Black College Nines

The History of HBCU Baseball

and Integrators of Historically  White College Baseball Programs





Did you know…

  • the first documented hit in the history of intercollegiate baseball was recorded in 1859 by the Amherst College team captain who later became the president of HBCU Tougaloo College in Mississippi?
  • the first recorded intercollegiate baseball game involving two black colleges took place in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1887?
  • the first director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) played baseball for Atlanta University in 1892? He also penned the words to the “Negro National Anthem”, Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing.
  • the longest single season winning streak in college baseball history (46 games) was recorded by a Georgia HBCU baseball program in 2000?

Historically Black College and University baseball (commonly referred to as HBCU baseball or black college baseball) has been part of the collegiate baseball scene dating back to 1887 when Southern University and Straight University faced off in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Those two black college “nines” (the moniker that was first used in the nineteenth century referencing a baseball team) paved the way for other student-athletes to flourish and move on to have impactful professional careers such as civil rights icons like former NAACP executive directors James Weldon Johnson and Walter White, community leaders, educators and college presidents, as well as Negro League all-time greats like Buck O’Neil, Dave Malarcher, Hilton Smith and Willie Wells, and Major League Baseball Hall of Farmers like Lou Brock and Andre Dawson.

Black College Nines is a detailed history with illustrations of baseball at Historical Black Colleges and Universities through the completion of the 2019 spring season, and includes African-Americans who integrated baseball programs at Historically White Institutions.  An appendix lincludes national statistical leaders and recordholders from HBCUs, conference champions, drafted players and more.