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Racial Segregation In Major League Baseball

February 1, 2012 by staff 

Racial Segregation In Major League Baseball, The color line in American baseball excluded players of black African descent from Organized Baseball, or the major leagues and affiliated minor leagues, until Jackie Robinson signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers organization for the 1946 season.

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 even native Hawaiians played white baseball during that period.

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