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Adrian in Lenawee County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Professional Baseball in Adrian

 
 
Professional Baseball in Adrian Marker image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, April 8, 2017
1. Professional Baseball in Adrian Marker
Inscription.
Adrian got to experience professional baseball in 1894 when the Adrian Light Guard baseball team was formed to play in the Michigan Baseball League. Although the league lasted only one year, Adrian fielded great players such as star pitcher and Palmyra native, George Wilson, along with a young second baseman named Honus Wagner, who would go on to a hall of fame career with the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Light Guard won the 1895 pennant in the Michigan Baseball League, but would have to fold the following year when the league disbanded due to financial difficulties. In September of 1894 the Page Woven Wire Fence Company agreed to sponsor one of the first African-American professional baseball clubs in America. Experienced African-American baseball players, Bud Fowler and Home Run Johnson, organized the team. When selecting the Giants' roster, Fowler chose players with high moral character who did not drink. Five of the Giants' twelve players were college graduates. From 1895-1898 the team toured through the Midwest wherever Page Fence products were marketed and sold.

In 1895 the Page Fence Giants played in 112 towns against all levels of competition, including two games against the Cincinnati Reds. At the end of the season the Giants' record was an impressive 118-36-2. By 1896 the Page Fence Giants had won thirty games in
Upper Panel Left Image image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, April 8, 2017
2. Upper Panel Left Image
a row and were beginning to wonder if they might be the best African-American team in the country. In late 1896 Page Fence played the Cuban X-Giants of New York / New Jersey who had laid claim as the top black baseball team in America. Page fence won a 15 game series, 10 games to 5, thereby winning the right to claim themselves as the top African-American baseball club in the United States. In 1897 the Page Fence Giants continued to play like champions, finishing the season with a record of 136-12, and at one point winning eighty-two games in a row. The 1898 season was the club's last, and in 1899 many of the players went to the new Columbia Giants of Chicago.

Dedicated to George Wilson, Bud Fowler, Home Run Johnson, and the other heroes of the Page Fence Giants who helped advance African Americans' involvement in professional baseball in America.
 
Location. 41° 53.975′ N, 84° 2.172′ W. Marker is in Adrian, Michigan, in Lenawee County. Marker is on North Main Street, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is about 300 feet south of Washburn Street / Toledo Street. Marker is at or near this postal address: 123 North Main Street, Adrian MI 49221, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Adrian's Prominent Leaders (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct
Upper Panel Right Image image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, April 8, 2017
3. Upper Panel Right Image
Originally from Palmyra, ... George Wilson played for several professional teams including the Adrian Light Guard and Page Fence Giants, along with various other professional clubs in Chicago, Minnesota, and Havana, Cuba.
line); Cooley Law Office (about 400 feet away); Adrian's Governors (about 500 feet away); Frank Navin & The Detroit Tigers (about 700 feet away); Laura Smith Haviland (approx. 0.2 miles away); Laura Haviland (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Antislavery - Underground Railroad Movement (approx. 0.2 miles away); County Courthouse (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Adrian.
 
Also see . . .
1. George Wilson. Wikipedia article about George Wilson. (Submitted on June 22, 2017, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.) 

2. Honus Wagner. Wikipedia article about Honus Wagner. (Submitted on June 22, 2017, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.) 

3. Page Fence Giants. Wikipedia article about the Page Fence Giants. (Submitted on June 22, 2017, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.) 

4. Bud Fowler. Wikipedia article about Bud Fowler. (Submitted on June 22, 2017, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.) 

5. Home Run Johnson. Wikipedia article about Home Run Johnson.
Lower Panel Left Image image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, April 8, 2017
4. Lower Panel Left Image
Grant "Home Run" Johnson helped organize the Page Fence Giants in 1895. he played shortstop and servecd as the Giants' team captain. Johnson earned the nickname, "Home Run" for hitting 60 homeruns in a single season.
(Submitted on June 22, 2017, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.) 

6. Cuban X-Giants. Wikipedia article about the Cuban X-Giants. (Submitted on June 22, 2017, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.) 

7. Chicago Columbia Giants. Wikipedia article about the Chicago Columbia Giants. (Submitted on June 22, 2017, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.) 

8. Acclaim Comes Late for Baseball Pioneer. New York Times article about the naming of Fowler Way. (Submitted on June 22, 2017, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.) 
 
Categories. African AmericansSports
 
Lower Panel Right Image image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, April 8, 2017
5. Lower Panel Right Image
John W. "Bud" Fowler played moe games in organized professional baseball than any African-American until Jackie Robinson. In 1895 Fowler helped form Adrian's Page Fence Giants. "Fowler Way," outside Doubleday Field in Cooperstown, New York, is named in his honor.
Professional Baseball in Adrian Marker image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, April 8, 2017
6. Professional Baseball in Adrian Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 22, 2017. This page originally submitted on June 22, 2017, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan. This page has been viewed 55 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on June 22, 2017, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.
 
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Looking for the caption for the Honus Wagner image. • Can you help?
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