Inventory of the Augustus Holt Collection on Charleston Little League, 1955 - 1995

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Descriptive Summary

Abstract: In 1955, the Cannon Street YMCA Little League fielded a team of African American youth All-Stars. The Cannon Street All-Stars advanced to the state Little League tournament; in protest, South Carolina's 61 all-white Little League teams withdrew from the state tournament. Because of the white teams' refusal to participate in integrated tournament, the Cannon Street All-Stars won by default but were effectively barred from further competition by the National League. In response to integrated Little League baseball, all-white Dixie Youth baseball began in 1955 in Charleston. In 1994, Augustus Holt succeeded in bringing Little League back to Charleston. Holt became president of the Charleston American Little League, overseeing the sports program and organizing a celebration of the fortieth anniversary of the Cannon Street YMCA All-Stars baseball team.
Augustus J. Holt collected various materials regarding Charleston, South Carolina youth baseball during his crusade to return Little League baseball to Charleston and his later tenure as president of the Charleston American Little League. Newspaper clippings cover the Cannon Street YMCA baseball team; Little League baseball in Africa; and segregation in recreation in Charleston and the American South; and the establishment of the Charleston American Little League in 1994. Materials also include requests for support and flyers by the Charleston American Little League; programs and statements depicting the impact of the Cannon Street YMCA Baseball League and its successor, the Charleston American Little League; and a photograph of Augustus Holt with his son, Lawrence Holt, and others.
Title: Augustus Holt Collection on Charleston Little League, 1955 - 1995
Creator: Holt, Augustus J., collector
Repository: Avery Research Center at the College of Charleston
Call Number: AMN 9005v
Language of Material: Material in English
Extent: 0.1 linear feet
(4 folders)

Historical Note

In 1954, a group of African Americans from Charleston, South Carolina organized a baseball league for the youth of their community. In 1955, the organization became known as the Cannon Street YMCA Little League, hosting four teams. It was the first and only all-black league in South Carolina sanctioned by the National Little League Program.

In 1955, the Cannon Street YMCA Little League selected an all-star team from among its four teams. Charleston teams refused to play the all-black Cannon Street All-Stars, leaving the team as city champions by default. The Cannon Street All-Stars advanced to the state Little League tournament; in protest, South Carolina's 61 all-white Little League teams withdrew from the state tournament. Because of the white teams' refusal to participate in integrated tournament, the Cannon Street All-Stars again won by default. Then, the National Little League president Peter J. McGovern ruled the team out of regional and national play, however, effectively barring the Cannon Street team from further competition. Charleston African Americans raised funds to send the Cannon Street YMCA state champions to the national finals as spectators.

In response to integrated Little League baseball, all-white Dixie Youth baseball began in 1955 in Charleston. The new league was initially called Little Boys Baseball, but the name later changed after a lawsuit by the Little League Baseball, Inc., over the term "Little". The Dixie Youth League later integrated.

In the 1990s, Augustus Holt, an African American shipyard worker, volunteered as a baseball couch for the Dixie Youth League, but Holt and other parents declared they were offended by the Confederate battle flag on the uniform and the historic reasons for Dixie Youth's founding. In 1993, Holt also conflicted with the city's recreation director over the second-place trophy, which was eventually awarded to Holt's team. In 1994, Augustus Holt succeeded in bringing Little League back to Charleston. Holt became president of the Charleston American Little League, overseeing the sports program and organizing a celebration of the fortieth anniversary of the Cannon Street YMCA All-Stars baseball team.


Collection Overview

Augustus J. Holt collected various materials regarding Charleston, South Carolina youth baseball during his crusade to return Little League baseball to Charleston and his later tenure as president of the Charleston American Little League. Newspaper clippings cover the Cannon Street YMCA baseball team; Little League baseball in Africa; and segregation in recreation in Charleston and the American South; and the establishment of the Charleston American Little League in 1994. Materials also include requests for support and flyers by the Charleston American Little League; programs and statements depicting the impact of the Cannon Street YMCA Baseball League and its successor, the Charleston American Little League; and a photograph of Augustus Holt with his son, Lawrence Holt, and others.

Collection Arrangement

1. Clippings, Correspondence, and Photograph, 1955-1995



Subject Headings

  • African American baseball players -- South Carolina -- Charleston.
  • African Americans -- Segregation -- South Carolina -- Charleston.
  • Cannon Street YMCA All Stars (Baseball team.
  • Charleston American Little League.
  • Discrimination in sports -- South Carolina.
  • Holt, Augustus J.
  • Little league baseball -- South Carolina -- Charleston.


Detailed Description of the Collection

1. Clippings, Correspondence, and Photograph, 1955-1995.

   Folder 1
Clippings, 1955-1994
   Folder 2
Correspondence and Flyers: Charleston American Little League, 1994-1995
   Folder 3
Correspondence and Programs: Cannon Street YMCA Baseball Anniversary, 1995
   Folder 4
Photograph: Augustus Holt, Lawrence Holt, and Others, circa 1994-1995


Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

No restrictions.

Copyright Notice

The nature of the Avery Research Center's archival holdings means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The Avery Research Center claims only physical ownership of most archival materials.

The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Augustus Holt Collection on Charleston Little League, Avery Research Center, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC, USA.

Acquisitions Information

Received from Augustus Holt in February 1995.

Processing Information

Processed by Mia Fischer and Amanda Ross, January 2010

Encoded by Amanda Ross, January 2010

Funding from the Council on Library and Information Resources supported the collection processing and encoding of this finding aid.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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