One of the best-known teams in the old Negro Leagues, the Elite Giants of Baltimore featured some of the outstanding African American players of the day. Sociologist and baseball writer Bob Luke narrates the untold story of the team and its interaction with the city and its people during the long years of segregation. To convey a sense of the action on the field and the major events in the team’s history, Luke highlights important games, relives the standout performances of individual players, and discusses key decisions made by management. He introduces the team’s eventual major league stars: Roy Campanella, who went on to a ten-year Hall of Fame career with the Brooklyn Dodgers; Joe Black, the first African American pitcher to win a World Series game; and James "Junior" Gilliam, a player and coach with the Dodgers for twenty-five years. Luke also describes the often contentious relationship between the team and major league baseball before, during, and after the major leagues were integrated. The Elite Giants did more than provide entertainment for Baltimore’s black residents; the team and its star players broke the color barrier in the major leagues, giving hope to an African American community still oppressed by Jim Crow. In recounting the history of the Elite Giants, Luke reveals how the team, its personalities, and its fans raised public awareness of the larger issues faced by blacks in segregation-era Baltimore. Based on interviews with former players and Baltimore residents, articles from the black press of the time, and archival documents, and illustrated with previously unpublished photographs, The Baltimore Elite Giants recounts a barrier-breaking team’s successes, failures, and eventual demise.
This book traces the entire story of black baseball, documenting the growth of the Negro Leagues at a time when segregation dictated that the major leagues were strictly white, and explaining how the drive to integrate the sport was a pivotal part of the American civil rights movement. * A historical timeline of events * Biographical profiles of important figures in Negro Leagues baseball
In 1947, as the integration of Major League Baseball began, the once-daring American League had grown reactionary, unwilling to confront postwar challenges—population shifts, labor issues and, above all, racial integration. The league had matured in the Jim Crow era, when northern cities responded to the Great Migration by restricting black access to housing, transportation, accommodations and entertainment, while blacks created their own institutions, including baseball’s Negro Leagues. As the political climate changed and some major league teams realized the necessity of integration, the American League proved painfully reluctant. With the exception of the Cleveland Indians, integration was slow and often ineffective. This book examines the integration of baseball—widely viewed as a triumph—through the experiences of the American League and finds only a limited shift in racial values. The teams accepted few black players and made no effort to alter management structures, and organized baseball remained an institution governed by tradition-bound owners.
The Negro Southern League was a baseball minor league that operated off and on from 1920 to 1951. It served as a valuable feeder system to the Negro National League and the Negro American League. A number of NNL and NAL stars got their start in the NSL, among them five Hall of Famers including Satchel Paige and Willie Mays. During its history, more than 80 teams were members of the league, representing 40 cities in a dozen states. In the end only four teams remained, operating more as semipro than professional teams. This book is a narrative history of the league from its inception with eight teams in major Southern cities until its demise three decades later.
Never one to mince words, Effa Manley once wrote a letter to sportswriter Art Carter, saying that she hoped they could meet soon because “I would like to tell you a lot of things you should know about baseball.” From 1936 to 1948, Manley ran the Negro league Newark Eagles that her husband, Abe, owned for roughly a decade. Because of her business acumen, commitment to her players, and larger-than-life personality, she would leave an indelible mark not only on baseball but also on American history. Attending her first owners' meeting in 1937, Manley delivered an unflattering assessment of the league, prompting Pittsburgh Crawfords owner Gus Greenlee to tell Abe, “Keep your wife at home.” Abe, however, was not convinced, nor was Manley deterred. Like Greenlee, some players thought her too aggressive and inflexible. Others adored her. Regardless of their opinions, she dedicated herself to empowering them on and off the field. She meted out discipline, advice, and support in the form of raises, loans, job recommendations, and Christmas packages, and she even knocked heads with Branch Rickey, Bill Veeck, and Jackie Robinson. Not only a story of Manley's influence on the baseball world, The Most Famous Woman in Baseball vividly documents her social activism. Her life played out against the backdrop of the Jim Crow years, when discrimination forced most of Newark's blacks to live in the Third Ward, where prostitution flourished, housing was among the nation's worst, and only menial jobs were available. Manley and the Eagles gave African Americans a haven, Ruppert Stadium. She also proposed reforms at the Negro leagues' team owners' meetings, marched on picket lines, sponsored charity balls and benefit games, and collected money for the NAACP. With vision, beauty, intelligence, discipline, and an acerbic wit, Manley was a force of nature—and, as Bob Luke shows, one to be reckoned with.
To commemorate the sixtieth anniversary of the breaking of baseball's color barrier, an exploration of Jackie Robinson's impact and legacy by the people whose lives were transformed by his courage When Jackie Robinson joined the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, he forever changed the game of baseball -- and America itself. In After Jackie, author Cal Fussman traces Robinson's enormous legacy in sports, politics, and the civil rights movement through the men (and women) who came after him. With moving and intimate interviews of more than one hundred former major league players of African-American descent, as well as such luminaries as Jimmy Carter, Muhammad Ali, and Walter Cronkite, among others, After Jackie recalls the day one man altered history for so many, and the history that followed.
Author: Society for American Baseball Research (SABR)
Publisher: Society for American Baseball Research
Category: Sports & Recreation
The National Pastime offers baseball history available nowhere else. Each fall this publication from the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) explores baseball history with fresh and often surprising views of past players, teams, and events. Drawn from the research efforts of more than 6,700 SABR members, The National Pastime establishes an accurate, lively, and entertaining historical record of baseball. A Note from the Editor, Mark Alvarez: With great sadness, we run in this issue the late Ralph Horton's final article for SABR, a typically well-researched, clearly written exposition on the Big Four who brought success to Detroit in the 1880s. Ralph's example as an exemplary colleague, researcher, and friend, will stay with us. SABR members fortunate enough to attend the annual convention in Scottsdale, Arizona this past June had two never-to-be-forgotten thrills: watching José Jimenez pitch the Arizona Diamond Diamondbacks' first no hitter, and listening to Tommy Henrich's marvelous keynote talk at the banquet. Our lead article in this issue is Old Reliable's appreciation of outfield mate Joe DiMaggio Along with the baseball insights, we learn just how quiet and distant the Clipper was, even with longtime teammates. Chris Lamb writes perceptively about how differently the white and black press covered the first spring training appearances of Jackie Robinson with Montreal. This pairs nicely with Tom Gallagher's piece on the role played in baseball integration by Lester Rodney and the Daily Worker. David Voigt gives us his choice of the twelve key years of baseball's twentieth century—and a little philosophy to boo. There's plenty more, of course, from Grove to Gumpert, from semipro to the minors to Japanese ball. Jump in!