The Welcome Theory An Approach to Studying African American Youth Interest and Involvement in Baseball Presented at the Tenth Annual NINE Spring Training Conference, March 20 23, 2003 david c. ogden Brothers Moses and Welday Walker became the first African Americans to play at a Major League level. Both played in 1884 with Toledo of the American Association, the catcher Moses in 42 games and Welday, an outfielder, in 5 games.1 Moses "Fleet" Walker may have returned to the big leagues in 1887 had not the International League and some players, most notably Chicago White Sox Hall of Fame first baseman Cap Anson, campaigned for their exclusion. Thus began more than sixty years of African Americans being shunned from the ranks of the Major Leagues. The initially tacit, but increasingly clear, message was that African Americans were not welcome in the white culture of baseball. African Americans made room culturally for the sport and fashioned their own version of big league baseball, but now baseball seems to occupy little space in that culture. There is evidence that African Americans are poorly represented on baseball fields and in baseball stands.2 Whether African Americans are or are not welcomed by
NINE: A Journal of Baseball History and Culture – University of Nebraska Press
Published: Mar 5, 2004
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