From Jim Crow to Jackie Robinson Baseball and  Race in the United States

From Jim Crow to Jackie Robinson Baseball and Race in the United States PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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PART I. Obstacles . Early-mid 1800's. African Americans played baseball throughout the 1800s. Amateur and professional baseball was generally segregated, as were most American institutions, and pastimes.By the 1860s black amateur teams were playing against each other. All-black professional teams began in the 1880s (St. Louis Black Stockings and the NY Cuban Giants were two all-black teams).

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From Jim Crow to Jackie Robinson Baseball and Race in the United States

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1. From Jim Crow to Jackie Robinson Baseball and Race in the United States

2. PART I

3. Early-mid 1800’s African Americans played baseball throughout the 1800s. Amateur and professional baseball was generally segregated, as were most American institutions, and pastimes. By the 1860s black amateur teams were playing against each other. All-black professional teams began in the 1880s (St. Louis Black Stockings and the NY Cuban Giants were two all-black teams)

4. 1880s There were only a few black players who played with whites on integrated professional teams Moses Fleetwood "Fleet" Walker, was a Black catcher for the minor league Toledo Blue Stockings. Some players and teams protested and refused to play against teams with black players such as Fleet Walker

5. Ban on blacks in pro baseball In 1887 International League Club owners voted 6-4 to ban teams offering future contracts black players. Henceforth, an unwritten “Gentlemen’s Agreement “ among major league and minor league owners kept black players off their teams.

6. Plessey v. Ferguson Supreme Court’s 1896 ruling in the case Plessey v. Ferguson set the precedent for legally segregated institutions, a practice that came to be known as “separate but equal” Segregation became accepted practice throughout the United States, especially in schools… but also in baseball.

7. Jim Crow Laws From the 1880s into the 1960s, many American states enforced segregation through so called "Jim Crow" laws. These laws outlawed African Americas from marrying whites, legalized whites only business and public spaces, barred black children from attending “white” public schools, and in some places even prevented blacks and whites from playing baseball on the same field.

8. Jim Crow baseball law in Georgia “It shall be unlawful for any amateur white baseball team to play baseball on any vacant lot or baseball diamond within two blocks of a playground devoted to the Negro race, and it shall be unlawful for any amateur colored baseball team to play baseball in any vacant lot or baseball diamond within two blocks of any playground devoted to the white race.”

9. 1890s-Early 1900s In amateur baseball, some athletes played on integrated college teams and on military teams. Professional black players were mostly were limited to playing in exhibition games on "colored" teams on traveling a circuit known as “barnstorming “. Black and white professional players often competed against each other during off-season games held in Cuba, where baseball was not segregated.

10. American League Commissioner Ban Johnson frowned on this practice of interracial games. Johnson stated that: “We want no makeshift club calling themselves Athletics to go to Cuba to be beat by colored teams”

11. Early 1900s Some baseball owners and managers of major league teams tried to hire African Americans by describing the players as Hispanic or Native American.

12. Charlie Grant In 1901, John McGraw, co-owner and manager of the Baltimore Orioles, attempted to get black second baseman Charlie Grant into the game by pretending he was a Cherokee named Tokohama. Grant’s true identity was discovered when black baseball fans in Chicago flocked to see one of their own playing in the majors. Grant was forced out of the Major Leagues when his true identity was made public.

13. Kenesaw Mountain Landis Former United States District Judge Hired to be Commissioner of Baseball in 1920 Given unlimited power to govern the game Vetoed attempts by Major League teams to sign black players. Outlawed MLB teams from playing in “barnstorming” games against black teams

14. PART II The Negro Leagues

15. Negro National League Organized in 1920, in Kansas City, Missouri by Andrew "Rube" Foster The NNL folded in 1931 because of financial problems A new NNL was organized in 1933, with seven teams

16. Negro American League Organized in 1937 Included seven teams, among them were the Kansas City Monarchs and the Birmingham Black Barons Played against the NNL in a Black World Series

17. Two Legends of the Negro Leagues

18. Josh Gibson .359 Life-time batting average Twice hit over .400 Hit close to 800 Home Runs during his 17 year career Some consider Gibson to have been the greatest hitter of all-time. Signed a contract to play with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1943, but the contract was vetoed by Commissioner Landis

19. Satchel Paige Pitcher A baseball legend who played in the Negro Leagues from 1926-1947 Pitched against major league players in off-season barnstorming teams. Considered by many to be the greatest pitcher ever.

