By Ryan A. Swanson
"Explains how within the decade following the Civil battle, baseball grew to become segregated simply because its leaders desired to develop its presence and entice Southerners, and desired to professionalize it. the end result was once the exclusion of black avid gamers that lasted until eventually 1947"--
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Extra resources for When baseball went white : reconstruction, reconciliation, and dreams of a national pastime
Gorman’s primary contribution to DC baseball came as an organizer; his play on the field drew little attention, positive or otherwise. When he did make the playing nine, Gorman often played catcher—a brutal position. 47 By 1863 Gorman had assumed the presidency of the Nationals. It was Gorman who organized the Nationals-Athletics meeting that created such an impression the day Young had happened upon it. ”48 This cause—advancing the national game—appeared repeatedly in the Clipper and other dailies interested in sports.
There is no evidence of black ballplayers clamoring to join white baseball clubs. The population surge that Washington DC experienced during Reconstruction dramatically altered the racial composition of the city and made the tasks of Young, Gorman, and Douglass all the more complex. In a special census taken in 1867, DC’s population was tallied at 126,990, with 88,327 white and 38,663 black residents. The population in 1860, by comparison, had been 75,080, with 60,764 white and a total of 14,316 black residents (11,131 free blacks and 3,185 slaves).
The District’s population was a far more racially diverse one than baseball’s cities to the north. 26 Thus, in uncovering the story of segregation, it is vital to remember that the racial situation varied significantly region by region and city by city. The District of Columbia had long possessed a unique racial makeup. The city contained slaves before the Civil War, but never in great numbers and always in the midst of a large free-black population. This large presence of free blacks distinguished DC from Southern cities.