Barney Dreyfuss: African-American Baseball In The 20th Century

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In 1900, Barney Dreyfuss became owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates and symbolized the era of the family business in white baseball. Local players like Honus Wagner from Carneigie Pennsylvania played for the Pirates during the early years of Dreyfuss’s ownership. Wagner, a German immigrant, was not only a great baseball player but he came to symbolize the local immigrant class from Pittsburgh (Lecture 9-24-15). In 1903, players like Honus Wagner appeared in the first World Series game that was held in Pittsburgh. The World Series created through the joint partnership of the American and National League to dismantle other baseball leagues by forming the MLB. The MLB throughout the early 20th century worked to vanquish other leagues and smashed efforts of players to unionize all as ways to maximize profits from baseball (Raceball, 26-27).…show more content…
Some African-Americans played for primarily white professional teams in the 19th century but were driven out due to racism (Raceball, 21). In the late 19th century 90 percent of African-Americans lived in the South. Rampant poverty and segregation in the South made the idea of black dominated baseball inconceivable. However, black baseball potential would soon be realized with the Great Migration—a movement beginning in the early 20th century that led African-Americans out of the South to Northern cities (Raceball, 28). In 1910, African-American Andrew Foster formed the Chicago American Giants and other African-Americans started team too. Foster gathered the other black team owners and formed the Negro-National League in 1920. Foster’s league offered African-Americans new jobs, high wages, and independence (Raceball, 31). However, Foster’s reign as king of black baseball was short-lived with Foster’s commitment to an insane asylum in 1926 (Raceball, 33). However, a new force led by Gus Greenlee was brewing in
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