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Only the Ball Was White: A History of Legendary Black Players and All-Black Professional Teams
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Past book reviews & discussions > Discussion of "Only the Ball Was White"

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message 2: by Harold (new)

Harold Kasselman | 18076 comments In view of yesterday's post by Mike Albrecht, it is surprising to see the interest in Joe Blanton by several teams. I know he had a good year for LA, except when it counted, but give me a break.
http://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/mlb/b...


Barbara (bdegar) | 193 comments My copy arrived this week. I'm not sure if I'll get to it right away as I have a lot of other reading on my plate, but it is definitely a book that interests me.


Lance (sportsbookguy) | 13053 comments Mod
We've got all month...I too haven't started it yet.


Barbara (bdegar) | 193 comments Lance wrote: "We've got all month...I too haven't started it yet."

True and Feb. is the shortest but no worries.


message 6: by Guy (new) - rated it 3 stars

Guy Austin I have a copy - Hope to join in as time permits.


message 7: by Brina (new) - added it

Brina | 8319 comments Mod
Mine is in transit from library so I'll be reading sometime during the month.


Lance (sportsbookguy) | 13053 comments Mod
Finally! Recieved notice that my copy is available atmy library. Maybe we will get a discussion going yet...


Lance (sportsbookguy) | 13053 comments Mod
Since a few of us are getting a late start with this book, will keep the thread open in March as well. I finally started last night...


Barbara (bdegar) | 193 comments Lance wrote: "Since a few of us are getting a late start with this book, will keep the thread open in March as well. I finally started last night..."
I'm almost done and aim to finish it by the end of Feb. which is Tuesday.


message 11: by Guy (new) - rated it 3 stars

Guy Austin I am reading it and enjoying it - I especially like the first person takes on things within the book. Certainly a baseball junkie leaning read. Question: Was this the Documentary of the same names starting point for reference? The league seemed very fluid in its make up. So Many teams come and go so quickly. I had thought the league was more structured than it is shown here in the writing. Very interesting read for sure.


message 12: by Mike (new)

Mike (mike9) | 6393 comments The Negro leagues were structured as best they could be but players jumped teams for more money elsewhere and teams would go broke and fold from time to time. They didn't have the ironclad contracts with the reserve clause like their major league counterparts. Satchel Paige was known for jumping from team to team depending on who was paying him the most.


Barbara (bdegar) | 193 comments Mike wrote: "The Negro leagues were structured as best they could be but players jumped teams for more money elsewhere and teams would go broke and fold from time to time. They didn't have the ironclad contract..."

I found it fascinating that the Dominican dictator Trujillo paid Paige and other players huge amounts to go play in the DR.


Lance (sportsbookguy) | 13053 comments Mod
I have found the chapters about the early years of baseball very interesting, especially the story about Moses Fleetwood Walker. It is hard to find any information on him, but there was quite a bit in the chapter on the first black professional players.


message 15: by [deleted user] (new)

Barbara wrote: "Mike wrote: "The Negro leagues were structured as best they could be but players jumped teams for more money elsewhere and teams would go broke and fold from time to time. They didn't have the iron..."

For many years they didn't have contracts at all. That's why the leagues and championship series and teams seemed so fluid--they often changed from year to year. That's also why Branch Rickey got Robinson for free from the Monarchs. After that they started doing contracts so the teams could get something back when they sold the players to the majors.

The Dominican teams were perilous because the dictator was a nut and if his team didn't win, he could get dangerous (kind of like a King George with no societal restraints).

It's also interesting that some of the most stable black-owned teams were run by mobsters who made their money in the numbers racket. They were the only guys with enough money and muscle to pull things together, especially during the depression.


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