That summer, when the Cleveland-based semipro team he joined traveled to Kentucky, the Louisville club refused to play with Walker on the field. This prejudice — and the racist taunts from fans and players — became common. Walker transferred to the University of Michigan, where he studied law and led the baseball team to a winning season. In , Walker helped the Toledo Blue Stockings in the professional Northwestern League win the pennant, but his race remained an issue. He faced constant abuse, including death threats, from fans, sportswriters, and other players.
Injury ended his season prematurely, and Walker never appeared in another major league game. Walker joined the minor league Newark Little Giants in , forming the first African American battery with pitching star George Stovey. In a July exhibition game, Walker once again encountered Anson, who insisted that he and Stovey not play.
A year later, Walker moved again, this time to the Syracuse Stars. And, once again, Anson drove him from the field. After his baseball career was over, Walker returned to Ohio, where he bought the Union Hotel in Steubenville, purchased an opera house and theater in nearby Cadiz, and patented three of his inventions. He became a black nationalist and edited The Equator , a newspaper about black issues. Developing ruthless monopolies, these so-called Robber Barons deployed every tactic, no matter how vicious, to enhance their power and profits.
They cut wages, repressed unions, and bribed politicians. This ushered in the Gilded Age: riches for the few, misery and exploitation for the rest. At the same time that a growing labor movement was pushing back against oligarchy, baseball players began demanding more rights and better pay. After dropping out of college, Ward played with semipro teams in Pennsylvania railroad and coal towns that had become hotbeds of the emerging union movement. In , he played for Williamsport, where, just down the road, the state was executing several members of the Molly Maguires Irish-American coal miners on trumped-up charges of labor insurrection.
The next year, he threw the second-perfect game in history — and the last one for another eighty-four years. Ward is the only pitcher in history to both win more than one hundred games and get more than two thousand hits. Ward was refined, handsome, and single, which — combined with his baseball exploits — made him prominent in New York society. Her Dauvray Cup crowned the early baseball championships.
Ward learned five languages, became a regular newspaper and magazine contributor, wrote a book Base-Ball , and studied political science and earned a law degree at Columbia University — all while still playing ball. In , he organized the Brotherhood of Professional Baseball Players, the first labor union in American sports.
Baseball magnates colluded with each other, primarily through the reserve clause, which bound players to their teams but allowed owners to release them without pay. Even after profits tripled in the s, the owners imposed meager wages and extra duties — rent for uniforms, meal fees — on their workers.
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Some players compared their situation to antebellum slavery. Not coincidentally, the union promoted progressive race policies. Ward had lobbied for black players during his years in Providence, and his barnstorming team hosted black clubs in the South in — The Brotherhood arose amid extensive labor-owner conflict. The Knights of Labor wooed the baseball union, and the two groups became loosely affiliated. The NL and AA borrowed the union-busting tactics of other industries, including blacklists, intimidation, spies, collusion, and fines for violating curfew and drinking.
In , the Brush Classification Plan — devised by NL owner John Brush — set a salary scale based not just on on-field ability, but also on off-field behavior. Bosses used Pinkerton spies to monitor players, and the plan divided ballplayers by splitting them into unequal classes. Congress passed the Sherman Anti-Trust Act that same year, challenging the growing power of corporate monopolies. Acting like their counterparts in oil, steel, and railroads, team owners in the NL and AA restricted trade by blocking new companies from entering the industry and employed many of the exploitative practices the antitrust laws sought to eliminate.
In contrast, each of the eight PL teams operated as an industrial cooperative. Launched on Bastille Day, the new league promoted the radical idea that workers could own and run their own workplaces without the bosses. Each club shared profits and management. Boards consisting of four players and four investors ran the teams, and a senate, in which each club had a player and investor representative, governed the league. Players owned team stock, and revenue was split evenly among the clubs. There was no reserve clause, no classification plan.
Many stars, including fifteen future Hall of Famers, joined the PL. Three-quarters of all NL players jumped over to the new league. When the PL raided the NL for players and began outdrawing it in attendance, Spalding and the other owners filed suit, claiming that the jumpers had violated the reserve clause. Judges ruled the NL contracts unenforceable, vague, and unfairly biased against players. The owners then lobbied and bribed reporters to provide anti-union and negative PL coverage.
But Ward got strong labor movement backing. Samuel Gompers, president of the American Federation of Labor, pledged support for the new league. Players, in turn, showed solidarity with their union counterparts. The PL was run as a cooperative, but it still allowed capitalist investors. With unilateral power, it drastically lowered player salaries, blackballed potential labor agitators, broke long-term contracts, and commandeered the previously independent minor league teams for replacement labor.
Thereafter he enjoyed a successful legal career, often representing players against the NL. He became the president and part owner of the Boston Braves as well as an executive with the Brooklyn Tip Tops in the upstart Federal League. The PL briefly established a radical business model for professional sports, where players controlled both the game and its profits.
