Weekly Spotlight, June 29, 2020

Celebrating & Commemorating African American Pioneers of Baseball

The Negro League Baseball got its start thanks to the increasing popularity of two
things after the Civil War: baseball and segregation. The National Association of
Amateur Baseball Players rejected African American membership in 1867, and in
1876, owners of the professional National League adopted a “gentleman’s
agreement” to keep Blacks out. Consequently, African American players found
their greatest opportunities with traveling teams until 1920, when Rube Foster
launched the Negro National League. The Negro League baseball enjoyed periods
of success in the early1920s and again after the Great Depression. However,
Jackie Robinson’s integration of baseball in 1947 prompted a slow but irreversible
influx of talent to the majors, and the remaining Negro League teams folded by the

We celebrate and commemorate those brave African American pioneers of
baseball along with all in this video. As you know, the Board of the Museum
planned to bring the Negro League Baseball Exhibit to Springfield this year.
COVID19 forced us to postpone. The Board still plans to host the exhibit in 2021.