Pablo Mesa, Oscar Charleston, Alejandro of the 1927 Cuban Stars. Photo from: Baseball Ken Burns and Geoffrey C. Ward.
The games that we play today are virtually the same games we played ninety years ago with a few exceptions. The first difference is the equipment we play with. The second difference is the skill level of the players. The third and possibly most important difference is integration of the games. If you take away the new equipment, and the players skill levels you still have the same game with the same basic principle. However, if you take away the integration of the game you would take away a whole other dimension that people of different race have brought to the game we play. Golfers would still be driven balls without tees. Players like Hank Aaron, Tiger Woods, and Muhammad Ali would never have rewritten the record books. Most importantly, however, these players of other races would still be playing in obscurity never being recognized for the greatness of their athletic ability.
On this web page, we will examine the change in sports, specifically baseball, boxing, and golf, from the segregated years during the 1920’s and now the integrated years of the 1990’s. While not all current players, and management for that matter, are completely “supportive” of the idea of integration, it has come a long way. During the 1920’s, baseball officially became segregated although it had been for many years. Before the 1960’s, the PGA tour had a “Caucasians-only” clause in their rulebook. Black boxers were dislike so much that white boxing promoters did everything they could just to find the “Great White Hope” to defeat one black man. Now the resting place for prejudice is now in the office.
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