20. Speaking of Satchel "I know who's the best pitcher I ever see and it's old Satchel Paige… My fastball looks like a change of pace alongside that little pistol bullet ole Satchel shoots up to the plate." -Hall of Famer Dizzy Dean

21. Wrapping-up Parts I & II In groups: Share and compare the notes you have taken on Parts I & II Individually: Write a response to the following question- Why were superstar baseball players like Josh Gibson and Satchel Paige barred from playing in the Major Leagues before the 1940s? *Follow the directions on your assignment handout

22. Homework Read the Primary Source: The Sporting News, August 8, 1942 Answer the related questions

23. PART III

24. The “Double V Campaign” Your Task: Read one of the following, and answer the related questions Primary Source: The Pittsburgh Courier, February 14, 1942 OR Secondary Source: Double V Campaign - Patriotism Crosses the Color Line: African Americans in World War II, by Clarence Taylor. History Now, Issue 14, December 2007

25. “Double V Campaign” During WWII the black press in America praised the contributions and sacrifices black Americans were making as soldiers to help win the war, and used these contributions to call for an end to discrimination and segregations at home in the US. This effort became know as the “Double V Campaign” “Double V” stood for… victory overseas in the war against fascism victory at home in the fight against racism.

26. Quinn-Ives Act New York State 1942 The act banned racial discrimination in hiring in New York State. With 3 Major League teams calling New York City home, NY Mayor Fiorello Henry LaGuardia formed the Mayor’s Commission on Baseball to study racial discrimination in the the major leagues.

27. Lester Rodney, Sports Writer For the newspaper The Daily Worker “Negro soldiers and sailors are among those beloved heroes of the American people who have already died [in WWII] for the preservation of this country and everything this country stands for — yes, including the great game of baseball,”

28. Lester Rodney’s takes on Baseball’s Commissioner Landis in 1942 “You [Landis], the self-proclaimed ‘Czar’ of baseball, Why the man responsible for keeping Jim Crow in our National Pastime.” “Why does your silence keep… Negro stars from taking their rightful place in our national pastime at a time when we are at war and Negro and whites are fighting together to end Hitlerism?”

29. Wendell Smith and the Pittsburgh Courier The Courier was one of the most prominent black newspapers from 1911-1960’s Wendell Smith, a sports journalist for Courier who was especially vocal critic of segregation. Smith’s articles constantly called for the end to segregation throughout the United States, including professional baseball.

30. Wendell Smith takes on the Major Leagues Smith Compared the anti-Semitism of Hitler’s Germany with the segregation of baseball. He claimed that the major leagues played… “the same game as Hitler. They discriminate, segregate, and hold down a minor race just as he does. While Hitler cripples the Jews, the leaders of our national pastime refuse to recognize our black ball players” -Pittsburgh Courier, December 10, 1938

31. Your task: Read two of Wendell Smith’s articles from the Pittsburgh Courier in 1945. Answer the related questions

32. Branch Rickey 1942- Hired as General Manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers 1943- The Dodgers board of directors approved Rickey’s plan to begin a search for the “right” black player to break the color-line.

33. 1944- Baseball’s Commissioner, Kennesaw Mountain Landis Dies Landis was replaced by Albert “Happy” Chandler

34. A New Commissioner Albert “Happy” Chandler Former US Senator and Governor of Kentucky Became Commissioner of Baseball in 1945 Favored the desegregation of baseball

35. “Happy” Quotes "For twenty-four years Judge Landis wouldn't let a black man play… Landis consistently blocked any attempts to put blacks and whites together on a big league field.“ "If they (black men) can fight and die on Okinawa, Guadalcanal [and] in the South Pacific, they can play ball in America."

36. Jackie Robinson The Trailblazer

37. Early years Born January 31, 1919, in Cairo, Georgia. Raised in Southern California Attended college at UCLA California where he was star in 4 sports Left college due to financial hardship Moved to Hawaii to play semi-pro football.

38. Jackie Robinson Drafted into the U.S. Army in 1942 and promoted from Private to Second Lieutenant In the Army Robinson challenged racial discrimination when he refused to move to the back of a segregated bus during training. honorably discharged from the Army in 1944

39. 1945- In the Negro Leagues Played for the Kansas City Monarchs in 1945 Played 47 games .387 Batting Average 5 home runs 13 stolen bases Played in the 1945 Negro League All-Star Game

40. 1945- Signing with the Dodgers Jim Crow in baseball came crashing when Branch Rickey signed Jackie Robinson to a contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers

41. 1946 Jackie Robinson spent the 1946 playing for the Minor League Montreal Royals

42. April 15, 1947 Jackie Robinson made his major league debut Almost 27,000 were in attendance at Ebbets Field, in Brooklyn NY, to see the Dodgers 1st baseman break the color major league barrier 14,000 of those Ebbets Field fans were Black Later that season Jackie was named National League Rookie of the Year

43. Larry Doby First Black Player in the American League Signed by Cleveland Indians in July 1947… just 3 months after Robinson broke the MLB color barrier 7 time all-star Helped the Indians win the American League pennant and the World Series in 1948

44. Satchel Signs with Cleveland Leroy “Satchel” Paige singed a Major League contract on his 42nd birthday (July 7, 1948) with the Cleveland Indians He was the first black pitcher in the American League In 1971, Leroy "Satchel" Paige was elected to National Baseball Hall of Fame.

45. Wrapping-Up Part III In groups: Share and compare the notes you have taken on Part III and Jackie Robinson Individually: Why was the color barrier in professional baseball bound to come crashing down in the 1940’s? *Follow the directions on your assignment handout

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