Essay about 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…show more content…
The first all-black team formed in 1894 called the Page Fence Giants was from Michigan. Other teams followed later and traveled throughout the country playing each other in “pickup games”. In 1920, Rube Foster, who had been a pitcher-manager with other teams, organized the first Negro National League. He had financial backing to support the eight teams he organized. The teams consisted of the Chicago American Giants, Chicago Giants, Dayton Marcos, Detroit Stars, Indianapolis ABCs, Kansas City Monarchs, St. Louis Giants, and Cuban Stars. With these teams he controlled all the operations from equipment to scheduling games to selling tickets. Foster wanted to add structure to baseball leagues to prove that it didn’t have to be run the way whites do. He also wanted to show white baseball league members that his ideas were good. “The attitude of the white majority was, there is nothing you can possesses that we cannot take away.” ("Negro Leagues." Major League Baseball, 2014. Web. 12 Jan 2014.) The Negro League players were the best at entertaining the crowd. They would impress the audience by playing an upbeat, fast, and daring game. Players often stole bases on risky terms, but successfully stealing a base meant a roar from the crowd. Negro League players were also often known to talk a lot on the field. The batters would try to make the pitchers nervous by using intimidating talk. The silly phrases such as “we want a pitcher, not a belly itcher” was

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