Cum Posey was one of the most successful managers and team executives in ALL of baseball, not just the Negro Leagues, and he was a pretty amazing athlete as well. Having attended three different colleges (Pennsylvania State College in 1909-1910, the University of Pittsburgh in 1913, and Holy Ghost College, which later became Duquesne University in 1915-where he attended under an alias) Posey played basketball and golf in college, played professional basketball and only considered baseball his ‘second sport’. Posey’s 35 year association with the Homestead Grays had roots reaching virtually to the team’s inception; beginning as a player, he rose through the ranks, progressing to manager, booking agent, business manager, and owner of the ballclub. In 1926 the Grays would go 140-13, while winning 43 straight games at one point in the season. That same year, the Grays also defeated a team of major leaguers behind the hurling of Lefty Grove, winning 3 of the 4 games played. Posey’s ability to identify and develop talent brought ten Hall of Famers to the Homestead Grays over the years and allowed Posey’s team to win eight of nine Negro National League pennants from 1937 – 1945 including three Negro League World Series Championships. Sadly, Posey struggled with his health during and after the 1945 season and after ailing for more than a year, he died of lung cancer at Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh in the spring of 1946.
August 7, 2011