"What's Wrong with Baseball": The Pittsburgh Courier and the Beginning of Its Campaign to Integrate the National Pastime.

By The Western Journal of Black Studies

  • Release Date - Published: 2002-12-22
  • Book Genre: Social Science
  • Author: The Western Journal of Black Studies
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"What's Wrong with Baseball": The Pittsburgh Courier and the Beginning of Its Campaign to Integrate the National Pastime. The Western Journal of Black Studies read online review & book description:

On February 5, 1933, the grand ballroom of New York City's Commodore Hotel crackled with laughter during an evening of songs, skits, and speeches at the 10th annual New York Baseball Writers' Association dinner. Sportswriters took turns spoofing everyone from the guest of honor, retired New York Giants' manager John McGraw, to the New York Yankees, who had won the World Series in October. In addition, the scribes performed their annual minstrel show in front of the all-white crowd of 600 owners, managers, players, journalists, other dignitaries and guests. New York Times sportswriter John Drebinger (1933) called the minstrel show the most entertaining part of the evening. In his speech, New York World-Telegram columnist Heywood Broun responded to a recent editorial in the New York Daily News, headlined "What's Wrong With Baseball," which called for abolishing the color line. Broun asked why there were no Blacks in baseball, then answered his own question: "I can see no reason why Negroes should not come into the National and American Leagues." If Rutgers star Paul Robeson was good enough to be named to the team of the greatest college football players ever and Eddie Tolan could represent the United States at the 1932 Olympic Games, Broun said, then Blacks were good enough to play in the big leagues ("Heywood Broun," 1933, p. 1). When he was told that baseball did not have a rule or policy prohibiting Blacks, he recalled how New York Giants' manager John McGraw had once been prevented from signing a Black player by the other team owners ("Heywood Broun," 1933).

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