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Integration - Correspondence and Clippings collection

Identifier: BA MSS 067

Scope and Contents

This collection contains correspondence and newspaper clippings relating to the integration of baseball and the ending of Jim Crow segregation. It includes correspondence between Kenesaw Landis, Major League Baseball executives and owners, and Negro American League and Negro National League executives. There is also correspondence from writers and fans wanting an end to segregation in baseball. It includes organizational minutes, a mayor's committee report, letters from the public endorsing the mayor's plan, as well as those asking for Larry MacPhail to be removed from the committee. Of particular interest is correspondence from Bert Gholston, Negro National League umpire for 25 years, and Sam "Ike" Samuels, who played for the St. Louis Browns in 1895.


  • 1937-1980

Conditions Governing Access

Materials are open without restrictions but viewing materials does require an appointment. Please contact the Giamatti Research Center,, 607-547-0330.

Conditions Governing Use

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum provides use copies of materials to facilitate private study, scholarship, and research. The Museum welcomes you to use materials in our collections that are in the public domain and to make fair use of copyrighted materials as defined by copyright law and with proper citation. Permission to publish materials must be obtained from: Giamatti Research Center, National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, 25 Main St., Cooperstown, NY 13326 Phone: 607.547.0330 E-mail:

Biographical / Historical

By the 1940s, organized baseball had been racially segregated for many years. The black press and some of their white colleagues had long campaigned for the integration of baseball. Wendell Smith of The Pittsburgh Courier was especially vocal. World War II experiences prompted more people to question segregation practices. In 1945, the Jim Crow policies of baseball changed forever when Branch Rickey and Jackie Robinson of the Negro League's Kansas City Monarchs agreed to a contract that would bring Robinson into the major leagues in 1947. In addition to racial intolerance, economic and other complex factors contributed to segregation in baseball. For example, many owners of major league teams rented their stadiums to Negro League teams when their own teams were on the road. Team owners knew that if baseball were integrated, the Negro Leagues would probably not survive losing their best players to the majors, major league owners would lose significant rental revenue, and many Negro League players would lose their livelihoods. Some owners also thought that a white audience would be reluctant to attend games with black players. Others saw the addition of black players as a way to attract larger white as well as black audiences and sell more tickets. In 1945, when Rickey approached Jackie Robinson, baseball was being proposed as one of the first areas of American society to integrate. Not until 1948 did a presidential order desegregate the armed forces; the Supreme Court forbid segregated public schools in 1954.--


0.42 Linear Feet (in 2 legal document boxes)

0.46 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials



A collection of correspondence, telegrams, and newspaper clippings relating to African American baseball players integration into Major League Baseball. This collection is dated from 1937 to 1980.


This collection is arranged in chronological order.

Physical Location

Manuscript Archives, Aisle 7, Range d, Shelf 6

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift (BL-2016-00287)


No materials were removed during accessioning or processing.

Existence and Location of Copies

This collection is available as digital surragates.

Processing Information

Materials were placed in acid-free folders and document boxes.

Guide to the Integration - Correspondence and Clippings collection
Claudette Scrafford, Manuscript Archivist
January 2022
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum Archives Repository

25 Main St.
Cooperstown NEW YORK 13326 USA