The younger half-brother of Negro Leagues legend and founder Andrew “Rube” Foster, Bill Foster was a lanky Negro League southpaw. Considered by many the best lefty in the league, Foster played from 1923-37.
His repertoire was vast. Armed with a firm fastball, his changeup from same release point was devastating. Scouts said Foster’s curve, slider, and sinker were also plus pitches.
Foster’s pitched his brother’s Chicago American Giants to the pennant in 1926, 1927, and 1933. He was at his finest in the ’26 National Negro League World Series. He pitched three complete games including a shutout. Over 28 1/3 innings his ERA in the ’26 World Series was 1.27.
Foster also holds the distinction of going the distance to earn the first win in the first East-West All-Star Game. He was at his best when pitching against the best.
According to BaseballReference.com, Foster’s career stats include a 110-56 record, 127 complete games, 31 shutouts, and 2.63 ERA. After his retirement from his playing days Foster was the head baseball coach at Alcorn State College for 19 years. He passed away in 1978 and was posthumously inducted into Cooperstown in 1996.
In the collection is an insurance card filled out and signed by Foster who died in 1978, long before interest in the Negro Leagues was revitalized.