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From Jim Crow to Jackie Robinson Baseball and Race in the United States. http://www.harrisoncountyohio.org. http://www.californiahistorian.com. Sean O’Mara, Social Studies Teacher Keene Middle School, Keene NH. PART I. Obstacles. Early-mid 1800’s.

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from jim crow to jackie robinson baseball and race in the united states

From Jim Crow to Jackie RobinsonBaseball and Race in the United States

http://www.harrisoncountyohio.org

http://www.californiahistorian.com

Sean O’Mara, Social Studies Teacher

Keene Middle School, Keene NH

part i
PART I

Obstacles

early mid 1800 s
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)
john bud fowler
John "Bud" Fowler
  • Born March 16, 1858.
  • Real name was John Jackson.
  • Grew up in Cooperstown, N.Y., learning the sport of baseball
  • First black player to play in the white professional leagues
  • Made his professional debut on May 17, 1878.
  • Played from 1878 to 1899
  • .309 career batting average
  • By the 1890’s white players were refusing to play on teams with black athletes
  • In July 1899 Fowler was forced off his team by white teammates
slide5

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

http://www.harrisoncountyohio.org

ban on blacks in pro baseball
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.
plessey v ferguson
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.
jim crow laws
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.
jim crow baseball law in georgia
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.”

1890s early 1900s
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.
slide11
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”

http://education.baseballhalloffame.org

early 1900s
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.

charlie grant
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.
kenesaw mountain landis
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