"They Played for the Love of the Game: Adding to the Legacy of Minnesota Black Baseball" Research and Writing

Project Details by Fiscal Year
2013 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Fund Source
Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund
Ramsey County Historical Society
Recipient Type
Non-Profit Business/Entity
Start Date
January 2013
End Date
January 2014
Activity Type
Counties Affected
Project Overview
To complete the research and writing of a manuscript documenting the history of Black baseball in Minnesota, 1940s-1960s.
Competitive Grant Making Body
Board Members and Qualifications
Minnesota Historical Society Governing Board: William R. Stoeri, President Missy S. Thompson, Vice President Ruth Huss, Vice President D. Stephen Elliott, Secretary Dean M. Nelson, Treasurer Suzanne Blue Brenda J. Child Robert Bruininks Judith S. Corson D. Stephen Elliott Phyllis Rawls Goff William D. Green David R. Hakensen Ruth S. Huss Martha Kaemmer Dennis L. Lamkin David M. Larson Charles Mahar Dean M. Nelson Elizabeth M. Nordlie Dennis Nguyen Peter R. Reis Hussein Samatar Simon Stevens Susan Kenny Stevens William R. Stoeri Karen Wilson Thissen Missy Staples Thompson Eleanor Winston Ex-Officio: Mark Dayton, Governor Yvonne Prattner Solon Lieutenant Governor Mark Ritchie, Secretary of State Lori Swanson, Attorney General Rebecca Otto, State Auditor
Advisory Group Members and Qualifications
Historic Resources Advisory Committee Mark Peterson, Winona (Chair) - Executive Director, Winona County Historical Society - Governor's appointee to Minnesota Sesquicentennial and Minnesota Humanities Commissions - Qualified in history, historic preservation and history museum administration Leanne Brown, Eden Prairie - Director of Development, Carver County Library/Library Foundation - Formerly, Executive Director, Carver County Historical Society - Qualified in history, project management and museum studies Jack Byers, Minneapolis - Manager, Minneapolis Community Planning and Economic Development Department (CPED) - Manages CPED's Preservation and Design Section - Qualified in historic preservation, architecture, urban geography and planning Tamara Edevold, Bagley - Executive Director, Clearwater County Historical Society - Active in Minnesota's Historic Northwest, regional historical organization - Qualified in history, archaeology, anthropology and history museum administration Ram Gada, Eden Prairie - Engineer - Active in the documentation of Minnesota's East Indian community - State Historical Records Advisory Board (SHRAB), former member - Qualified in engineering, energy consulting and grants administration William Latady, Tower - Bois Forte Deputy Tribal Historic Preservation Officer - Curator, Bois Forte Heritage Museum - Qualified in archaeology, anthropology, historic preservation and history museum administration Benjamin Vander Kooi, Luverne - Attorney practicing as Vander Kooi Law Offices, P.A., in Luverne, MN - Active in Vote Yes! Campaign - Past chair, MN State Arts Board - Advisor, National Trust for Historic Preservation - Qualified in historic preservation, nonprofit and grants administration Brenda Child, Minneapolis - Chair, Department of American Indian Studies, University of Minnesota - Enrolled member, Red Lake Nation - Qualified in history, American Studies and American Indian Studies Nicole Foss, Bemidji - Executive Director, Beltrami County Historical Society, Bemidji, MN - Qualified in anthropology, historical archaeology, library and museum fields Kris Kiesling, Roseville - Director of Archives and Special Collections at University of MN Libraries - State Historical Records Advisory Board (SHRAB) member - Qualified in library and archives, digital services and history Jan Louwagie, Marshall - Coordinator, Southwest Minnesota Regional Research Center, Southwest Minnesota State University - Founding member of Society for the Study of Local and Regional History - Former member of State Historical Records Advisory Board (SHRAB) - Qualified in history and archival administration Ann Meline, Saint Cloud - Deputy Director, Stearns History Museum, St. Cloud - Formerly Assistant Director/Public Programs managing Exhibits, Collections and Education Departments - Former grant reviewer for Institute of Museum and Library Services - Qualified in history, nonprofit and museum administration Peter Reis, White Bear Lake - President, White Bear Lake Area Historical Society - Chair, Minnesota Historical Society's Grants Review Committee - Qualified in history and nonprofit and grants administration William Stoeri, Minneapolis - Ex-officio member (president of the MHS Board) Missy Staples Thompson, Saint Paul - Ex-officio member (treasurer of the MHS Board)
Legal Citation / Subdivision
Laws of Minnesota for 2011 Chapter 6, Article 4, Subdivision 5, Statewide Historic and Cultural Grants.
Appropriation Language

Statewide Historic and Cultural Grants. $5,250,000 the first year and $5,250,000 the second year are for history programs and projects operated or conducted by or through local, county, regional, or other historical or cultural organizations; or for activities to preserve significant historic and cultural resources.

2013 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Direct expenses
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

The five manuscript chapters that Frank White has completed to date demonstrate that he is highly qualified to take on this project. He has diligently identified and contacted African Americans who played baseball in Minnesota and the nearby states in the first half of the twentieth century or their descendants and interviewed them. In addition, he has received from these participants photos, game score cards, and other baseball memorabilia that document who played Minnesota Black Baseball, where the games were played, how the teams were organized, and how they did on the diamond. Many of these photos and artifacts have not been shared outside these families and will be a significant contribution to the public record of Minnesota Black Baseball when the book is completed. Mr. White has also scoured the microfilm files of the African American newspapers published in Minnesota during these years to piece together more information on these many little-known African American ballplayers.

The short-term objective of completing a manuscript was only 71% complete during the grant period. However, at the time of this writing it is clear that this objective will be 100% complete in the very near term.

Mr. White is in high demand as a speaker and consultant on the history of Black Baseball. This reality has brought him into contact with additional resources but has also slowed the writing of the manuscript. As of 1/1/14 two chapters remained incomplete. He is, however, committed to doing the work of writing these chapters and as of the submission date of this report has completed acceptable drafts of those two chapters. All expenses and time incurred after the end date of the grant period is being contributed by Mr. White and is not reliant on grant funds. Mr. White and RCHS believe the results of his research belong in the public domain and we are moving forward together to secure private funding for printing the finished book.

The intermediate- and long-term objectives were not measurable during the grant period or as of this writing.

Recipient Board Members
Carolyn Brusseau, Thomas H. Boyd,Julie Brady,William Frels, Anne Cowie, Nancy Randall Dana,Cheryl Dickson, Joanne A. Englund, Ken Johnson, Howard M. Guthmann, Richard (Rick) Heydinger, John Holman , Nancy McKillips, Sandy Kiernat, David Kristal, Carl Kuhrmeyer, Father Kevin McDonough, Richard H. Nicholson, Susan McNeely, Bob Muschewske,Laurie Murphy,Jay Pfaender, Jeffrey Slack, Ralph Thrane, Paul A. Verret
Project Manager
First Name
Last Name
Organization Name
Ramsey County Historical Society
Street Address
75 W 5th Street, Suite 323
St. Paul
Zip Code
Administered By
Administered by

345 W. Kellogg Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55155