Date of Award

Spring 3-29-1991

Degree Type


Degree Name

Honors Thesis




When Americans discuss the history of baseball, names like Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Connie Mack, and Walter Johnson are mentioned. But what about men like Rube Foster, Buck Leonard, C. I. Taylor, Josh Gibson, and Oscar Charleston? Most American baseball fans know little about black baseball and the lives of black players. A study of black baseball, focusing on the Negro leagues, answers some of the questions baseball fans and historians might ask out of ignorance. How did baseball become segregated? How did the Negro leagues evolve? What was life like for black baseball players? How was the game in the Negro leagues really played? And did black baseball really have a measurable effect on black society? The last question can be answered with an emphatic "yes."