Adrian got to experience professional baseball in 1894 when the Adrian Light Guard baseball team was formed to play in the Michigan Baseball League. Although the league lasted only one year, Adrian fielded great players such as star pitcher and Palmyra native, George Wilson, along with a young second baseman named Honus Wagner, who would go on to a hall of fame career with the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Light Guard won the 1895 pennant in the Michigan Baseball League, but would have to fold the following year when the league disbanded due to financial difficulties. In September of 1894 the Page Woven Wire Fence Company agreed to sponsor one of the first African-American professional baseball clubs in America. Experienced African-American baseball players, Bud Fowler and Home Run Johnson, organized the team. When selecting the Giants' roster, Fowler chose players with high moral character who did not drink. Five of the Giants' twelve players were college graduates. From 1895-1898 the team toured through the Midwest wherever Page Fence products were marketed and sold.
In 1895 the Page Fence Giants played in 112 towns against all levels of competition, including two games against the Cincinnati Reds. At the end of the season the Giants' record was an impressive 118-36-2. By 1896 the Page Fence Giants had won thirty games in
a row and were beginning to wonder if they might be the best African-American team in the country. In late 1896 Page Fence played the Cuban X-Giants of New York / New Jersey who had laid claim as the top black baseball team in America. Page fence won a 15 game series, 10 games to 5, thereby winning the right to claim themselves as the top African-American baseball club in the United States. In 1897 the Page Fence Giants continued to play like champions, finishing the season with a record of 136-12, and at one point winning eighty-two games in a row. The 1898 season was the club's last, and in 1899 many of the players went to the new Columbia Giants of Chicago.
Dedicated to George Wilson, Bud Fowler, Home Run Johnson, and the other heroes of the Page Fence Giants who helped advance African Americans' involvement in professional baseball in America.