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Baseball color line facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts

The color line, also known as the color barrier, in American baseball stopped players of black African descent from playing Major League Baseball and its affiliated Minor Leagues until 1947 (with a few notable exceptions in the 19th century before the line was firmly established). Racial segregation in professional baseball was sometimes called a gentlemen's agreement. This means an understanding, as there was no written policy at the highest level of organized baseball, the major leagues. There was minor league's vote in 1887 against allowing new contracts with black players within its league. It sent a powerful message that eventually led to blacks not being allowed to play at all.

The color line was broken for good when Jackie Robinson signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers organization for the 1946 season.


William Edward White (1879)
William Edward White

The beginning of segregation followed the baseball season of 1867. On October 16, the Pennsylvania State Convention of Baseball in Harrisburg denied admission to the "colored" Pythian Baseball Club.

  • Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Playing for Keeps: Philadelphia's Pythian Base Ball Club.

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Baseball color line Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.