Integrating Cleveland Baseball

Liscio, Stephanie M. Integrating Cleveland Baseball: Media Activism, the Integration of the Indians and the Demise of the Negro League Buckeyes. Jefferson, North Carolina; McFarland & Company, 2010.

Now that the World Series is over, there is nothing better to do than look back on baseball history (until Spring).  Today, we are looking at Stephanie Liscio’s Integrating Cleveland Baseball, which has several story lines, but basically tells the history of African-Americans and baseball in Cleveland between 1922 through the early 1950s told through newspaper reporting from the era – specifically Cleveland’s African-American newspapers: Cleveland Gazette and the Call and Post.

The history of the Negro Leagues (or black baseball in general) is an expansive story, which some have been able to tell in a condensed storyline, but it is nice to see one work devoted to one city and team(s).  There was African-American baseball in Cleveland prior to 1920 (which probably could receive its own treatment), but this date is important as begin the first year of a financially organized league (Rube Foster’s Negro National League), which included the Cleveland Tate Stars in 1922 (along with teams in Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton, and Toledo before the league dissolved in 1931).   Continue reading