SABR

Nipper: Nat Peeples and the feeble attempt to integrate the Southern Association

From SABR member Skip Nipper at 262 Down Right on April 9, 2014:

This is a special day in southern baseball history: In 1954 on this day, April 9th, Nat Peeples became the first and only black player in the Southern Association. It would become a token attempt to integrate the league.

Let’s quickly jump ahead a few years: In the Wednesday, September 7, 1960 edition of The Sporting News, Nashville Banner sportswriter reported that Gabe Paul, Cincinnati Reds vice-president and general manager, had announced the Reds six-year working agreement with Nashville would not be renewed, effective December 15.

Why would an affiliation that had been amicable and proven to be positive for both clubs be negated? Was it because of low attendance at Sulphur Dell? Was it because the affable Gabe Paul could not get along with management of the Nashville club? Was it because Nashville was a city that did not give the Reds players an opportunity to play in a competitive league?

No, no, and no. The reason given by Paul is because the Southern Association “does not allow the use of Negro players”.

Read the full article here: http://262downright.com/2014/04/09/nat-peeples-and-the-feeble-attempt-to-integrate-the-southern-association/

This page was last updated April 9, 2014 at 6:57 pm MST.

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