Lost Advertisements–“Fast Games–League Stuff”

31 Jul


blackpels2Above are two advertisements for a six-game, three town series between The New Orleans Black Pelicans and the Monroe Monarchs in 1931  Both teams were members of the Louisiana-Texas Colored League.

After single games in Bastrop and Tallulah, the clubs played four games, including a Sunday doubleheader at Monroe’s Casino Park.  The ad for the two games in the smaller towns promised “Fast Games–League Stuff,” and “An opportunity for these towns to witness regular league games.”

Both advertisements said that “Black Diamond” would be on the mound for the Pelicans.

Pitcher Robert Pipkin was so popular in his native state in the early 1930s that he was more often referred to by the nickname “Black Diamond” than his actual name–which was just as often misspelled Pipkins or Pipken or Pipkens.  The Chicago Defender said the left-hander was six-feet tall and weighed 180 pounds.

Black Diamond

Black Diamond

Typical of Negro League players of the era, Pipkin played for at least a dozen professional and semi-pro teams from 1928-1942.  With the exception one season with the Cleveland Cubs (1931), he spent his entire career in the south.  In addition to the Pelicans, he played for the Birmingham Black Barons, the Houston Black Buffaloes and local New Orleans clubs like the Flinkote Giants and the Dr. Nut Algiers Giants.

While he had a somewhat mythic reputation in Louisiana, even in the white press–The Monroe Morning World called him “One of the greatest Negro hurlers in the entire country”–he was generally unknown in the North.

The note at the bottom of the advertisement for the three games in Monroe is a reflection of the times in Louisiana:

“Separate Accommodations for White People

“Separate entrance in charge of white official; also separate section in grandstand as well as special parking grounds with watchman in charge.”


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