The color line, also known as the color barrier, in American baseball stopped players of black African descent from playing Major League Baseball and its affiliated Minor Leagues until 1947 (with a few notable exceptions in the 19th century before the line was firmly established). Racial segregation in professional baseball was sometimes called a gentlemen's agreement. This means an understanding, as there was no written policy at the highest level of organized baseball, the major leagues. There was minor league's vote in 1887 against allowing new contracts with black players within its league. It sent a powerful message that eventually led to blacks not being allowed to play at all.
Origins[change | change source]
The beginning of segregation followed the baseball season of 1867. On October 16, the Pennsylvania State Convention of Baseball in Harrisburg denied admission to the "colored" Pythian Baseball Club.
References[change | change source]
- Gordon, Patrick (April 2008). "On the field, Pythian baseball club was rivaled by few". Philadelphia Baseball Review. Archived from the original on 2011-05-13. Retrieved 2013-08-30.
The Pythians finished 1867 with a 9–1 record but suffered a setback on October 16 in Harrisburg when the club applied and was denied admission into the Pennsylvania State Convention of Baseball, a state organization designed to promote a professional approach to the game. "The committee reported favorably on all credentials except for the ones presented by the Pythians, which theyintentionally neglected", noted author Michael Lomax. The National Association of Amateur Baseball Players upheld the Pennsylvania State Association's ruling and adopted a formal ban on the inclusion of black players and clubs.
Other websites[change | change source]
- Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Playing for Keeps: Philadelphia's Pythian Base Ball Club. Archived 2011-03-29 at the Wayback Machine