It is a great day when athletic performance is remembered as Major League Baseball decides to recognize “Negro League” players as having been “Major League Players.” This was competitive baseball. The first instance of overt discrimination may have been in 1884. The Chicago team managed by “Cap” Anson refused to play in an exhibition game if the other team played a black player on its team Moses Fleetwood “Fleet” Walker. Other teams started doing so too. This lasted, of course, until after WWII in 1947 with Jackie Robinson being signed by the Dodgers. Interesting to note is a black team, the “Royal Giants” was touring internationally in Japan in 1927 before Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Jimmie Foxx in 1934, and were beloved by the Japanese paving the way for the MLB star players! There is lots to learn from these resilient and talented men.
J. D. Thorne
Author of Baseball’s Winning Ways, available under products on this website.