In , the Supreme Court declared baseball exempt from the antitrust laws. It would take another fifty years for a new baseball union to overthrow the reserve system. Its ruling, Plessy v. Black Americans responded by creating their own institutions from churches, clubs, and newspapers to businesses, schools, and universities.
The black ballplayer Rube Foster, a disciple of radical scholar and activist W. DuBois, created the first Negro League in the s. During the s and s, the Negro Leagues provided African Americans with a source of pride and a parade of celebrity players, even as it constantly reminded them of their second-class status. Some Negro League players participated in political efforts that challenged racism. For example, Frank Sykes served as a key defense witness in the famous trial of the Scottsboro Boys, the nine African-American teenagers wrongfully accused of raping two white women on a train in Alabama.
This story is more complex than the usual version, which credits Brooklyn Dodgers president Branch Rickey with imposing his will on reluctant MLB executives. Rickey did not act alone, nor without considerable prompting.
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A decade of struggle by black and left-wing journalists and activists preceded his decision. Beginning in the s, the black press, civil rights groups, the Communist Party, progressive white activists, and radical politicians waged a sustained campaign to integrate baseball as part of a broader movement to eliminate discrimination in housing, employment, and other sectors.
The movement accelerated after the war as returning black veterans expected the United States to open up opportunities for all Americans. They published open letters, polled white managers and players some of whom felt threatened by the prospect of losing their jobs to black athletes, but most of whom had no objections to integration , brought black players to unscheduled tryouts at spring training, and kept the issue front and center.
Several white journalists joined the chorus. Activists gathered more than a million signatures on petitions, demanding that baseball tear down the color line. The next year, progressive unions sent a delegation to meet with Commissioner Kennesaw Mountain Landis and to demand that baseball recruit black players. In December , Paul Robeson addressed owners at their annual winter meeting and urged them to integrate. In , Isadore Muchnick, a progressive member of the Boston City Council, threatened to deny the Red Sox a permit to play on Sundays unless the team considered hiring black players.
The Sox had no intention of signing any of the players, nor did the Pittsburgh Pirates or the Chicago White Sox, who orchestrated similar bogus auditions. Nevertheless, the public pressure and media publicity helped raise awareness and furthered the cause. Other politicians became allies. During his reelection campaign, New York City Council member Ben Davis — a former college football star, a Communist, and an African American — distributed a leaflet featuring photos of two blacks: a dead soldier and a baseball player.
That year, the New York State legislature passed the Quinn-Ives Act, which banned employment discrimination, and formed a committee to investigate hiring practices including a task force that focused on baseball. Raised in New York, the grandson of Jewish immigrants, Rodney was radicalized by the enormous suffering he witnessed during the Great Depression. To appeal to Americans, he believed his newspaper had to take sports, especially baseball, seriously. Rodney was one of the few white sportswriters to cover the Negro Leagues and protest baseball segregation.
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Alongside editorials and open letters, Rodney interviewed players and managers, many of whom said they would welcome having black players on their teams. In , Rodney sent telegrams to team owners asking for tryouts for black players. The only team that responded — the Pittsburgh Pirates — invited Negro League catcher Roy Campanella to an audition the following year. But officials and other owners protested, and Pirates owner William Benswanger backed out. Through the Daily Worker , Rodney encouraged protesters picketing ballparks and reported on integration petitions. He played a key role in ending segregation in baseball, but he also made other political inroads.
His paper also helped integrate professional basketball, pressuring the Boston Celtics to sign the first black NBA players in In , a month after his death, the Baseball Writers Association of America honored writers who had died that year at their annual dinner. Lester Rodney was a baseball-loving Communist who influenced the game from the press box.
Nahem grew up in a family — and a Brooklyn enclave — of Syrian Jews who spoke Arabic.
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At the time, Brooklyn College was a center of political activism, and Nahem began participating in Communist Party activities there. After his graduation, he signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Nahem returned to the Phillies briefly in , pitching another twenty-eight games. Altogether, he had a modest record for his major league career.
Nahem attended St. He read literature in the dugout and bullpen and would quote Shakespeare and de Maupassant in conversations. Despite these differences, Nahem got along well with his teammates. They knew these guys had the ability to be up there, so they felt their jobs were threatened directly, and they did all sorts of things to discourage black ball players. President Roosevelt believed it would help soldiers stay in shape and boost morale. Many professional players were in the military, so the quality of play was often excellent.
He also finished second in hitting with a. Sent overseas in late , Nahem served with an anti-aircraft artillery division. Get the most out of your experience with a personalized all-access pass to everything local on events, music, restaurants, news and more. On Friday afternoon, year-old Shontell Johnson lived in a rundown house in South Oak Cliff, where she took care of 13 children: six of her own, three from a neighbor with a drug problem, and four from her sister, who's currently in prison.
