as the “Father of Negro Baseball”. Not only because he was able to establish a national black baseball league during a time of immense racial prejudice, but he was also one of the greatest pitchers and managers during his time in the early 20th century.
With all of his success playing and managing the game of baseball, Rube wanted to impact the game of baseball even more. Rube noticed the lack of a national black baseball league in America. Even though his initial attempt to create a negro league failed, he was determined to make it happen and improve the African-American life in America. In 1920, Rube was finally able to gather all of the owners together in Kansas City and hammer out an agreement establishing the first black Negro National League, which was integrated. Rube immediately turned his league into a success and created a showcase for black ball players that wouldn’t have had an opportunity to play due to the racial injustice and discrimination in major league baseball at the time.
Though Rube’s impact on the sport is often overlooked by many, there is no denying his contributions to baseball. He revolutionized the sport as we know it. More importantly, he provided the foundation and blueprint for future black players and leagues to showcase the considerable talent of African-American players on a larger stage than ever before. The creation of the Negro National League led to breaking down the racial barriers that kept black players from playing in the major league. That is why Rube was inducted in the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame in 1981
William Hendrick Foster or Bill, Rube’s half-brother, was known as one of the greatest pitchers to pitch in the negro leagues. In his 15 year career, he compiled a .700 winning percentage. He was a crafty left-hander that had every pitch at his disposal. He had a dominating fast ball, almost unhittable curve, slider and a nasty change-up. He was also one of the most durable pitchers in his day, often pitching doubleheaders. He was considered the best lefty in the Negro leagues. Some even considered him better than the great Satchel Paige. Though he was a power pitcher, it was his control that made him stand above the rest.
For most of the 1920s, he played for his older brother’s Chicago American Giants. He helped the Giants win the pennant in 1926, 1927, and 1933. The 1926 season and postseason may have been his greatest and most impressive. He won a remarkable 26 consecutive games (both league and non-league games) during the season averaging approximately 7 innings a game. That alone was remarkable by itself. However in the playoff between the Giants and the first half-season winning Kansas City Monarchs, the Giants needed to win both games to take the pennant. Foster not only started but won both games, which happened to be a doubleheader. Both of the games were against hall-of-Famer Bullet Rogan. The Chicago American Giants advanced to the World Series that year and played the Bacharach Giants. Bill Foster dominated the series. He won the two games he started in the series and pitched in two others. He posted a remarkable e.r.a. of 1.27. For his pitching accomplishments, Bill Foster was recognized by major league baseball and was inducted in the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame in 1996.
The Fosters brothers left a lasting impact on the sport of baseball and American history. While Rube was helping break down the racial barriers in baseball, his younger brother, Bill was striking out future hall of fame players and out-dueling future hall of fame pitchers. The Fosters brothers possessed an unbelievable amount of talent. This is why we are overjoyed with excitement, humility and pride to hear about what our ancestors accomplished during a time of inequity for African-Americans. We would like to welcome all to explore this website and others and learn about how great of an impact the Foster brothers were to baseball and America.
William Douglas Foster, Jr.
Grandnephew of Andrew Rube Foster; Grandson of William Hendrick Foster