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Negro Leagues - Black BaseBall Life

Uploaded by Misery on Jul 07, 2002

The Color Barrier


Due to the color of their skin and their past history, blacks were unfairly denied the privilege to play Major League Baseball; it has remained a period of shame for baseball. Not only did the white players not accept Blacks as equals, on or off the field, the public did not either. Because of the determination and strong perseverance, the blacks were able to overcome what many thought was not achievable. The events that took place during the early 1900s changed the history of baseball forever.

Americans started playing baseball on relaxed teams, using local rules, in the early 1800s. By the 1860s baseball jumped in popularity, some people said it was America's "national pastime." In 1869 the Cincinnati Red Stockings became the first paid team and are considered the first professional team. In 1871 the first professional baseball league, the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players, was started. Then in 1876 the first major league, the National League, was formed.

African Americans played baseball during the 1800s. By 1860s some popular black amateur teams were Colored Union Club in Brooklyn, New York, and the Pythian Club, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. All the black professional teams started in the 1880s. Some of the teams were the St. Louis Black Stockings and the Cuban Giants (of New York). This really showed how the public felt; amateur and professional baseball were mainly segregated.

One of the few black players on an integrated professional league team was Moses Fleetwood "Fleet" Walker, a catcher for the minor league Toledo Blue Stockings. In 1883, the Chicago White Stockings did not take the field against the Blue Stockings because of Walker being on the team. The Blue Stockings manager said that the game be played, and Anson gave in. When the Blue Stockings joined the American Association in 1884, Walker became the first African-American major leaguer. In July 1887, the International League banned future contracts with black players, even though it allowed black players already under contract to stay on its teams. These are two of the events that helped form the color line, which segregated baseball until the 1940s.

During the 1890s, most professional black players were only allowed to play in exhibition games on colored teams on the barnstorming circuit. Players on major league teams also barnstormed in cities and towns after the regular season was over. In some places black teams and white teams played...

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Uploaded by:   Misery

Date:   07/07/2002

Category:   Sports

Length:   16 pages (3,533 words)

Views:   1999

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