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Good Seats Still Available

257 EpisodesProduced by Tim HanlonWebsite

“Good Seats Still Available” is a curious little podcast devoted to the exploration of what used-to-be in professional sports. Each week, host Tim Hanlon interviews former players, owners, broadcasters, beat reporters, and surprisingly famous "super fans" of teams and leagues that have come and gon… read more


202: The Hilldale Club - With Neil Lanctot

We continue our dogged pursuit of the history of baseball's Negro Leagues with a stop this week in the suburban Philadelphia borough of Darby, PA - for a look at the famed Hilldale Club with SABR Seymour Medal-winning historian Neil Lanctot ("Fair Dealing and Clean Playing: The Hilldale Club and the Development of Black Professional Baseball").   Established as an amateur boys team in 1910 by a moonlighting civil servant named Ed Bolden, the club incorporated in November 1916, as the Hilldale Baseball & Exhibition Company - and developing into a professional Negro League powerhouse in the 1920s.   Along with Atlantic City's Bacharach Giants, Hilldale played as eastern "associates" of the predominantly midwestern Negro National League in 1920-21 - before becoming charter members of a full-fledged Bolden-founded rival Eastern Colored League in 1923.   Immediately, Hilldale's "Darby Daisies" became the team to beat - winning the ECL's first three league pennants, and earning two trips to the first-ever Colored World Series against the NNL's powerhouse Kansas City Monarchs - barely losing a best-of-nine series in 1924, but dominating in a five games-to-one title in 1925.   Darby lineups were frequently stocked with some of the top players of the era - including six eventual baseball National Baseball Hall of Famers: Oscar Charleston, "The Immortal" Martin Dihigo, "Pop" Lloyd, "Judy" Johnson, "Biz" Mackey, and Louis Santop.   ​Hilldale also made waning appearances in 1929's one-year American Negro League and 1932's East-West League ​as the economic strains of the Great Depression ultimately pushed the club into extinction.

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