Sol White

King Solomon White
Inducted to the Hall of Fame in: 2006
Primary team: Philadelphia Giants
Primary position: Executive

“Some day the bar will drop and some good man will be chosen from out of the colored profession that will be a credit to all, and pave the way for others to follow.” --Sol White

Sol White was 78 years old, living in Harlem in 1947, when Jackie Robinson shattered the major league color barrier. Who knows if White was in attendance at Ebbets Field that day, or maybe home listening on the radio. No newspaper sought out the old man to interview him, and it is a pity, since White watched the color barrier descend back in the 1880s.

A seminal figure in black baseball, Sol White was a player on both black and white teams, a manager, a coach, an official, a sportswriter, and a historian. He began his playing career at age 19, while a student at Wilberforce University, with the Pittsburgh Keystones, a team in the “League of Colored Baseball Clubs,” which folded after one week. He immediately joined a white team, the Wheeling Green Stockings, and batted .370. The following season his teammates forced his release.

White was a hard-hitting infielder, an intense competitor and a quiet leader.

From 1889-91, he played for black teams which played within otherwise white leagues in New York, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut. In the three seasons, he hit .324, .356, and .375 against white professional competition, giving him a lifetime average of .356 in “organized baseball.”

In 1902, White organized the Philadelphia Giants, among the best of the pre-Negro leagues teams. The Giants won the Colored championship every year from 1904-07. The 1906 Giants, who went 108-31, made an offer to play either the NL-pennant winning Chicago Cubs or the World Series winning White Sox, but neither team responded. White was a player or a player-manager on six other Colored championship teams in the pre-Negro leagues (pre-1920) era.

White retired in 1912, but came back as secretary of the Columbus Buckeyes in the Negro National League in 1920. He left Columbus to manage the Cleveland Browns of the NNL in 1924, and coached for the Newark Stars in 1926.

Perhaps White’s greatest contribution to baseball was as the author of the first book on African-American baseball, his “History of Colored Baseball,” published in 1907. White spent his later years as a sports columnist for the New York Amsterdam News and the Cleveland Advocate. He was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006.

"An infielder who would go on to become the most influential figure in the first decades of Negro baseball. "
John Holway

Career stats

ESSENTIAL STATS
Year Inducted: 2006
Primary Team: Philadelphia Giants
Position Played: Executive
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Birth place: Bellaire, Ohio
Birth year: 1868
Died: 1955, Central Islip, New York