GM – FBF – We in the Negro leagues felt like we were contributing something to baseball, too, when we were playing. We played with a round ball, and we played with a round bat. And we wore baseball uniforms, and we thought that we were making a contribution to baseball. We loved the game, and we liked to play it.
Remember – Like the Negro League players, I traveled through the segregated south as a young man. Because I was black, I was denied service at many restaurants and could only drink from water fountains marked ‘Colored.’ When I went to the movies, I would have to sit in the Colored balcony. – Walter Dean Myers (Negro League Player)
Today in our History – January 4, 1920 – The Negro leagues were United States professional baseball leagues comprising teams predominantly made up of African Americans and, to a lesser extent, Latin Americans. The term may be used broadly to include professional black teams outside the leagues and it may be used narrowly for the seven relatively successful leagues beginning in 1920 that are sometimes termed “Negro Major Leagues”.
The league was racially segregated due to racism in the United States, with non whites prevented from playing in the major and minor baseball leagues. In 1885 the Cuban Giants formed the first black professional baseball team. The first league, the National Colored Base Ball League, was organized strictly as a minor league but failed in 1887 after only two weeks owing to low attendance. The Negro American League of 1951 is considered the last major league season and the last professional club, the Indianapolis Clowns, operated as a humorous sideshow rather than competitively from the mid-1960s to the 1980s. There is a great deal more about this American Institution, please research and tell your babies. Make it a champion day!