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The History Of The Negro Leagues

1468 words - 6 pages

Who do you think is the best baseball player of all time? I bet you are thinking Babe Ruth, Lou Gherig, or Cy Young. Well I know one baseball player who hit 972 homeruns and batted for a lifetime average of .400! I can guarantee you do not have a clue of who I am talking about. The reason you do not know him is because there was something wrong with him, a major problem. He was black. There were many other great black athletes, like one I just described, whose talent never got noticed. By the time my essay in over, you will be able to name several Negro League Hall of Famers!Back in 1899 you couldn't find one black in the Major Leagues. Every owner agreed with no Negroes in the league, so therefore they were banned from baseball. There was many young, talented, black ball players back then who needed a place to play. The effect was the first all Negro baseball team. They were called the Cuban Giants. The Giants would go from town to town looking for any competition possible. What they got paid was very little, but they could care less. Very quickly this idea had spread all across the country and black baseball was just getting started.Then in 1919 a great thing happened! Rube Foster, manager of the American Giants, set up the first Negro baseball league. He called it the Negro National League. The N.N.L. featured 8 different black teams, including Fosters' Giants. The Giants completely dominated the first season with an astonishing 123-6 record. Soon fans all across America heard about this association of great black players and attended many Negro League games. The N.N.L. was booming with excitement! In the 1923 season, over 400,000 fans attended league games!Meanwhile a group of white businessmen heard about the success of the N.N.L. In 1922 they decided to form they're own all black baseball league also. They called themselves the Eastern Colored League. Which consisted of 7 different teams. Immediately the E.C.L. began stealing theplayers from the N.N.L. This infuriated Rube Foster, and he refused to schedule a World Series that had been planned for the winner of both leagues in the season of 1923. However, the following season, Rube Foster agreed to a World Series. The reason for the sudden change of mind was because a lot of money was on the table. The World Series was between the Kansas City Monarchs (N.N.L.) and the Philadelphia Hilldales (E.C.L.). In a hard fought 10 game series, the Monarchs had prevailed as the winner. Kansas City had won 5 games compared to Philadelphia's 4. Making the Monarchs the best black team in the World.In 1929 America went through the Great Depression and so did baseball. Americans could barely support their own family let alone got to a baseball game. Therefor, fan attendance dropped severely, crippling the N.N.L. and E.C.L. Soon both leagues fell through and put out of business, despite their efforts.Negro Baseball almost disappeared, as we know it. What would baseball have been like without the superstars...

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