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Page Fence Giants

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One of the top black teams of the 1890s, the Page Fence Giants were based in Adrian, MI and named after the Page Woven Wire Fence Company, which was sponsored by the company's founder, J. Wallace Page. Formed in 1894, the team began play in 1895. Bud Fowler and Home Run Johnson organized the team, which was managed by Gus Parsons. Fowler picked players who did not drink and aimed for a group with high moral character; five of the 12 players were college graduates. Fowler played second base while Johnson manned shortstop. The team played in 112 towns that year against all kinds of competition, going 118-36-2. They were 8-7 against clubs from the white Michigan State League. They lost games by 11-7 and 16-2 scores against the Cincinnati Reds. The club lost Fowler and pitcher George Wilson to the white Adrian-based team in the MSL during the season. In 1896 Charlie Grant replaced Fowler at second and beat the Cuban X-Giants to claim they were the top team in black baseball. Overall they went 80-19 through August 1. In 1897 they went 125-12 with 82 consecutive wins. The 1898 tour was the club's last and the next year many of the players went to the new Columbia Giants.

Sources: The Complete Book of Baseball's Negro Leagues by John Holway, The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues by James Riley

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