While our physical offices are closed until further notice in accordance with Austin's COVID-19 "stay home-work safe" order, the Handbook of Texas will remain available at no-cost for you, your fellow history enthusiasts, and all Texas students currently mandated to study from home. If you have the capacity to help us maintain our online Texas history resources during these uncertain times, please consider making a 100% tax-deductible contribution today. Thank you for your support of TSHA and Texas history. Donate Today »


William D. Rogosin

FOSTER, ANDREW [RUBE] (1879–1930). Andrew (Rube) Foster, founder of the Negro baseball leagues and member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, was born in Calvert, Texas, on September 17, 1879, the son of Andrew and Sarah Foster. His father was the presiding elder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Calvert, and his half-brother, Willie, was also a prominent Negro League player.

Foster began a barnstorming career at age seventeen pitching with the traveling Waco Yellow Jackets. By 1902 his abilities enabled him to move north, where he pitched for some of the foremost black teams of his era, including the Chicago Union Giants and the Philadelphia Giants. In 1902 he won the nickname Rube for defeating white Hall of Fame pitcher Rube Wadell in an exhibition game. In 1903 he won four games of the first of what was called the Colored World Series.

After an illustrious playing career Foster became a baseball manager and businessman. He helped form the Chicago American Giants in 1911 and in February 1920 organized the Negro League. He was selected its first president. Foster's Chicago American Giants were the most prominent team in the early years of the league. They traveled in a private Pullman car and barnstormed the nation, playing both exhibition and regular league games. At a time when there were few opportunities for blacks, Foster and his team held celebrity status in black America and were followed avidly through nationally circulated black newspapers.

Foster married Sarah Watts. He left baseball due to mental illness in 1926 and died in an Illinois asylum on December 9, 1930. At his well-attended, highly emotional funeral, he was eulogized as the "father of Negro baseball." He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1981, in acknowledgment of the role the Negro leagues played in American life before the integration of baseball and of his own role in baseball history.

Rayford W. Logan and Michael R. Winston, eds., Dictionary of American Negro Biography (New York: Norton, 1982). Robert Peterson, Only the Ball Was White (Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1970; rpt., New York: McGraw-Hill, 1984). Donn Rogosin, Invisible Men: Life in Baseball's Negro Leagues (New York: Atheneum, 1983).

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, William D. Rogosin, "FOSTER, ANDREW [RUBE]," accessed July 04, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/ffo35.

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...