Baseball Color Line

Baseball Color Line

The color line in American baseball excluded players of black African descent from Major League Baseball and affiliated minor leagues, until Jackie Robinson signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers organization for the 1946 season and in 1947, both Robinson in the National League and Larry Doby with the American League's Cleveland Indians appeared in games for the first time in MLB history. Racial segregation in professional baseball is sometimes called a gentlemen's agreement, meaning a tacit understanding, because there was no written policy at the highest level of baseball organization. Some leagues did rule against member clubs signing black players, however, as the color line was drawn during the 1880s and 1890s.

On the "other side" of the color line, many black baseball clubs were established and especially during the 1920s to 1940s there were several "Negro" or "Colored" Leagues in operation, which primarily featured those players barred from organized baseball. Some light-skinned Hispanic players, some Native Americans, and native Hawaiians played white baseball during that period.

Read more about Baseball Color Line:  Origins, Sub Rosa Efforts At Integration, The Negro Leagues, Kenesaw Mountain Landis, Bill Veeck and Branch Rickey, Jackie Robinson and Larry Doby, Boston Red Sox, Professional Baseball Firsts

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