Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Black Diamonds

These two stories appeared in the March 29, 1886 edition of The Sporting News addressing the orgin of the St. Louis Maroons' "Black Diamond" nickname:

"It was in the spirit of derision that the Eastern base ball players dubbed the St. Louis League team , 'the Black Diamonds,' alluding to the fact that many of their players had been black listed. The coming season each member of the Maroons will wear conspicuously upon his breast a symbol resembling a black diamond. When a rabble of disaffected peasants appeared with their petition before Queen Margaret of Nararre, she asked of her Minister, 'Who are these people?' 'Beggars, your Majesty,' was the reply. The word was taken up by the crowd. 'Beggars we are,' they shouted. As 'Beggars' they organized into the most powerful crusade ever known in Europe. With the rallying cry of 'Beggars' they shook the very throne of Queen Margaret and established their independence as a nation. The name 'Black Diamonds' was given in contempt, but it promises to become a terror to the enemy."

"Just before the Maroons leave on their first Eastern trip they will appear in their new gray uniforms, with a black diamond on the breast of every shirt. When the Maroons went East last year, some of the newspaper writers inimical to Mr. Lucas and his cause, called his team 'The Black Diamonds', intending to revive an ill feeling that had existed for some time before, and cast a dark cloud on his team. Mr. Lucas instead of getting wrathy laughed at the new appellation and adopted it for himself. The new uniform is to show the base ball world, that neither time nor tide can wipe out 'The Black Diamonds', and that they are to remain on deck for all time."


Richard Hershberger said...

A precedent for the white elephant of the American League A's.

Jeff Kittel said...

I didn't think about that. That's a nickname (and a phrase) that's sadly gone out of use.