2020 marks the 100th year anniversary of the Negro Leagues baseball teams

I was planning to visit the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Missouri later this month before I was at the Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference that was to begin on September 2d. That nasty coronavirus has caused that conference to go virtual instead.

Vector antique engraving illustration of baseball glove and ball in retro style

I was reminded of the Negro Leagues anniversary today as I watched the Minnesota Twins in a 4-2 win over the Kansas City Royals. Both teams wore patches on their uniforms to remember the past. Many years ago while in California to speak at the California African American Genealogical Society’s anniversary seminar, I had a conversation with a man who had played in the Negro Leagues. What a joy!

All that said, it still strikes me as sad that a separate league was necessary. A baseball player is a baseball player. Racism sucks. Jackie Robinson’s 1947 entry with the Brooklyn Dodgers was big news and still is. I did a little bit of research and found that my home state, Minnesota, did not have a team in the Negro Leagues when it began in 1920. Minnesota did have some strong black baseball teams. Minnesota Public Radio’s website has information on the history of black baseball players in the state. Louis White wrote ” “They Played for the Love of the Game: Untold Stories of Black Baseball in Minnesota.” after finding out that his Dad was one of the players. He didn’t know about his Dad’s connection until Louis himself saw his Dad’s name in an exhibit at the Minnesota Historical Society in the 1980s. That book is on its way to me as is Swinging for the Fences: Black Baseball in Minnesota. Now I want to see how each mentions the black women baseball players in the state.

A few websites for more interesting information

© 2020, Paula Stuart-Warren. All rights reserved.

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