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Raceball: How the Major Leagues Colonized the Black and Latin Game
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Raceball: How the Major Leagues Colonized the Black and Latin Game

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  38 ratings  ·  10 reviews
From an award-winning writer, the first linked history of African Americans and Latinos in Major League Baseball

After peaking at 27 percent of all major leaguers in 1975, African Americans now make up less than one-tenth--a decline unimaginable in other men's pro sports. The number of Latin Americans, by contrast, has exploded to over one-quarter of all major leaguers and
Paperback, 288 pages
Published February 21st 2012 by Beacon Press (first published January 1st 2011)
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Rob Ruck's Raceball is an entertaining look at the development of black and Latino participation in baseball. He traces this from the Negro Leagues to Cuba to Mexican leagues the academies in the Dominican Republic. For baseball history, it's a great read--lots of interesting tidbits and interviews. Analytically, it falls a bit short.

The subtitle of the book is "How the Major Leagues Colonized the Black and Latin Game." This is obviously provocative a
Oliver Bateman
Not long after the release of his excellent academic biography of Art Rooney, Rob Ruck returns to baseball scholarship with Raceball. In it, he examines the "colonization" of Latino and African-American baseball by well-funded MLB teams, synthesizing his first two books on the subject--Sandlot Seasons and the Tropic of Baseball--with other leading works. The result is an overview of the troubled, shifting relationship between baseball and race in which Ruck deplores the loss of sporting autonomy ...more
Gay Ann
Raceball boldly, unfolds the history of baseball, as told through the eyes of African-American baseball historian. In the process of American major league baseball integrating Jackie Robinson and others into the major leagues, this integration gutted the strong Negro and Latino baseball leagues. Ruck passionately tells of the consequences to society and to the game of baseball, with a sociological emphasis. Ruck believes baseball has turned into a business now and the game has been weakened. Rea ...more
The Book : An Online Review at The New Republic
I BECAME A serious baseball fan in the mid-1950s, when my mother took me to the Polo Grounds to watch the Brooklyn Dodgers play the New York Giants. The loudest cheers at that hulking old stadium in central Harlem were for a quartet of black men—Jackie Robinson, Don Newcombe, and Roy Campanella who played for Brooklyn, and Willie Mays who starred for the Giants. Read more...
Margaret Sankey
Another for the files of "things are more complicated than you think," examining how Jackie Robinson's breaking of the color barrier was not an unambiguous good--it quickly destroyed the 2nd largest black-owned business in America (The Negro League), unemployed hundreds of talented players of color and banished fans from a dynamic, friendly public space to far more expensive, segregated ballparks.
This book is carefully written--it could have had a much stronger tone. I think Ruck's cautious approach makes the book less compelling. Organization seems haphazard; there is a general chronological trend but the issues are so different in each era that the argument gets harder to follow (especially when the argument itself is relatively muted).
I hadn't realized quite how much the heroes of my youth had gone through or how much the current lords of baseball have done to take over the Latin American game. An interesting read for a serious baseball fan and history buff.
A smart and engaging look at race and baseball. A recommended read for anyone it invested in learning more about the history of the game and the ways in which American imperialism and transnationalism has affected it.
A really thorough look at the history of integration in baseball and the effect it's had on the sport.
Apr 10, 2011 Paul rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: sports fans
Recommended to Paul by: no one
Excellent insights on the economics of MLB and how race factors into the history of the game.
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Rob Ruck teaches at the University of Pittsburgh. Author of Sandlot Seasons: Sport in Black Pittsburgh and The Tropic of Baseball: Baseball in the Dominican Republic, his documentary work includes the Emmy Award–winning Kings on the Hill: Baseball’s Forgotten Men. He lives in Pittsburgh with his wife, Maggie Patterson, his coauthor for Rooney: A Sporting Life.
More about Rob Ruck...
Sandlot Seasons: Sport in Black Pittsburgh The Tropic of Baseball: Baseball in the Dominican Republic Rooney: A Sporting Life Study Guide for History 0601 (1865 to present) Steve Nelson, American Radical

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