Monday, January 25, 2010

Book #16 – Only the Ball Was White

5150GXRPZTL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA240_SH20_OU01_[1] It’s a history book, Only the Ball Was White looking back at Negro baseball. I’ve had this for a few years, but lost it on a shelf and only got back to it when I went on vacation.

Jackie Robinson wasn’t the first professional black player playing on white clubs. As I read this book, which dwells a lot on the state of baseball in the late 1800s, I learned that there were a few players that made it onto white clubs in the late 1800s, even as there where Jim Crow laws being enacted. That died out in the first part of the 1900s, and the racial prejudice came into stronger bearing until 1947 when Jack Robinson broke into the major leagues.

Interestingly enough, the book doesn’t really look at the racial aspects, but goes into more of a history of how Negro players lived, developers, and starred. The most well known players, Josh Gibson, Satchel Paige, and more are barely mentioned. Instead it’s more time on other more prominent, less well known players.

The book is hard to read, it’s slow, and it drags, but it provides a fascinating account of the Negro leagues, which are a big part of baseball in America.

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