Negro Leagues Essay

953 Words May 15th, 2006 4 Pages
Negro Baseball Leagues

Baseball is known as one of America's favorite pastimes. A fun filled family outing would include a picnic and a trip to see their favorite Major League Baseball team play. The faces of the children would light up when they caught a foul ball. This pastime of "baseball" was one of segregation and a naïve sense of enjoyment, for the "baseball" that they knew was a game of only Caucasian Americans. Little did they know, some of the most talented players were African-American. These black baseball players had to play in a separate league. It was called the Negro League, and this league along would change America's view of "baseball" forever (Sigworth, 2003).

From 1887 to 1947, major league baseball did
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Players in the Negro Leagues were horribly paid, and they worked without any contract. The level of playing however was often on par with that of Major league Baseball, but because of the color of their skin they did not get public recognition for their accomplishments. In reality, the Negro league players gave their hearts to the game of baseball. Their style of playing was very unique. This change attracted thousands of fans. Unlike the major league teams who relied on big hitters and strong men, Negro League teams used their fast feet and new strategies to attract their audience. These strategies were ones such as hit and run, and the steal. Also, pitchers began to fool the batter by throwing spitballs, and scuffing the balls. They also used hesitation pitches messed up the hitters timing. The combination of the excitement of the game and the new techniques made the Negro League's popularity grow overnight (Sigworth, 2003).

The Negro Leagues continued for some 50 years. Occasionally the teams would play white teams, but it happened far and few between. In December of 1945 they decided to integrate Major league baseball. This was one of the hardest things the sport had to do, for integrating was a difficult task. They decided to try an experiment and bring in an African-American to play with the white teams. Jackie Robinson was chosen to perform this task. He broke the color barrier in the Major Leagues when he started at second base, playing

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