The 1946 Reintroduction of Blacks into Professional Baseball and the Social Change that Resulted

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In 1868, blacks were banned from professional baseball and were forced to create their own baseball leagues, known as the Negro Leagues. Then in 1946, blacks were re-introduced into professional baseball when Jackie Robinson debuted with the Brooklyn Dodgers. This event gave hope and tangible evidence that a civil rights movement was possible. The integration of blacks had an effect on much more than baseball; it had an effect on an individual, national, and global level. The introduction of blacks into baseball has led to a social change throughout America. Professional baseball in America started its segregation in 1868. The separations began when the National Association of Baseball Players decided to ban any team including one or …show more content…
When Jackie Robinson broke the color line in 1946, other players followed him and the Negro Leagues began to lose popularity and eventually disappeared. When Jackie Robinson signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers, he faced criticism, racism, and violent threats. “Some players- on opposing teams and even on the Dodgers- threatened to strike if they had to join Jack on the field.” (Robinson 73) His teammates even refused to share a room with him at away games. Robinson believed that much of the resistance was because white players were afraid to lose their jobs to black players (Rampersad 42). The worst criticism came from fans as they shouted racial slurs, threw trash, and sent death threats to him. In his contract with the Dodgers, it stated that he cannot respond to any of the criticism (Robinson 73). This was extremely difficult for him to uphold. After he proved that he can help a team win, other teams started to sign black players. The more team owners cared about winning, the easier it was to integrate. After the Dodgers first integrated in 1946, it took almost two years for a majority of the teams to integrate. The Boston Red Sox were the last team to integrate in 1959, when they called up Pumpsie Green from the minor leagues (Goldman 3). The Red Sox had Jackie Robinson in Boston for a tryout in 1945, but did not offer him a contract. In 1949, the Red Sox declined the opportunity to sign future

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