Arma Economica by Salvador Borrego

By Salvador Borrego

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The portrait that emerges from black press coverage of the meetings is one of commercial vitality, entrepreneurial vigor, and a spirit of cooperation—all hallmarks of the black metropolis. In organizing baseball, this natural business partnership produced a vibrant thread in the social and commercial life of urban blacks that previously has been only episodically researched. At the center of those meetings was the larger-than-life Rube Foster, and based on several accounts, in the center was where Foster often found himself, where he felt he belonged.

84 Within this context of protest and social activism, it is logical that the black press would assert itself in the effort to force the integration of professional baseball, first by helping to create and sustain a Negro league and later as a principal voice of protest when the major leagues continued to resist integration. In this context, the black press naturally partnered 22 When to Stop the Cheering? with black business leaders to found baseball leagues and to help fan public interest in their games.

The Origins of Black Baseball 11 due to a lack of operating funds, the same reason cited for most black league and team failures throughout the history of black baseball. 22 The Cuban Giants’ refusal to affiliate highlights another recurring theme in the history of black baseball. Already profitable and, therefore, in no need of federating, the Giants refused to pay the league fee for membership, even though a stronger league could perhaps have better served the Giants’ long-term interests. With few exceptions throughout the sport’s segregated history, teams acted in their own short-term interests, often to the detriment of the sport as a black-owned enterprise.

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