What are the Negro leagues? Why was baseball segregated back then?


Mayan Lopez, Journalist/ Editor


Did you know that baseball had a league called the Negro League? Why was baseball segragated back then and what were the negro leagues? After the Civil War, baseball grew in popularity and both White and Black people played together.  The Jim Crow laws forbid that and created segregated baseball


From 1867 up until 1947, baseball was segregated. Back then, only whites could play professional baseball. Black players could still play baseball, they just didn’t play in an officially organized league and they couldn’t play in the MLB (Major League baseball). This was due to the Jim Crow laws. 


The Jim Crow laws were laws that enforced and legalized racial segregation in baseball.  


Before the negro leagues, only 2 black players played in professional baseball. These players were Moses Fleetwood Walker and John Bud Fowler. Even though these players played in the professional leagues, they did not break the color barrier because they were the only black players allowed to play during the time. This was also due to the Gentlemen’s agreement. This was an agreement that helped keep Black players out of the Major Leagues and contributed to continued segregation in both life and baseball. 


Due to all of the racism and segregation happening in baseball, African american players started to form their own teams and brainstorm to find competition.  And then finally the Negro Leagues formed at around 1920 under the help of Andrew Rube Foster. The Negro leagues was  a league that was meant for black players who couldn’t play in the MLB. Just like in modern time Major League Baseball which is separated into American League and  National League, they too had different leagues: The Eastern Colored league, the Negro American League and Negro National League.  


Some of the teams that played in the Negro leagues were: Chicago American Giants (Illinois), the Kansas City Monarchs (Missouri), the Indianapolis ABCs (Indiana), the Detroit Stars (Michigan), St Louis giants (Missouri), Dayton Marcos (Ohio), the Cuban Stars (no home city),  and the Chicago Giants (Illinois). Although, due to the fact that the negro players that played before the negro leagues played, they were so talented that even scouts from the MLB wanted them!


This led to Jackie Robinson being the first black player to break the color line and influenced future players. The end of the Negro Leagues ended shortly after World war II when Jackie robinson was drafted for the Brooklyn dodgers. As soon as this happened, people stopped getting drafted to the Negro Leagues and started to get drafted to the MLB.


 Other Negro League players started playing in the MLB and soon the Negro Leagues started to fade away. Even though Moses Fleetwood Walker and  John Bud Fowler have not been that known to  other people, their actions , the events that happened before and after  them, and how the Negro Leagues formed and faded away, and how Jackie robinson  will always be remembered in baseball history.