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Only the Ball Was White: A History of Legendary Black Players and All-Black Professional Teams Paperback – April 30, 1992
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"[A] thorough, well-documented book....A worthy and fascinating addition to anyone's baseball library."--The New York Times Book Review
"Peterson...[is] to be congratulated not only for an original subject but an excellent book for anyone who enjoys reading baseball history."--The Sporting News
"Filled with the fascination that comes from discovering an unknown, complex, forgotten continent."--Newsweek
"Fascinating....One of the truly important sociological contributions to the growing literature of baseball."--The Washington Post Book World
"Highly recommended."--Library Journal
About the Author
Robert W. Peterson is the author of Cages to Jump Shots (Oxford, 1990) and The Boy Scouts: An American Adventure. He has written for Sports Illustrated, The New York Times Magazine, Sport, Boys' Life, and many other magazines.
Top Customer Reviews
Peterson portrays the often overlooked fact that the Negro Leagues were a business venture run almost exclusively by and for black people. And it was a tough business at that, but one that drew often sizeable crowds, especially on exciting and exhausting barnstorming tours. The Negro Leagues could not survive integration as its best players were siphoned off to the 'majors'. Despite the obvious benefits to those men who were finally broke through the wall of prejudice, the reader also understands that there was a sense of loss when the leagues shut down in 1960. More powerfully, the reader experiences the lost opportunities suffered by those players who never got the chance to play in the majors and make major league money, like Jimmie Crutchfield, the Black Lloyd Waner, who barely made a living on one side of Pittsburgh playing for the Crawfords while Waner hauled down $12,000 a year (a princely sum at the time) playing for the Pirates.
A must read for anyone interested in baseball, race relations, or American history.
Of course, it has gaps. As it explains, there was seldom an official scorer, so we will never know exactly how many home runs Josh Gibson hit, or how many games Satchel Paige won. Nonetheless this is an outstanding compendium of research.
But is does tell us of some of the great and heretofore unknowns of the game. It tells how Rube Foster helped create an institution in which African Americans could take pride.
Want to know the only man to hit a fair ball out of Yankee Stadium? Check out the answer here in this book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My fathers first cousin was mentioned in this book.His name was Ted Page. He played with Pittsburg Crawfords and the Homestead Grays. I am enjoying the read.Published 2 months ago by Gail Waters
Full of good stories, stats, and stuff! There are also great photographs. Whatchu know bout dem Detroit Stars?!!!
Karen E. Read more
30 years ago my uncle said he was in a baseball book he showed me the copy he had.I new I had to have my copyPublished 22 months ago by Joseph W.
I'am a big baseball fan and I am very interested in the history of the Negro Leagues . This book covers Negro League baseball from start to finish. Read morePublished on February 3, 2014 by Milt Fritz
I was expecting articles on all the great black ballplayers of the past. Instead, I got a true history of the negro teams that used to exist in the US as well as a list of the... Read morePublished on April 20, 2013 by Nathan Blunck
I found this book to be very informative. I knew hardly nothing about the Negroe Leagues before reading this. Read morePublished on December 6, 2012 by Jeanette Remily