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Old 11-01-2021, 04:27 PM
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Seven Seven is offline
James M.
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: New York
Posts: 1,514
Default The Color Barrier Robbed us of some Great Players and Great Cards

I've always been fascinated by the Negro Leagues and other early organized baseball leagues that housed players that couldn't play in the Majors. I think it's because of the almost fairy tale like quality some of the stories have around the players that were involved in them. Any average fan with an interest in Baseball's history probably knows of the guys like Satchel Paige, and Josh Gibson, perhaps even Oscar Charleston. It's the players that aren't too well known that are even more intriguing

We don't hear of players like Jose Mendez being talked about too often. Turkey Stearnes, Mule Stuttles, Cristobal Torriente. Players who in their day would've had starting roles on Major League teams, only to be blocked by a Defacto agreement by the commissioner and most of the owners.

Even as we transition into the later years of Baseball, we even see stories of owners downright refusing to go after some ball players, even after Robinson broke the color barrier. I often think about this article in the Times, a few years ago, (linked below) talking about how the Yankees (and probably a handful of other teams) had an opportunity to sign Willie Mays but refused to do so because GM George Weiss at the time was concerned how it would be perceived by Fans if the Yankees signed a black ball player. I can't even begin to imagine what the 50's and 60's would've looked like for the Yankees had they had Mantle and Mays patrolling the same outfield!

And as a side note, as these men were robbed of playing in the majors, amongst other things, they could not become immortalized in cardboard. I could only imagine how cool it would be to see Goudey issues of Josh Gibson, or Caramel Cards of Oscar Charleston. God how different baseball history would've been as well. You can only wonder what teams these players would've ended up on, and how their greatness would've shown itself in the MLB.
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