CLEVELAND – The Cleveland Cubs baseball team was a part of the Negro League from 1931 to 1932. Despite many obstacles the team managed the best record for a pre-World War II Cleveland Negro League team with 29 wins and 24 losses.
Most of their games were played at Kinsman Hardware Field where fans loved to see their talented young pitcher Leroy Robert “Satchel” Paige. But with the added strain of the Great Depression, the Negro National League failed after the 1931 season. It was disappointing because Cleveland had a successful franchise with the Cubs. But the team could not continue on a national level without an organized league
Before the team came to Cleveland, The Cleveland Cubs was located in Nashville, Tennessee, and was known as the Nashville Elite Giants. Following the 1930 season, the team’s owner, Tom Wilson, moved the organization to Cleveland. The Elite Giants failed to earn Wilson a sufficient income in Nashville, so he moved the team to a larger market
The Cleveland Cubs had Leroy “Satchel” Paige on its roster. At the time, Paige was the most famous player in the Negro National League. Despite the move and the reputation of Paige, the Cleveland Cubs lost money. Following the end of the 1931 season, Wilson returned the team to Nashville. Right after that, the Negro National League collapsed and the Nashville team joined the Negro Southern League.
The Cleveland Cubs of 1932 opened the season in the Southern League and they weren’t like the 1931 group. As a matter of fact, another Negro National League member, the Rube Foster Memorial Giants, moved to Cleveland and played as the Cleveland Cubs.
The team failed at the end of the 1932 season.