Local entrepreneur Sam Folz took over sponsorship of the Stars in May, and named his new semi-pro team the “Big Corner” after his downtown Kalamazoo clothing store. But the Folz “Big Corner” team was soon rebranded as the Sam Folz Colored Giants, most likely to capitalize on the success of other contemporary African American “Giants” of baseball; the Cuban Giants (1885), the Columbia Giants (1899), and of course, the Page Fence Giants. Hiram “Hi” Wilson, a feisty thirty-year-old local sign painter and a clerk at the Folz clothing store, was recruited to manage the Folz team, C.E. Waters was brought in from Fort Wayne to pitch, and several former members of the famous Page Fence Giants were hired, including Fred Taylor and William “Will” Bird, catchers; Fred VanDyke, second base; Charles Smith, first base; and William McCullough, substitute. Members of the previous year’s Kalamazoo Stars completed the new lineup, including pitcher William Stewart, second baseman Lester Bolden, shortstop Bert Hackley, right fielder Robert Hackley, centerfielder Duce Bell, third baseman Foster Meyers, and left fielder Elmer Bolden.
The Folz Giants opened the 1899 season in June by challenging the Kalamazoo High School team and the clerks from Folz’ “Big Corner” clothing store, but success was slow coming. By mid-summer, however, the Folz Giants were on the road, barnstorming their way across Michigan and Indiana with brand new black uniforms, battling teams from Niles, Fort Wayne, South Bend, Kokomo, Elkhart, Dowagiac, and Otsego.
The following year, Sam Folz shifted his primary sponsorship to a completely different (all-white) team, which then joined a newly formed amateur city league in Kalamazoo. Though they were no longer on the road, Folz did keep his former Giants active through the 1900 season, by occasionally taking on local and regional teams with a familiar roster of players; Schultz, Myers, Johnson, Whaling, Wilson, Outland, Stewart, the Hackley brothers, and manager Frank Evans.
By 1901, Sam Folz had parted ways with the Giants and was dedicating his team sponsorship efforts entirely toward the Kalamazoo City League. In the meantime, several of the previous Folz Giants had formed a new African American team known as the Kalamazoo Americans, with W. T. Lewis as manager. Bert Hackley was again team captain, J. VanDyke was catcher, Stewart and Johnson were pitchers, L. Brinn was at first base, Lester Bolden was at third base, W. Stone at shortstop, Foster Meyers in left field, William Hackley in center field, T. VanDyke in right field, plus Clarence Outland and Jasper Boyd as substitutes. Kalamazoo teams called the Americans, and subsequently the Junior Americans, carried over well into the 20th century.