The Topic:
Negro Baseball Leagues

Easier - If you've ever watched a professional baseball game, you probably saw people of all races playing together. This wasn't always true. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, African American players were not accepted on major league baseball teams. They had their own teams known as Negro Baseball Leagues.
Harder - For almost a century, African American baseball players were barred from the major leagues because of their skin color. In December 1867, the National Association of Ball Players voted not to accept a team with black athletes. In those early days a few black players did play on integrated minor league teams. But by the turn of the twentieth century, black players were entirely shut out of white professional baseball until 1946 and the end of World War II. Then Jackie Robinson broke the 'color line' becoming the first African American to play in the major leagues.
Black players played on black teams that represented black communities. The teams were organized into black leagues, and competed for championships. In 1920, Rube Foster founded the Negro National League in Kansas City, Kansas. It was joined by the Eastern Colored League in 1923. In 1937 the Negro American League was formed. Through the years, Negro leagues overcame hardships, were reformed and replaced, grew and sometimes flourished. Players endured segregated, second-rate wages and playing conditions . . . but their competition and play was first-rate, major league! In fact when matched up against white major league opponents, the black teams won over sixty percent of the games.
In the 1920s, a crowd of 5,000 spectators for a Sunday game was normal. The heart of the leagues were the emerging Northern ghettos (Pittsburgh Crawfords, New York Black Yankees, Newark Eagles, Chicago American Giants) with a smattering of Southern teams (Birmingham Black Barons, Jacksonville Red Caps, Atlanta Black Crackers). By the Thirties, a doubleheader night card could draw up to twenty thousand fans. Before the breakdown of the segregated leagues, the Negro leagues were among the largest black businesses in the U.S.
The last of the Negro leagues struggled on until 1960 with only a fraction of their former support and prestige. By then the best African American players were in the former white major leagues.
Negro Baseball Leagues
Learn about the origins of the Negro Baseball Leagues; what they were, why they were founded, and why they no longer exist.
Negro Baseball Leagues
Baseball was a segregated sport in the early 1900s - whites played in the Major Leagues, and Blacks played in the Negro Leagues. Read about the great players and teams who were not allowed to play in the Majors, or join the Hall of Fame, simply because of the color of their skin.
Negro League Baseball
Here you find feature articles, the latest news, player profiles and much more about the Negro Leagues.
Shadowball: Recalling the Negro Leagues
Learn about the origin, the players, and the teams of the Negro Leagues.
After visiting several of the websites, complete one or more of these activities:
Complete a Negro Baseball Leagues WebQuest. Adapt or follow the instructions found at the following webQuest site:
1) Sampling Negro Baseball Leagues by Becky Lehenbauer (Grade 6)
Create a Negro League Baseball Card. Visit the websites and read some of the biographies of players. Make a baseball card, including a brief biography and picture. Don't forget to include the player statistics on the backside.
Make a Team Poster. Pick your favorite team. Then create a poster using their team name, a logo, game dates and locations. Promote their star players and attract spectators.
Write a Player Biography. Pick a favorite player. Research their history and record of play. Then write a biography about them. Include pictures and your own drawings. Share the information that you learn.
 Website By Kids For Kids
Shadowball: The Story of the Negro Leagues (1996 ThinkQuest Project)
This website is designed to teach everybody about the Negro Leagues. It includes information about the players, the teams, an exclusive interview, a timeline, and much more.
More Sites
David Marasco's Negro Leagues Page
This site has a collection of original articles written about the Negro Leagues and its players.
Negro Baseball Leagues
From 1871 up to Jackie Robinson's debut, black athletes played in several Negro Major Leagues of varying success. Learn about the men that played and never got paid!
Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (Kansas City, Missouri)
The museum was first opened in January, 1991.
Sacrifice Play: The Negro Baseball Leagues Remembered by David Conrads
Decades after their demise, the Negro baseball leagues are beginning to be recognized for their contributions to black America's social and economic progress.
Similar Online Articles:
2) Negro Baseball by Robert Harrison
Websites for Teachers
Black Baseball (Grade 4 -8)
This unit allows students to explore the people of the Negro Baseball League and the significance of Jackie Robinson.
Take Them Out to the Ball Game! at Education World (Grade 5 and up)
When baseball fever strikes, these activities from Education World can be the perfect antidote. Included: A stadium full of activities and links to team sites, baseball math sites, cross-curricular projects -- and even the famous Abbott and Costello "Who's On First?" script!
Sampling Negro Baseball Leagues by Becky Lehenbauer (Grade 6)
Use this Subject Sampler to help literature and reading students learn about black baseball leagues.
Jackie Robinson
oral history
Josh Gibson
Satchel Paige
Walter 'Buck' Leonard
civil rights
'color line'
Andrew "Rube" Foster
Oscar Charleston
'Cool Pappa' Bell
Ted 'Double Duty' Radcliffe
William Julius 'Judy' Johnson
Kansas City, KS
'Smokey' Joe Williams
Ray Dandridge
'independent baseball'
Negro National League
Eastern Colored League
Negro American League
minor league
National Association of Ball Players
major league
Created by Annette Lamb and Larry Johnson, 1/99
Updated, 6/00