Cover image for The Negro leagues, 1869-1960
The Negro leagues, 1869-1960
Heaphy, Leslie A., 1964-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland & Co., [2003]

Physical Description:
viii, 375 pages : illustrations ; 27 cm
Background and origins -- Laying the foundations -- The first Negro national league -- The Negro leagues move east -- Not the stats, but life as a ball player off the field -- Negro league owners and management -- A new Negro national league -- Publicity and promotion -- Barnstorming -- The local scene -- South of the border -- Moving toward integration -- Opening the doors -- Demise of the Negro leagues -- Conclusion -- Appendix A, African American teams competing before 1920 -- Appendix B, African American players whose careers began before 1920 -- Appendix C, Negro league teams and opponents -- Appendix D, Negro league standings, 1920-1955 -- Appendix E, Latin American players in the Negro leagues -- Appendix F, Negro league players in Latin America.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GV875.N35 H43 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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This complete history of the Negro Leagues begins with the latter part of the 19th century and the early attempts by African American players to play with white teammates, and progresses through the creation of the Gentleman's Agreement in the 1890s which kept baseball segregated. The establishment of the first successful Negro League in 1920 and various aspects of the game for the players (lodgings, travel, families, off-season jobs, play and life in Latin America, racism) next are discussed. The history ends in 1960, when the Birmingham Black Barons went out of business and took the Negro Leagues with them. Also included are stories of individual players, owners, umpires, and others involved with the Negro Leagues in the United States and in Latin America.

Author Notes

Leslie A. Heaphy is an assistant professor of history at Kent State University, Stark Campus, in Canton, Ohio.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

The Negro leagues emerged in response to the refusal of "organized baseball" to field African Americans. After struggling to subsist in the 1920s, black baseball made its mark on American society in the 1930s, featuring such superstars as Josh Gibson and Satchel Paige. During these years black teams won more than half the exhibition games they played against white teams. But the slow integration of major league baseball after WW II made the Negro leagues increasingly irrelevant, and by the early 1960s they had disappeared. Heaphy (history, Kent State Univ.) begins his story long before the formal founding of the Negro National League in 1920, and he provides rich detail on some of aspects of black baseball that distinguished it from white baseball: the enduring importance of barnstorming, the unenforceability of contracts, the shifting role of the press, and the place of black baseball in African American urban communities. But what makes this book a milestone in Negro league historiography is its bibliography: the more than 80 pages of references, organized topically (by player and subject), will serve as an indispensable starting place for the next generation of students. Summing Up: Essential. Libraries supporting African American studies or coursework that intersects with sports history or sociology; all levels. R. Browning Kenyon College

Table of Contents

Prefacep. 1
Introductionp. 3
1. Background and Originsp. 9
2. Laying the Foundationp. 23
3. The First Negro National Leaguep. 36
4. The Negro Leagues Move Eastp. 56
5. Not the Stats, but Life as a Ball Player Off the Fieldp. 69
6. Negro League Owners and Managementp. 86
7. A New Negro National Leaguep. 101
8. Publicity and Promotionp. 123
9. Barnstormingp. 135
10. The Local Scenep. 154
11. South of the Borderp. 167
12. Moving toward Integrationp. 180
13. Opening the Doorsp. 198
14. Demise of the Negro Leaguesp. 211
15. Conclusionp. 225
Appendix A African American Teams Competing Before 1920p. 231
Appendix B African American Players Whose Careers Began Before 1920p. 233
Appendix C Negro League Teams and Opponentsp. 236
Appendix D Negro League Standings, 1920-1955p. 239
Appendix E Latin American Players in the Negro Leaguesp. 242
Appendix F Negro League Players in Latin Americap. 244
Notesp. 247
Bibliographic Essayp. 275
Bibliographyp. 283
Indexp. 365