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Old 05-28-2012, 06:26 PM
pariah1107
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Default 96 years ago today...

Jimmy Claxton became the first African American to integrate a regular season, professional baseball game in the 20th century (May 28, 1916).

Not sure if this is a ticket or a business/advertisement card but thought I'd share this from Claxtons' later career. He, and shortstop Foy Scott, integrated the Western Nevada League and Scott Motors of Reno from 1933-35; guiding the team to a 32 game win streak (snapped by regional, perennial semi-pro powerhouse, Reno Garage). This ticket is for S.M.R v. Round Mountain August 4, 1935 (4-2 Scott Motors loss). Round Mountain was represented by University of Nevada-Reno team members. Claxton continued to play semi-pro ball until 1946 including one year with NFL Hall of Famer Marion Motley (Jack Murphy's Dixie Club, Reno 1940).

http://s1074.photobucket.com/albums/...Ticket1935.jpg

Please share any other Claxton memorabilia...
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Old 05-29-2012, 12:08 AM
MacDice MacDice is offline
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Are you still working on a book about him?
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Old 05-29-2012, 01:31 AM
pariah1107
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Yes, still researching & writing. I am not a gifted author. Thanks for asking.

Claxton played semi-pro ball for forty years (1907-46) all over the west, more than 50 teams. Usually not one team longer than a couple years, and typically more than one team in a season. Tough to track. Went on a great road trip to get to those small town newspapers that are not digitally archived but recorded his many, sporadic appearances (from Washington-California-Nevada).

Like any good education, the more I found out, the more I don't know a damn thing. 1916 has been fairly accurately depicted IMO (though many missed the longshoreman strike angle).

I've decided to limit the book to his years pitching for the Roslyn Yippers from 1926-31. Great, local history interest that way. He played for them the longest of any team, it has great coverage from three newspapers, and his father was the deacon of the local African Methodist Episcopal church from 1912-43. Good, solid, info.

My rough of all those years is way too tedious to read otherwise (too complicated). Should be done this summer.
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Old 05-29-2012, 07:28 AM
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Wymers Auction Wymers Auction is offline
James Wymer
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Interesting thanks for sharing.
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Old 05-30-2012, 02:33 AM
prewarsports prewarsports is offline
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There were integrated professional leagues before Claxton. I have a Central California League team photo with several African Americans in it from 1910 of the Elmhurst Incubators that was totally integrated and other leagues had similar loose restrictions in the low Minors but they were still absolutely Professionals. I am not deminishing in any way what Claxton did as the PCL was a high Minor League that rivaled the Majors in many ways, but..... it would be inaccurate to say that he was the first "Professional" Black player in Baseball in the 20th century.

Interesting that the little kid bat boy in this photo is Buzz Arlett future PCL superstar at 10 years old, his older brother in white shirt (who the next year would be in the PCL and have a Zeenut card) is Alex "Pop" Arlett!

Rhys
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Old 05-30-2012, 11:10 AM
pariah1107
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You are right. Many African Americans integrated several leagues prior to 1916 in the 20th century. But I respectfully say the professional game (PCL & Major League Baseball) and the Central California League are distinctly different. No offense to the CCL, I am sure great players can be found in its history. I was actually trying to draw a distinction between Charlie Grant (who played preseason for John McGraw 1901) and Jimmy Claxton.

If we are to count all of the leagues prior to 1916, Claxton had also integrated the Portland Inter-City League (1915), Timber League (Tacoma, 1914), Valley League (Auburn, WA 1912-13), and the Central Washington League (1907-11). But I digress.

BTW... Great photo. Thank you for sharing.
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