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The Hilldale Athletic Club (also known as Hilldale Daisies, Darby Daisies) was a Negro League baseball team based in Darby, Pennsylvaniamarker, outside Philadelphiamarker. Founded in 1910, the Hilldale Club was built up by owner Ed Bolden into one of the major powerhouses of African American baseball.

In 1923, Hilldale won the first pennant of the Eastern Colored League; the club repeated in 1924, dropping the first Negro League World Series to the Kansas City Monarchs, five games to four (with one tie). The following season saw the Hilldales win their third straight ECL pennant, then obtain revenge against the Monarchs, winning the World Series five games to one. Among the Hall of Fame inducteesmarker and stars to play for Hilldale were Louis Santop, Biz Mackey, Judy Johnson, Chaney White, Jesse "Nip" Winters, Jud Wilson, Oscar Charleston, and Phil Cockrell.

The African American Museum in Philadelphia maintains the "William Cash/Lloyd Thompson Collection" of Philadelphia Stars and Hilldale scorebooks, photographs, and correspondence.

History

Ed Bolden founded the team in 1910 as an amateur athletic club for local young men. Devere Thompson was the first manager but Bolden took over as manager himself during the 1910 season. The team incorporated in 1916. In 1917, Hilldale was led by Spot Poles and Bill Pettus and went 23-15-1.

The Atlantic City Bacharach Giants and Hilldale both played as non-league "Associate" teams in 1920 and 1921. They finished with the top two records of non-League teams in 1921. They held a four game championship series in September, with the champion to face the Negro National League pennant winning Chicago American Giants. The series ended tied at two games apiece and the American Giants traveled east to play one series each against Bacharach and Hilldale. Chicago defeated the Bacharach Giants 2-1-1 but Hilldale beat Chicago 3-2-1.

Hilldale was a charter member of the Eastern Colored League in 1923 and finished in first-place in 1923, 1924, and 1925. The club lost to the Kansas City Monarchs in the 1924 Colored World Series. In 1925, they beat the Monarchs in a rematch, five games to one. The 1925 club featured star catcher and cleanup hitter Biz Mackey, third baseman Judy Johnson, and outfielder Clint Thomas. Playing-manager Frank Warfield's pitching staff was headed by left handed ace Nip Winters and spitballer Phil Cockrell. Hilldale dropped to third in 1926 and fifth in 1927.

Frustrated by the league's lack of organization, Bolden pulled his club out of the ECL prior to the 1928 season. When the American Negro League was organized in 1929, Hilldale joined, but the league lasted only one season. Bolden was subsequently forced out of club management, and Hilldale corporation member Lloyd Thompson assumed control of the club in 1930. After a single season, the team was purchased by John Drew, who ran the club until its final collapse in 1932.

During the Great Depression, Black urban unemployment hit as high as 50%. This negatively impacted attendance in the Negro Leagues in the 1930s. Drew disbanded the ballclub in July 1932 after the combined attendance of two subsequent Saturday afternoon games at Hilldale Parkmarker totaled 295.

Names

The Negro National League was formed in 1920. An official League business-card from that year lists the club as one of two "Associated Members" and identifies the club as "Hilldale, Darby, Pa." Unlike other teams listed with both location and team-name, no nickname is identified with Hilldale.

While various nicknames were informally applied to the club including "Daisies" and "Clan Darbie", the team was most commonly known simply as Hilldale or the Hilldales.

Logos and Uniforms

The Daisies did not have an official team logo as professional and collegiate teams have today. It was not common practice for teams to have such standardized team symbols in the 1910s and 1920s. The Daisies wore red and white. Their jerseys in the 1920s had "Hilldale" across the front in the style shown above as the "team logo". The club wore a red cap with a white plain-block capital H as seen above.

The Negro Leagues Baseball Museummarker (NLBM) created a series of team logos in the 1990s for the well-known Negro League teams so that the NLBM could license such logos and collect royalties for their use on merchandise. Such revenue helps sustain the museum. Hilldale was one such team for which a contemporary logo was created. It is seen on NLBM-licensed Hilldale Giants merchandise and while it supports the educational efforts of the Museum, it is not a historical logo.

Honors

Eastern Colored League Pennants
  • 1923
  • 1924
  • 1925


Negro League World Series Championships
  • 1925


No-Hitters

Hall of Famers

While not all of these players were enshrined with a Hilldale cap, each of them was a part of the Hilldale franchise at one point in his career.



Contemporary Honors and Celebrations

Historical Marker

On October 14, 2006, over 500 individuals gathered for the dedication of a Pennsylvania Historical market at the site of Hilldale's ballpark at Chester and Cedar Streets in Yeadonmarker. The ceremony was attended by Philadelphia Phillies hitting coach Milt Thompson, former Phillies player Garry Maddox, and Gene Dias, Phillies director of community relations,. Also attending were the four living members of the Negro League Philadelphia Stars, Bill Cash, Mahlon Duckett, Stanley Glenn, and Harold Gould, along with Ray Mackey, great grandnephew of former Hilldale and Stars player Biz Mackey. Area businessman John Bossong led the effort for the historical marker.

The marker is titled, "The Hilldale Athletic Club (The Darby Daisies)" and the text reads,

This baseball team, whose home was here at Hilldale Park, won the Eastern Colored League championship three times and the 1925 Negro League World Series.
Darby fielded Negro League teams from 1910 to 1932.
Notable players included baseball hall of fame members Pop Lloyd, Judy Johnson, Martin Dihigo, Joe Williams, Oscar Charleston, Ben Taylor, Biz Mackey, and Louis Santop.
Owner Ed Bolden helped form the Eastern Colored League.


Bossong originated the idea for the marker in the summer of 1999, after visiting the Negro Leagues Baseball Museummarker in Kansas City, Missourimarker.

Centenary

The year 2010 will mark the centenary of the club's founding. Bossong is working with the Darby Historical Commission to construct a Walk of Fame alongside the site of the Historical Marker. The celebration is being organized by the Hilldale 100 committee. The Walk of Fame would honor former-Hilldale owners Bolden and Drew, as well as team batboy and contemporary area-resident Ed Bacon.

See also



References

Further reading



External links




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