Under the tutelage of Ed Bolden, the Philadelphia Stars were founded in 1933 and entered Negro League baseball. Bolden was a postal worker, and was introduced to baseball as a scorekeeper for the Hilldale Club in Darby, Pennsylvania. Bolden took over the team of African American teenagers as manager and began publicizing his squad in the Philadelphia Tribune. The team grew rapidly in size and following, which gave it professional status. Darby became a popular venue to watch the Hilldale club on Saturdays, its featured home day.
As the team grew and benefited from sponsorships, Hilldale was a part of the first permanent professional leagues: the Midwest-based Negro National League and the Eastern Colored League in 1920. Bolden’s aggressive recruiting tactics allowed the club to capture three ECL pennants, but it was upended by the Kansas City Monarchs in the first Negro League World Series in 1924. Hilldale avenged its World Series loss the next year against the Monarchs.
Bolden built a powerhouse in the Hilldale club, even …
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