The Integration of Minor League Baseball

A History and Player Register, 1946–1959

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About the Book

Though much has been written about Negro Leagues players and Black major leaguers of the integration era, little attention has been given to the accomplishments and struggles of Black minor league pioneers. This work is a history of minor league integration with complete records for the more than one thousand players of color who toiled in Organized Baseball’s minor leagues from 1946 to 1959, competing against the odds for a shot at the big leagues that few would get.
This work is a tribute to an underappreciated group of men who helped clear away the vestiges of a racist system that kept many of the game’s best players from gaining the recognition they deserved. Only about 10% would ever appear in the major leagues, but the careers of Black major league stars of the 1950s and 1960s were built on the backs of this largely forgotten generation of players. The underlying statistical and demographic information is compiled in a comprehensive register of players that were not, or probably would not have been, given a chance in Organized Baseball prior to the crossing of the color barrier due to their racial heritage.

About the Author(s)

Society for American Baseball Research member Rick Swaine has five baseball books in publication, two of them on baseball’s integration era. He has also been a contributor to The Baseball Research Journal and The National Pastime. Retired from an accounting career, he lives in the Tallahassee, Florida area.

Gary C. Fink, a SABR member since 1974, has been working for approximately 15 years to identify and compile a database containing statistical and demographic information on the integration era’s minor league players of color. He lives in Reno, Nevada.

Bibliographic Details

Rick Swaine and Gary C. Fink
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Bibliographic Info: appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2024
pISBN: 978-1-4766-9238-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-5186-6
Imprint: McFarland

Book Reviews & Awards

“Rick Swaine, already famed for his Integration of Major League Baseball, completes the picture by turning his tremendous research and scholarship on the minor leagues. Swaine and writing partner Gary Fink answer questions we didn’t know to ask: Who was the first Black player to appear on a baseball card? Which oilman undertook to single-handedly integrate the Texas League? Which inner-circle Hall of Famer tried to stop integration in its tracks? Bundled with this wealth of factual information is a first-ever register of minor-league players whose careers were damaged by segregation. The Integration of Minor League Baseball belongs in any serious baseball library.”—Philip Lee, author of Black Stats Matter