What did baseball mean to race relations and the American identity before integration?

Question by The Brown Jack Bauer: What did baseball mean to race relations and the American identity before integration?
Baseball is the “National Pastime” and before World War II it was the most popular sport in America. No blacks were permitted to play in white organized ball until 1946 because of racist league management. What do you think the fact that blacks created their own separate leagues says about the role of baseball in the American identity?

Best answer:

Answer by Alex
Baseball is a fun sport and everyone wanted to play. Not allowing blacks to play was redicolous considering many african americans/ethnicities today are league leaders in MLB. Baseball had a key roll on segregation, especially Jackie Robinson.

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5 thoughts on “What did baseball mean to race relations and the American identity before integration?

  • October 4, 2013 at 6:14 am
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    It means that baseball was so integrated into American society is transcended the bigotry of the time.

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  • October 4, 2013 at 6:22 am
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    nothing. it’s ancient history. what is this for, a school essay

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  • October 4, 2013 at 6:26 am
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    It says that we (yes I am Black) did what we did what had always when done when Whites would not allow us to do something. We started our own version which was just as good (and in many cases better as N-e-g-r-o League All Star teams routinely beat MLB All Star teams in exhibitions) as what they had. Most people don’t know this but the East-West Colored All Star Game played at the original Comiskey Park in 1933 actually outdrew the first ever MLB All Star Game which was played in the same stadium one week earlier. This shows that White America was beginning to realize the quality of baseball that was played in the N-e-g-r-o Leagues was just as high as (and arguably higher than) that played in MLB. This also made racist owners try even harder to keep us out of MLB.

    Often, N-e-g-r-o League teams would get their names by placing the word “Black” in front of the name of the local MLB or MiLB team, i.e. New York Black Yankees, Chattanooga Black Lookouts, Atlanta Black Crackers (“Crackers” was the name of the first professional team in Atlanta, a reference to cracking home runs), Birmingham Black Barons (who at one time counted Satchel Paige and Willie Mays among their players and were owned by Abe Saperstein, the same man who founded and owned the Harlem Globetrotters), Washington Black Senators, Jacksonville Black Caps (Jacksonville’s MiBL team was the Red Caps) Shreveport Black Captains, New Orleans Black Pelicans, Little Rock Black Travelers,etc. The Kansas City Royals name is a tribute to the most famous N-e-g-r-o League team of them all, the Kansas City Monarchs.

    When the MLB and MiLB teams were on road trips, the N-e-g-r-o League teams would often play in their stadiums and give the MLB team owner a portion of the receipts. This was also true for some MiLB teams. For example, when the Birmingham Barons were on a road trip, the Birmingham Black Barons would play at Rickwood Field. The N-e-g-r-o League teams were, however, required to use the MLB or MiLB teams announcers who were often just as racist as the owners. When the Barons played at Rickwood Field there was one section of the right field bleachers that was designated as “The Colored Section” and whenever a player be it a member of the Barons or the opposing team would hit a home run into that section the announcer would say the player hit it into “The Coal Bin.” The bleacher designations were the exact reverse for the Black Barons’ games, with one difference: the one section of the bleachers had no denigrating designation.

    In short, the N-e-g-r-o Leagues showed that we could do anything that Whites could do and could do it just as well, if not better in some cases. The N-e-g-r-o Leagues endured until 1962 when they finally closed down shop for good because they had served their purpose, which was to give us a place to play professional baseball. When Pumpsie Green debuted with the Red Sox in 1959, it meant that every team in MLB had integrated.

    Before anyone says anything about the date in the question it is correct. Jackie Robinson signed to play with the Brooklyn Dodgers’ minor league team, the Montreal Royals in early 1946. He played one year for them before being called up to the Dodgers with whom he debuted on April 15, 1947.

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  • October 4, 2013 at 6:48 am
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    well baseball is the best the and its a father son sport. and race relation is a not that good sport sometimes it is. and go red sox.

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