This day in baseball: Charlie GrantPosted: March 11, 2016
On March 11, 1901, John McGraw, manager of the American League’s Orioles, attempted to surreptitiously integrate the major leagues when he signed Charlie Grant. McGraw tried to pass off the black infielder as a Cherokee Indian named Tokohoma. When the team later traveled to Chicago, however, McGraw’s ruse was uncovered by Charles Comiskey, who recognized the second baseman’s true identity. Grant maintained his disguise, claiming that his father was white and that his mother was a Cherokee who lived in Lawrence, Kansas. McGraw initially persisted with the scheme, but later claimed that “Tokohama” was inexperienced, especially on defense. Grant returned to the Columbia Giants of the Negro Leagues and never played in the major leagues.