Auther: The PCL and the color line

From SABR member Ronald Auther at Our Game on April 16, 2015:

In January 1914, J. Cal Ewing, owner of the San Francisco Seals in the Pacific Coast League, was building a new ballpark, Ewing Field. “If I were a player, working for McCredie,” he said, “and he asked me to go out and play against these colored fellows, I would refuse to do it for him.”

Walter “Judge” McCredie, manager of the Portland Beavers baseball team, had scheduled exhibition games against the Chicago American Giants, a celebrated black club. This series of games would take place along the West Coast, beginning in Santa Maria and Fresno in California and ending up in Portland, Oregon. Finding a venue to play in along the way north would present problems for McCredie. Ewing offered further: “There are two classes of players I bar from playing on my ball parks—colored tossers and bloomer girls. The league has no power to prevent these games between the Beavers and the Chicago Giants, but I am sure that nearly every director in the league would be opposed to these games.”

PCL president Allen T. Baum agreed with Ewing. “I have no jurisdiction in the matter, but my sentiments are strongly against it. I am sure there is not another manager in the league that would consider playing with the Chicago Giants.”

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Originally published: April 16, 2015. Last Updated: April 16, 2015.