The Historical Significance of Negro Baseball Leagues

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Negro baseball leagues have a deep historical significance. Racism and “Jim Crow” laws encouraged segregation of African-Americans and whites. Arguably, the players on the negro baseball leagues were some of the best ever. Even today they are still being recognized and honored for their wonderful contribution to baseball as a whole. It started when major league owners had made a “gentleman’s agreement” to keep blacks from playing in the game. The barrier that went up was finally broken with a few black players being signed into white teams in the 1940s. It was once said by Martin Luther King Jr., “[Segregation] gives the segregator a false sense of superiority, it gives the segregated a false sense of inferiority.” While that is true of the times and conditions, I tend to believe that the negro baseball players had a different type of pride that kept them strong and helped blacks eventually gain equality. This still affects us as a society because we will always continue to look for equal opportunity. African-American baseball players had been a part of professional baseball when it was first starting in the 1880s. Some black players had signed a contract already with their team, but the International League banned blacks from signing anymore. Blacks that were already under contract were able to finish until it was up, but they were not allowed to renew it. Ever since that, Major League Baseball was a segregated sport until the late 1940s. The major league owners had conspired together and wrote what was called a “gentlemen's agreement” to keep black players out of the game. This did not stop African-Americans from achieving their goal of playing baseball. They organized their own teams and played “pickup games” with anyone that ... ... middle of paper ... ... they were able to face all of the unfair treatment (like separate water fountains or bathrooms) with a fierce face and sturdy beliefs. The Negro Baseball Leagues are honored still today as the US postal service gave out stamps with league players on them. Works Cited "Negro Leagues." Major League Baseball, 2014. Web. 12 Jan 2014. . "Negro Leagues Baseball Museum." Nlbm.com, 1900. Web. 12 Jan 2014. . "Negro League History 101 - An Introduction To The Negro Leagues." Negroleaguebaseball.com, 1947. Web. 12 Jan 2014. ."From Segregation to Integration: Factors That Influenced Integration- Positively and Negatively." Coe.k-state.edu, 1999. Web. 12 Jan 2014. .

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