Jackie Robinson steals home past Cleveland Buckeye catcher, Quincy Trouppe, by Kadir Nelson
The first half of the split season was to end on July 4. The Monarchs and Cleveland Buckeyes had both been in the running for the first half title, so two doubleheaders between the teams on July 1 and 4 had loomed large at the end of the half. Unfortunately for the Monarchs, any tension for the four games was drained thanks to the Buckeyes locking up the first half before coming to KC for the games on July 1. The Monarchs would have to win the second half crown if they wanted a chance to play in the Negro American League championship at the end of the season.
But first, they had to try to handle the powerful Buckeyes as the first half wound down. The June 29 Kansas City Call detailed how tough the task facing the Monarchs was: "Cleveland boasts some of best hitters, pitchers and fielders in the league. The hurling staff is headed by Eugene Bremmer, the Jefferson brothers, Willie and George and Lowell Harden and Manager Quincy Trouppe, catcher. In the hitting department the Buckeyes have four men batting above the .350 mark. Lloyd (Ducky) Davenport is the heaviest hitter with an average of .372 in 23 games; Sammy Jethroe, last year's fair-haired hitter in the American league is batting right behind Davenport with .372 out of 25 games; Woods of Cleveland, third baseman, is batting .350 out of 25 games and last but not least, Armour, left fielder is batting .350 out of 17 games." (Jethroe was one of the players that had a try-out with the Boston Red Sox earlier in the year with Jackie.)
As you can read in the game summaries below, the Monarchs blew leads late in both games. Jackie went 1-for-4 with a single and a run scored in the first game. Double Duty Radcliffe started the first game catching for KC, but was knocked out by a foul tip off Jethroe's bat.
July 6 Kansas City Call