The Negro Leagues (African-American Achievers)
James A. Riley
Baseball, perhaps more than any other sport, is steeped in lore. During the hot days and still nights of summer, at ballparks and in living rooms, its fans delight in seemingly endless debates about the past and the present: have today’s players forgotten the fundamentals of the game? Could this or that star of old shine against modern competition? Would a particular championship team from the past teach last year’s World Series winners a thing or two?
Such questions take on a special poignancy when applied to the great African-American players of the first half of this century. Barred from major league baseball by an unwritten agreement among club owners, they played in relative obscurity while their white peers won the adulation of millions. Even today, many fans know little about black players before Jackie Robinson,
The Negro Leagues chronicles the history of black baseball, from the early days of independent teams teams to the founding of the professional leagues and their eventual decline after the integration of major league baseball. It is a story filled with unforgettable personalities, improbably performances, and magic moments. Most of all, it is a story excellence in the pursuit of our national pastime.