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Nat Strong

Nathaniel Calvin Strong
Nickname: Nat

Career: 1908-1934
Positions: owner, officer
Teams: Brooklyn Royal Giants, New York Black Yankees
Born: Manhattan, New York

Best known as a booking agent for the East Coast, this New York-based sportsman served as an officer with the Brooklyn Royal Giants and the New York Black Yankees, the two leading black ballclubs in New York City, and wielded considerable power in black baseball. The white-haired, blue-eyed promoter was strong-willed and dictatorial, and once forced the Lincoln Giants out of the league. Teams could not get booked in New York unless they went through him, and he was not liked by other owners because he demanded 10 percent of their part of the gate in addition to his usual share.

In addition to his booking activities, he owned the Brooklyn Royal Giants and provided financial support for the Black Yankees. In his younger years he attended City College, but bought the Royals from John Connors before World War I. He owned two cars- a seven-passenger Pierce-Arrow and a Cadillac for the team to use in their travels. He also invested in strong white semi-pro teams in the area, and was a part owner of the Brooklyn Bushwicks, the Bay Parkways, and the Cuban Stars. Aside from baseball, he was a salesman for the Spalding Sporting Goods Company and owned the World Building in New York City, but lived in New Rochelle. The freewheeling sports entrepreneur died of a heart attack at age sixty-one.

Source: James A. Riley, The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues, New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers, Inc., 1994.