Ed Bolden - Baseball Team Owner and Executive

Edward Bolden - Concordville/Darby

Ed Bolden was born in Concordville, Delaware County in 1881. He was the founder of the Negro Baseball League World Champion Darby Hilldales. The team was formed in 1910 by Darby resident Bolden who began his career as a domestic servant and later worked for the U.S. Post Office. At its beginning, Hilldales was a "boys" team and it was developed by Bolden into one of the "powerhouse teams" of the Negro leagues.

Hilldales was a charter member of the Eastern Colored League in 1923 and won the first-place pennants in 1923, 1924 and 1925. The Team won the Negro League World Series against the Kansas City Monarchs in 1925.

Bolden was a marketing genius who fostered the construction in 1914 of Darby Field, also known as Hilldale Park. The location of the ballpark was convenient for his fan base, and easy to reach after Bolden arranged with the local streetcar company to run a line straight to the park and add extra cars on game days. Beginning in 1917, Bolden earned additional income by leasing out the stadium and selling advertising in the park.

Bolden continued in baseball into the 1940s and earned a reputation for "fair dealing and clean playing”. He supported integration, and as it became more accepted, the major leagues would pirate players for their farm teams. With integration came Jackie Robinson, and the world of baseball changed forever.