The Integration of Baseball in Philadelphia


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About the Book

The release of Ken Burns’ documentary Baseball in 1994 and the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s debut in the major leagues in 1997 once again brought attention to the integration of baseball. Integration did not guarantee equality or even begin to solve baseball’s race-related struggles. In some instances, integration caused even more problems for the African American players and their white teammates. This was the case in Philadelphia, where, among other discriminatory actions, Phillies manager Ben Chapman instructed his players to verbally abuse Jackie Robinson.

This work examines how Philadelphia acquired a reputation as a tough place for African American players. It follows the very slow and difficult progress of integration of the Philadelphia Phillies and Athletics. Attempts to integrate Philadelphia baseball began being made as early as the 1860s, and all of them proved futile until 1953. Those attempts and the reasons that they failed are discussed. The book provides biographical and statistical information on some of the African American players who were confronted with discrimination, and also looks at the white players, managers, coaches, and front office personnel who were having a difficult time accepting African American players on their teams.

About the Author(s)

History teacher Christopher Threston lives in Mount Laurel, New Jersey.

Bibliographic Details

Christopher Threston

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 198
Bibliographic Info: photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2003
pISBN: 978-0-7864-1423-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vii
Preface      1

1. The Early Days      7
2. Hilldale      24
3. Ed Bolden      30
4. Here Come the Stars      37
5. Attempted Integration of Philadelphia Baseball      46
6. The Demise of Black Baseball      59
7. Intolerance      70
8. Integration of Philadelphia Baseball      82
9. Integration in the 1960s and 1970s      100

Epilogue      115
Appendix A: Former Philadelphia Stars Who Played in the Major Leagues     121
Appendix B: Black Players with the Philadelphia Athletics      125
Appendix C: African American and Latin American Phillies (1957–1979)     127
Notes      165
Bibliography      173
Index      181