Whirty: The 1910 Western Colored League

From SABR member Ryan Whirty at Home Plate Don’t Move on March 15, 2016:

It’s weird, in 2016, to envisage the Midwest and Great Plains as “the West,” including when it comes to the sport of baseball. It’s been almost 60 years since the Dodgers and the Giants and the A’s bailed on the East Coast and headed to California, and the Pacific Coast League has existed for 113 years.

In fact, with Japan, Korea, Australia and other countries on the Pacific Rim continuing to nurture and grow their already beloved and well established baseball cultures and traditions, the concept of the West in hardball circles has been rendered almost moot.

But things were quite different way back in 1910, especially when it came to segregated African-American baseball in the middle of our then-still-expanding country. (Of course, most of that expansion occurred through war, violence and duplicity, and decimated the Native-American population and cultures, not to mention the blatantly imperialistic Mexican War. But that’s neither here nor there for the purposes of this post.)

By the end of the 19-oughts, a bunch of black baseball teams — all of them mostly barnstorming and independent aggregations — had established secure roots in the East  and blossomed, making baseball a staple of African-American life on the upper Right Coast. In addition, several teams were starting to crystallize and establish stability.

Read the full article here: https://homeplatedontmove.wordpress.com/2016/03/15/the-1910-western-colored-league/

Originally published: March 15, 2016. Last Updated: March 15, 2016.