The color line was known, in American baseball, to excluded African American players from the Major League Baseball and Minor Leagues as well until 1947. Racial segregation in professional baseball was called a gentleman’s agreement because there wasn’t a written policy on the higher levels of organized baseball. In 1887 a minor league vote went against allowing new contracts to black players within its league. In 1945, Robinson, while he was at Sam Hudson College, was send a written offer to play professional baseball in the Negro leagues. Robinson accepted a $400 contract per month. Soon teams began to integrate their rosters. It was the mid-1940s when Branch Rickey the general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers began to scout the Negro Leagues for an addition to the Dodger’s roster. That was when Robinson was selected from an extensive list of potential player. Later, in his career, Robinson was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962. Jackie Robinson was a 10-year career and recipient of the inaugural MLB Rookie of the Year Award in 1947. When the Dodgers started Robinson at first base, it was announced the end of racial segregation in professional baseball that had once banished black players to the Negro Leagues since the 1880s. Robinson’s promotion has some positive reception in newspapers and white major league players. Of course, there was some controversy in the Dodger’s clubhouse where some players refused to play alongside Robinson and opted to sit out of the game. The manager of the team informed the players that no matter his color if they don’t play then they will be traded. It got worse before it got better, Robinson received some encouragement for Lee Handley. In the end, Robinson retired from baseball at the age of 37 on January 5, 1957.
Major League Baseball is the oldest of four major professional sports leagues in Canada and the United States. Today there are 30 teams that play in the National League and the American League; 15 teams each. The National League and the American League ran separately from 1876 to 1901, then in 1903, the leagues merged together into one organization. It’s this organization that supervises the Minor League Baseball that has 240 teams connected to the Major League clubs. Do you think you can you hit a homerun when it it comes to what you know about the MLB? Or will you be stuck on the home plate? Take a swing!
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