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Desegregation in Baseball

Desegregation in Baseball

The color line in American baseball excluded players of black African descent from Organized Baseball, or the major leagues and affiliated minor leagues, until Jackie Robinson signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers organization for the 1946 season.

 

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David Watkins

David Watkins

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Curated Facts

Jackie Robinson's integration of baseball was a major blow to segregation everywhere. Robinson criticized hotels that refused to let him stay with his teammates. A number of hotels and restaurants where the Dodgers stayed integrated as a result.

Article: The Rise and Fall of Jim ...
Source: PBS

Jackie Robinson's integration into baseball did not mean the disappearance of racism. Robinson faced death threats and attacks on the baseball diamond. Enos "Country" Slaughter of the St. Louis Cardinals spiked Robinson causing a seven-inch gash during a game.

Article: The Rise and Fall of Jim ...
Source: PBS

Integration in baseball was not universal or quick. The Cleveland Indians added Larry Doby just 11 weeks after Jackie Robinson joined the Dodgers, but the Boston Red Sox didn't add an African-American player until Pumpsie Green in 1959.

Article: Negro Leagues had life af...
Source: ESPN

African American newspapers played a significant role in the appearance and financial well being of the Negro Leagues. These newspapers knew pulling coverage would seriously damage Negro League game attendance.

Article: Negro Leagues had life af...
Source: ESPN

Although desegregation of baseball was a necessary step in improving racial relations, it caused problems for the Negro League. The Negro National League first lost fans, then players, and then entire teams.

Article: Cool Things - Negro Leagu...
Source: Home - Kansas His...

The Brooklyn Dodgers were not entirely accepting of Jackie Robinson when he joined the team in 1947. His name was omitted from the roster, despite being a full member of the team.

Article: Team Reaction to Robinson...
Source: University of Massachuset...

Like Jackie Robinson, Larry Doby faced discrimination when he joined Major League Baseball. When he arrived in Cleveland had to go to the Chicago clubhouse to get a first baseman’s glove because none of his Cleveland teammates offered him one.

Article: SABR
Source: SABR

Jackie Robinson would never have broken the color barrier if it weren't for Brooklyn Dodger executive Branch Rickey. Rickey was responsible for bringing Robinson to the majors in 1959. Rickey was responsible for many changes in baseball, with the integration of minorities being his last.

Article:   BASEBALL. An Illustrated…
Source:  Offline Book/Journal

The desegregation of baseball paved the way for Negro League players to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. In 1971 Satchel Paige and Josh Gibson were admitted to the hall.

Article:   Sports Illustrated the Ba…
Source:  Offline Book/Journal

Desegregation of baseball included the fans and progressed differently than baseball teams. Whiel it was socially difficult for black fans to attend the games of white players, white fans could easily attend games of black players, and did so in large numbers.

Article: Cool Things - Negro Leagu...
Source: Home - Kansas His...
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