The kids were sleeping on mattresses on the floor and sharing two bathrooms. Some of them had no shoes, and wore two or three pairs of socks instead. There were holes in the walls. Nobody had enough of anything: food, blankets or coats. A while back, a desperate Johnson called the Dream Center, a faith-based nonprofit, and asked for help.
James called council member Dwaine Caraway, then introduced him to Johnson and the children during an event at Cedar Crest Community Church. Which is why a small army of volunteers from a variety of businesses and city agencies spent the last 72 hours totally giving the house a do-over while Johnson and the kids stayed in a loft at South Side on Lamar.
A few minutes before 2, when the family was due to arrive back home, James stood at the door, pointing out the house's new features: re-done carpet, flooring, new appliances in the kitchen, new furniture for the living room and each of the four bedrooms. A group of volunteers stood in the hallways and in the four bedrooms, tearing the wrapping off new mattresses and putting the last touches on the shiny, dark-wood bunk beds the children will sleep in. Someone ran a vacuum cleaner over the floor. In the garage, a dining room table had been set up, large enough to seat everyone.
So much love was poured into this house. We praise God for touching the lives of so many. Caraway has been a major instrument. Caraway stood a little ways behind her, in the kitchen. He pointed out a new portable griddle as a volunteer plugged it in. Comedian Drew Carrey , celebrating in a private bungalow with 10 ladies at Surrender Encore on Friday…. Chicago Bulls shooting guard Richard Hamilton , with a group of friends at a dance floor table at Surrender Encore on Wednesday….
Eve Hewson , daughter of singer Bono , celebrating her 21st birthday at Tao Asian Bistro Venetian with her father and a large group of friends…. Hollywood actor Taye Diggs and "Vegas! He is Both wore all black…. Smith, 15, has performed for the Dodgers almost a dozen times since she was 9. He was in town for the Billboard Music Awards.
Miguel jumped on stage and sang a medley of four songs. News and Reed , with her party.
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Cuban was also spotted chatting with Wayne Rooney , who was at the next table. Chargers owner Dean Spanos owns a home at Park Towers. The sisters dined at Stack before heading to the theater.
Hip-hop star Drake , with friends and family Saturday at Lavo Palazzo. Accompanying him was magic partner Roy Horn. Ramsay and his group arrived at midnight and took over the bungalows. He was joined at the lunch by chefs who have worked for and with him over the years. They also showed up at Surrender Encore. Also at Surrender: celebrity chef Bobby Flay , in a bungalow.
Steven Jackson , running back for the St. The group was joined by rapper 50 Cent. Pop star Richard Andrew, better known as Outasight , drinking, dancing and performing at Pure Caesars Tuesday night …. At another table: retired baseball slugger Sammy Sosa , with friends. Rapper Busta Rhymes , in the club to surprise manager Chris Lighty on his birthday, sang many of his hits. Also there: Jonas, Ronson, Szohr and Guadagnino. Spotted at the Floyd Mayweather vs. Internet sensation iJustine , dining Friday at Lavo Palazzo with friends.
The two former world champions also attended the Floyd Mayweather vs. Cotto lost the match in a round unanimous decision. It was shot for the series finale, at 8 p. Spotted at Tao Venetian on Thursday: Lennox Lewis , former boxer and heavyweight champion, dining with friends including Rohan and Karen Marley , children of late reggae music icon Bob Marley. Also spotted was Steven Jackson of the St.
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The event featured a red carpet walk for older, adoptable dogs. Ramsey and his business partners grabbed a late-night bite …. James Franco , dining at Tao Venetian with friends Tuesday night …. Swarmed by fans, he accommodated their photo and autograph requests. The Browns, who moved to Las Vegas in , spent two hours touring the exhibit.
It was his first Cirque experience. Professional boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. The group also hit the club …. Regina King , taking in the exhibits at the Mob Museum on Wednesday …. Rapper Coolio , partying Monday night at Marquee Cosmopolitan …. Keith performed 12 songs for the crowd as the restaurant toasted to his Academy of Country Music Awards win …. Richie and her friends danced before quickly jumping onstage…. Singer Dev , with friends at Marquee Cosmopolitan Saturday …. Underwood is in town for the Academy of Country Music Awards …. The couple is in town for the Academy of Country Music Awards ….
Entertainment legend Tony Orlando, celebrating his 68th birthday Saturday with a backstage visit with Garth Brooks at the Wynn…. Sherry St. They performed about eight songs together ….
Country singers Jake Owen and Chris Young were also spotted at the restaurant …. Coolio , giving a freestyle performance for a group of club goers. The first family is in Las Vegas on a personal family trip around the western U. The family watched from a private booth and thanked the staff after the show ….
Humphries was in town for the weekend celebrating the birthday and pending nuptials of her sister, Shelby ….