baseball brawls, Bingo DeMoss, Indianapolis ABCs, Jimmy Scanlon, New York Lincoln Stars, Oscar Charleston, Poughkeepsie Cubans
From the May 6, 1916, Poughkeepsie Eagle-News:
A rather typical ad for a ballgame in the newspapers of the time, showcasing typical prices. In this pre-league era (and heck, sometimes even after the Negro National League was formed in 1920) it was common for a club to call itself, on the slimmest of evidential bases, the “champion of the world,” as the New York Lincoln Stars do here.
Charleston went to the Lincoln Stars at the beginning of the 1916 season, having at the end of the 1915 season, while playing for the Indianapolis ABCs, started one of the most chaotic brawls in baseball history by cold-cocking a white umpire in an exhibition game against white all-stars. Jimmy Scanlon had called Donie Bush, star shortstop for the Tigers, safe at second, even though the ball had clearly beat him. ABCs 2B Bingo DeMoss pushed Scanlon, who put up his fists, and the two may or may not have been grappling when Oscar charged in from centerfield and slugged Scanlon. Things went downhill from there.
Anyway, Charleston was arrested and the police put a temporary halt to interracial games in the city. A few weeks later Oscar was kicked off his team. It probably seemed wise to get out of town. The 1916 Lincoln Stars, in fact, were not good at all, and Charleston ended up leaving them to go back to the ABCs by August.
I don’t know much about the Poughkeepsie Cubans at this point, except that they were really Cubans.