Under Jackie's Shadow: Voices of Black Minor Leaguers Baseball Left Behind


From the Publisher's website:

About the Book

Under Jackie’s Shadow is a portal to the hidden world of Minor League baseball in the era just after Jackie Robinson signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947.

What was it like to be Black and playing in Spartanburg, South Carolina, in 1965, or Memphis, Tennessee, in 1973? What was it like to play for white coaches and scouting directors from the Jim Crow South who cut their professional teeth in the segregated game before Jackie Robinson ushered in the sport’s integration? Or to be called into the clubhouse with your Black teammates one spring training morning in 1969 and told that to make the ballclub you’d have to beat out the Black men in that room, because none of you were ever going to beat out a white player, regardless? Or to spend a staggering eight seasons playing A-ball in the Midwest League, even winning a triple crown, while watching less-talented white teammates get promoted each year while you stayed behind? The thirteen players in Under Jackie’s Shadow are going to tell you.

The players’ experiences in baseball’s Minor Leagues in the 1960s and 1970s do not comport with the largely celebratory tales the leagues like to tell about themselves. The Black Minor League players remained largely invisible men—most of whom couldn’t be named by even the most devoted baseball followers. Based on Mitchell Nathanson’s interviews, Under Jackie’s Shadow uses the players’ own words to tell the unvarnished story of what it was like to be a Black baseball player navigating the wilds of professional baseball’s Minor Leagues following the integration of the Major Leagues. Harrowing, beautiful, and maddening, these stories are vital to our understanding of race not only in baseball but in the United States as a whole.


9781496237170(Hardback) 9781496239143 (Epub)9781496239150 (pdf)


University of Nebraska Press


African American baseball players, Biography, Minor-League Baseball, United States History, Discrimination in Sports, Social Science, Discrimination

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