A Complete History of the Negro Leagues, 1884 to 1955

Overview

This first exhaustive history of the Negro leagues sheds new light and delves deeper than any previous work. Find out how black fans came to cherish their own heroes, why a trip to see a Negro league game was a statement of racial pride, and why much of black culture once centered on "blackball".

For over fifty years -- or up until that bright April day in 1947 when Jackie Robinson smashed the major leagues' color barrier -- the only ball fields where an African American could ...

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Overview

This first exhaustive history of the Negro leagues sheds new light and delves deeper than any previous work. Find out how black fans came to cherish their own heroes, why a trip to see a Negro league game was a statement of racial pride, and why much of black culture once centered on "blackball".

For over fifty years -- or up until that bright April day in 1947 when Jackie Robinson smashed the major leagues' color barrier -- the only ball fields where an African American could play organized baseball were the tarnished diamonds of the Negro leagues. On these fields, men such as Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson, and Cool Papa Bell played for such teams as the Kansas City Monarchs, the Homestead Grays, and the Pittsburgh Crawfords. Within this incredible tapestry, some of the greatest ballplayers of all time found true glory.

This is the story of an American epic -- rich, provocative, and unforgettable.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Baseball apartheid existed until Jackie Robinson broke that barrier in 1947. Ironically, with the integration of major league baseball, the death knell was rung for ``blackball.'' In this blunt look at the Negro leagues, Ribowsky (Don't Look Back) unsentimentally chronicles what he calls the penal colony of American baseball. Frozen out of the major as well as the minor leagues in the late 19th century, blacks were forced to form their own leagues. These leagues, which became ``a black social requisite,'' produced some of the greatest players ever: the first genuine ``blackball'' star, Andrew ``Rube'' Foster, whose fastball and business instincts were always on target; the legendary Satchel Paige, ``blackball's first major cult hero''; Josh Gibson, blackball's Babe Ruth; and a kid with a sweet swing who went by the sobriquet ``Pork Chops''-Henry Aaron. Ribowsky pays special attention to the business of black baseball for its ingenious and often inspired financial manipulation and chides major league baseball about the fact that there are no black executives in the Hall of Fame. Ribowsky also looks at the hypocrisy of the white baseball hierarchy, who would not employ black players but who, like the New York Yankees, would rent out their stadiums to blacks at more than $100,000 a year. A no-nonsense look at a time when only the ball was white. Photos not seen by PW. (June)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780806518688
  • Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation
  • Publication date: 2/19/1997
  • Edition description: REVISED
  • Pages: 372
  • Sales rank: 720,634
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.83 (d)

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