Whirty: Two cultures meet on the diamond … for the first time?

From SABR member Ryan Whirty at Home Plate Don’t Move on November 5, 2015:

Trailblazing, cross-culture gem or crass novelty?

A landmark in race relations against a baseball backdrop, or an attempt to cash in on cheap marketing?

History is, perhaps, still unclear about those queries when it comes to the Dec. 19, 1909, contest at Chutes Park in Los Angeles between the Salt Lake City Occidentals, at the time arguably the premier African-American team in the West, and an aggregation of Japanese all-stars comprised of the best talent from the burgeoning Asian community in the City of Angels.

Scribes at the time heralded the clash as the first one between a black team and a Japanese squad. Newspapers in both L.A. and Salt Lake City pumped up the encounter for a weeks before the event, with many of those publications dubbing the contest a scrum for racial supremacy.

Read the full article here: https://homeplatedontmove.wordpress.com/2015/11/05/two-cultures-meet-on-the-diamond-for-the-first-time/

Originally published: November 6, 2015. Last Updated: November 6, 2015.