As baseball season approaches the 2017 World Series, today we take a look at the Kansas City Monarchs and their history in baseball’s first Negro Leagues World Series.
On this date in 1924, the Kansas City Monarchs won the first Negro League World Series when they defeated Hilldale 5-0 to win the series. The game was a best-0f-nine series between the Monarchs who were champions of the Negro National League and Hilldale which claimed the Eastern Colored League crown. Hilldale was known as the Hilldale Athletic Club and were based out of Darby, Pennsylvania near Philadelphia.
The Negro Leagues were established during the period in the United States when organized baseball was segregated.
Kansas City entered the series with a record of 55-22. Hilldale had a record of 47-22.
The Monarchs were led by Bullet Rogan and Jose Mendez in the series.
Kansas City opened the series on October 3rd with a 6-2 win over Hilldale. Rogan pitched an 8-hitter and held Hilldale scoreless until two outs in the ninth inning. The Monarchs broke the game open with a five-run sixth inning. Hilldale rebounded with an 11-0 blowout of the Monarchs to tie the series at 1-1. The teams played to a 6-6 tie in the third game when the game was called because of darkness after 13 innings. Hilldale won the next two games in the series to take a 3-1 lead. Kansas City jumped out to score four runs in the first inning over game six then held on for a 6-5 win. Newt Joseph stole home in the fourth inning of game seven and Rogan drove in the winning run in the 12th inning for the Monarchs to tie up the series at 3-3. In one of the Negro League’s storied games, the Monarchs rallied for three runs in the ninth inning to edge Hilldale to take a 4-3 lead in the series. Hilldale responded with a 5-3 win in game nine to set up the series deciding game on October 20, 1924. Although still weak from surgery before the series and advised by a doctor not to exert himself, Méndez had already pitched 10 innings of relief in the first nine games. He matched Hilldale starter Scrip Lee for seven innings until Lee tired in the bottom of the eighth and the Monarchs scored five runs off of him, including one by Méndez himself. Hilldale was unable to score in the ninth inning.
The Monarchs would not win another Negro World Series title until 1942.