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Jackie Robinson And The Decline Of African Americans In Baseball

779 words - 4 pages

While the reintegration of Major League Baseball was a massive victory for equality, the results wound up destroying the Negro Leagues and creating a setback for African American involvement in professional baseball. After signing Jackie Robinson to the Brooklyn Dodgers, Branch Rickey has often been regarded as a hero in civil rights. This gateway allowed Jackie Robinson to pave the way for many other African Americans and other non-white ballplayers to join the ranks of the Major Leagues. When discussing this bit of history, a less talked about fact is the impact this had on the Negro Leagues. By disregarding the Negro Leagues and signing Jackie Robinson, Branch Rickey became the ...view middle of the document...

Growing financial difficulties, along with the institutionalization of Foster in 1926, finally culminated in the collapse of the Negro National League after the 1931 season. Finally, by 1932, professional African American baseball had ultimately disappeared.

In March 1945, the State of New York passed the Ives-Quinn law. This law was designed by Irving M. Ives and Senator Elmer Quinn to create a state agency similar to the Fair Employment Practices Commission. The intention behind this was to create equality amongst employment hiring in the State of New York. Realizing this, African Americans could enter tryouts for baseball teams based in New York. If denied, formal legal complaints could be made. In 1945, Joe Hostic found two nonwhite ballplayers who were willing to tryout for the Brooklyn Dodgers in Bear Mountain, New York. These players were Dave “Showboat” Thomas of the New York Cubans, and Terris McDuffie of the Newark eagles. Despite being in their late thirties, their age was a common age for professional players at the time. During wartime, many younger, able-bodied males were a part of the war effort. Despite these factors, Dodgers officials opted to decline their requests to tryout for the team. Overruling this, Branch Rickey allowed the two players to tryout for the team. Ultimately, neither of the two players were signed to the Dodgers. This was, however, an instrumental step in integrating...

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