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Charleston, Oscar McKinleylocked

(12 October 1896–06 October 1954)
  • David Bernstein

Extract

Charleston, Oscar McKinley (12 October 1896–06 October 1954), African-American baseball player and manager, was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, to Tom Charleston, a construction worker, and Mary Thomas. The seventh of 11 children, Charleston served as a batboy for a local professional team before enlisting in the army at age 15. While stationed in the Philippines with the black 24th Infantry, Charleston honed his athletic skills in track and baseball, becoming the only African-American player in the Manila baseball league in 1914. Following his army discharge a year later, he joined the Indianapolis ABCs at a salary of $50 per month. The American Brewing Company sponsored the ABCs, but ...

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