Baseball: The Adversity Of American Baseball

1546 Words 7 Pages
Mark Miller Miller 1
Mr. Doerr
American Studies/History

The Adversity of American Baseball

Many people enjoy watching the game of baseball from its early beginnings in the 1800’s, Baseball had originated in England and had a number of names. But, what makes American Baseball, is the emphatic impact it installed as the sport evolved and progressed into a phenomenon today. Although, baseball may be considered a sport or pastime, it is still apart of American history. This American sport has contributed, significantly, more than many individuals would estimate, by breaking the race barrier, producing a cycle of economic innovation, providing safety for uneasy individuals during hardships, and establishing a social and cultural
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(Bird). But, before baseball began the desegregation process, black people needed to establish themselves in this sport. This started with the creation of the Negro baseball leagues. In the 1880’s, the Negro National League and the Eastern Colored League were two leagues created to help blacks assert themselves. Soon players and teams gained popularity, thus empowering some oppressed people. During the time of the Civil War, the black community became caught up in the same baseball passion that had taken root in the rest of the country. Black teams and local leagues formed across the nation, and in the 1880s, black players even began to make their way into the minor leagues. Eventually, club owners put a stop to this in 1887, and baseball became segregated once again. Beginning in the 1890s, high-profile black teams began to assert their presence. These teams were comprised of black all-stars who excelled in all aspects of the game. In the early 1900s, exhibition games between black teams were the norm, but starting in 1920 they took on a more formal showing. In 1920, Andrew “Rube” Foster organized the first African-American baseball league, and it became the Negro National League. Foster had been well known in “blackball” and was the owner and manager of the Chicago American Giants; one of the nation’s most prestigious black teams. For the black baseball establishment, dealing with white booking agents and, occasionally, owners had generally been considered an uneasy task of doing business. But, with the Negro League, baseball, again, becoming an economic force in the early 1940s, racial antagonism among owners and operators came to the fore, reaching new levels of vitriol. (Newman Chapter 4 Page

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