Beyond the Shadow of the Senators
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Cum Posey was the owner of the Homestead Grays. The son of a rich shipping magnate and part-owner of the Pittsburgh Courier, Posey was a local basketball star who joined the Grays as an outfielder in 1912. He turned the Grays into the best black professional team on the East Coast. The Depression, however, destroyed Posey financially. He lost his best players, including Josh Gibson, to the rival Pittsburgh Crawfords, who were owned by Gus Greenlee, the king of Pittsburgh's North Side numbers racket. Posey found his own numbers backer, Rufus "Sonnyman" Jackson, in 1934, and six years later began moving the Grays' home games to Washington's Griffith Stadium. Posey formed a secret alliance with Griffith. Both men opposed integration - Griffith because he profited from the Grays playing in his ballpark, and Posey because integration would have destroyed his life's work. Posey died in 1946 shortly after Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey signed one of the Grays' best young players, pitcher John Wright.

Photo Credits: Josh Gibson - Art Carter Papers, Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, Howard University. Cum Posey - National Baseball Hall of Fame Library.