Ramsey County History – Spring 2010: “They Played for the Love of the Game: Adding to the Legacy of Minnesota Black Baseball”
They Played for the Love of the Game: Adding to the Legacy of Minnesota Black Baseball
Author: Frank M. White
Based on a Ramsey County Historical Society exhibit, this article reveals the untold story of some of the local St. Paul baseball players who struggled to overcome racial indignities and gain recognition for their abilities. There is some material on the national scene, and, while there was no Negro League team in Minnesota, many African Americans played on integrated teams. The state did have several semi-pro Black clubs prior to World War II. Some of the local standout players included Bobby Marshall, Billy Williams, and Toni Stone, a legendary woman player. Negro League teams did sometimes barnstorm and play in St. Paul from the 1930s through the ‘50s. Although the end of Major League Baseball’s color line in 1947 with the singing of Jackie Robinson was welcomed by many African Americans, it began the demise of the old Negro League teams. The article contains a list of local players and other African-American players, such as Willie Mays, who played in the state’s minor league system before being called up to the majors.
PDF of White article