Archive for February 2016

“Desegregation in baseball was hard on everybody.”  -Monte Irvin, Hall of Famer

An extraordinary history of the Negro Leagues and the economic disruptions of desegregating a sport

Roberta Newman and Joel Nathan Rosen examine how the relationship between black baseball and black businesses functioned, particularly in urban areas with significant African American populations.  Inextricably bound together by circumstance, these sports and business alliances faced destruction and upheaval.

Once Jackie Robinson and a select handful of black baseball’s elite gained acceptance in Major League Baseball and financial stability in the mainstream economy, shock waves traveled throughout the black business world.  Though the economic impact on Negro League baseball is perhaps obvious due to its demise, the impact on other black-owned businesses and on segregated neighborhoods is often undervalued if not outright ignored in current accounts.  We know about the great individual players who played in the Negro Leagues and integrated the Major Leagues.  But what happens when a community has its economic footing undermined while simultaneously being called upon to celebrate a larger social progress?

On a February evening in front of a standing-room-only crowd in the Clubhouse, Roberta Newman and Joel Nathan Rosen took us through Black Baseball, Black Business.  Pull up a chair and listen in...

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A former CIA analyst walked through the Clubhouse door...

In The Golden Era of Major League Baseball: A Time of Transition and Integration, Bryan Soderholm-Difatte explores the significant events and momentous changes that took place in baseball from 1947 to 1960.

Beginning with Jackie Robinson’s rookie season in 1947, Soderholm-Difatte provides a careful and thorough examination of baseball’s integration, including the struggles of black players who were not able to break into the starting lineups.  In addition, the author looks at the dying practice of player-managers, the increasing use of relief pitchers and platooning, the iconic 1951 pennant race between the New York Giants and the Brooklyn Dodgers, and more.  Soderholm-Difatte also tells the stories of three central characters to this era, whose innovations, strategies, and vision changed the game -- Branch Rickey, Casey Stengel, and Leo Durocher.

Bryan Soderholm-Difatte is a former senior analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Counterterrorism Center.  He is a regular contributor to The Baseball Research Journal.

Listen in to a fascinating “deep dive” discussion on a February evening in the Clubhouse with Bryan Soderholm-Difatte...

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