An exterior view of Stars Park, home to the Negro National League St. Louis Stars from 1922 to 1931. Discovered in a box of negatives at The Missouri Historical Society in 2016, this is the only known photograph of the 10,000 seat stadium—one of the few built explicitly for a Negro League team. Ideal for right-handed pull hitters, the distance from home plate to the elevated left-field fence was around 269 feet. According to Philip Lowry, author of “Green Cathedrals,” the distance to left-center was a much less hitter-friendly 425 feet.

Beginning in the late-1920s, the St. Louis Stars fielded some of the greatest teams in Negro League history. Featuring Hall of Famers Cool Papa Bell, Willie Wells, and Mule Suttles, the Stars took home their first of two NNL pennants in 1928. That ’28 team is sometimes compared to the ’27 Yankees: Bell hit .320 with 21 doubles, Suttles slashed .361/.404/.627 with 20 HRs and 11 triples in only 310 at-bats, Wilson Redus hit .330 with 20 HRs, and Wells, a 22-year-old shortstop, paced the club in HRs (23), doubles (28), and batting average (.365). In 1930, Bell (.346), Suttles (.352), and Wells (.420) combined to hit .374 as the Stars once again captured the pennant.

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