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.
While the reintegration of Major League Baseball was a massive victory for equality, the results wound up destroying the Negro Leagues and creating a setback for African American involvement in professional baseball. After signing Jackie Robinson to the Brooklyn Dodgers, Branch Rickey has often been regarded as a hero in civil rights. This gateway allowed Jackie Robinson to pave the way for many other African Americans and other non-white ballplayers to join the ranks of the Major Leagues. When discussing this bit of history, a less talked about fact is the impact this had on the Negro Leagues. By disregarding the Negro Leagues and signing Jackie Robinson, Branch Rickey became the catalyst for the destruction of the Negro Leagues and, ultimately, the decline of African American participation in professional baseball.
Though the fortune wasn't there, the love and fame within the African American communities made the players of the Negro Baseball League legends. I chose to explore the Negro Baseball League to form an understanding of how the league was formed, the league's economic and social impact on the African American communities, and on the United States of America. In this paper, I will explore this tremendous impact that has forever changed the American culture, views and attitudes. This exploration will consist of reviewing different documented sources from players, fans and historians. Through these documented resources, I will also research was caused the gradual decline and eventual fall of the Negro Baseball League.
The MLB now requires teams to interview at least one minority for any open management job (Sailer 6). Although the MLB is trying its best to attract more blacks to baseball, the situation is expected to get worse before any improvement is seen (Isidore 4). Baseball takes pride in having been ahead of the nation on desegregation, but they also were ahead of most of the nation in drawing the color line. When Jackie Robinson broke the baseball color line, he also broke America’s color line (Sailer 3). Robinson led the way down the road for other black players to join the MLB.
Black athletes and the black community created their own sports world because of the hardships they were put through due to racism (Rogosin 3). During this time in America, even the gre... ... middle of paper ... ... the world to live their dream and play in America. One of the most successful things in baseball history is when the game of baseball was changed and allowed players of all race to compete together. The integration of baseball brought or country a little closer because it gave everyone a place to come together and focus on our similarities. Many players and family’s benefited greatly from the integration of baseball.
In baseball for instance, African Americans were barred from participation in the National Association of Baseball Players because of regional prejudice and unofficial color bans dating back to the 1890s. Due to this segregation, blacks worked together to create the Negro Leagues. These leagues comprised mostly all African-American teams. As a whole, the Negro Leagues overtime became one of the largest and most successful enterprises run by African Americans. Their birth and resilient growth stood as a testament to the determination and drive of African-Americans to battle the imposing racial segregation and social disadvantage.
The Desegregation of Baseball The Desegregation of baseball in America was a slow process. Near the end of the 1800's, African American ballplayers were accepted in the Major Leagues, but as their success grew, they were quickly banned from the league. For the fifty-year period that there were no blacks in the Major Leagues, the Negro Leagues were where black ballplayers competed. The Negro Leagues grew and many stars emerged from the leagues that now have a legendary status. When Jackie Robinson joined the Major Leagues in 1954, baseball was once again desegregated (Sailer).
Throughout the 1800s, African Americans were considered inferior to whites. Following the victory by the Union in the Civil War, Jim Crow Laws were set in place in the south in order to separate the two races “equally.” For baseball, there were the Negro Leagues, Minor Leagues, and the Major Leagues. The only league a black man could enter was the Negro Leagues. The other leagues were for white men only. However, that all changed when Jackie Robinson, a young African American, entered the Major Leagues of baseball in 1947.
Everything was separated and distinguished between Negroes and whites, so the Negroes made their own facilities and institutions. One of the institutions they made was called the Negro Leagues. Since Major League Baseball was only open to white men, Negro men were not allowed in the league no matter how much talent they had. The Negro Leagues started out around the same time the Major Leagues started which was 1867. The early Negro Leagues that were established in the 1860 to 1900 really were not established and organized, but were more like an amateur league for Negros to play the sport of baseball.
Introduction During the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, Major League Baseball, much like the majority of other American institutions, was racially segregated. A color barrier was implemented during baseball’s infancy in order to separate people of different race to cater to the white American players. The color barrier was an unofficial “rule” that hindered those with dark skin from playing baseball for Major League teams. The color barrier was enforced by preventing any teams with a colored player from competing at the professional level. Many team owners, umpires, and players justified their opposition to allowing blacks to play by declaring that only whites could uphold the "gentlemanly character" of professional baseball.