Joe Pirrone was one of the major leaders of the California Winter League
Joseph Pirrone (Father of the Winter League)
* Born California
Nightclub owner Joe Pirrone was one of the major leaders of the California Winter League for decades. A local amateur player, he appeared briefly in the minor leagues in the early 1920s. From 1920 through 1945 he organized teams of major-league players and minor-league stars to compete with other local teams and black all-star teams. Some years Pirrone's All-Stars was the only white team in the 2-team California Winter League. His teams, despite having some Hall of Fame and other star talent, usually was no match for the Negro League teams. His squad won just one pennant, in '41-'42, after many of the top Negro Leaguers were no longer coming west. A promoter, owner, manager and player in the California Winter League, Pirrone's building of White Sox Park II (Pirrone Park) in Los Angeles in 1924 helped lead to the Golden Age of the league. Pirrone also recruited both black and white players to come west, with a good deal of success.By BR Bullpen
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