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Publishers WeeklyJackie Robinson may have broken Major League Baseball's color barrier in 1947, but decades earlier, Negro Leaguers and white Major Leaguers shared the same fields in post-season barnstorming exhibitions around the country. Historian Gay (Tris Speaker) chronicles this oft-forgotten era, when such big names as Satchel Paige, Dizzy Dean and Bob Feller joined fellow future Hall of Famers Josh Gibson, Joe DiMaggio, and Stan Musial in wild games that often drew an entire community to the ballpark (violating countless Jim Crow laws in the process). Gay provides a fresh, comprehensive examination of baseball barnstorming, from the first recorded game between an all-black squad and an all-white squad, through the glory years of the Thirties and Forties, and into the post-Robinson era. With intricate summaries based on newspaper accounts and interviews, the author recreates lively game-day scenes that reveal the casual racism prevalent in American society at the time. Yet Gay also describes exhibition game scenes in which members of both races acted civilly (even friendly), transcending the prejudices of their time and paving the way for Robinson's historical debut.
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