Baseball's Great Experiment

By Jules Tygiel,

Book cover of Baseball's Great Experiment: Jackie Robinson and His Legacy

Book description

In this gripping account of one of the most important steps in the history of American desegregation, Jules Tygiel tells the story of Jackie Robinson's crossing of baseball's color line. Examining the social and historical context of Robinson's introduction into white organized baseball, both on and off the field, Tygiel…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked Baseball's Great Experiment as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Like many academics before me who dared to combine their passion for baseball with their passion for history, I am deeply indebted to Jules Tygiel, whose death a few years ago took from the historical profession one of its ablest practitioners. Unlike many others, I remain inspired not just by his pioneering work on Jackie Robinson, race, and baseball history but by his teaching and mentoring as well. While an undergraduate at San Francisco State University in the mid-1980s, I benefited enormously from several of his stimulating and rigorous classes in American history and from his advice, insight, and encouragement…

From David's list on deep-dive baseball biographies.

The story of the Negro Leagues is not complete without the telling of the story of where their existence led. Shunned by a segregationist “gentlemen’s agreement” among white Major League executives, Black players in the first half of the 20th century competed among themselves, producing individual star players, powerhouse teams, and memorable on-field moments. The signing of Jackie Robinson by the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1946 signaled that the color barrier was finally coming down. Integration today seems so obvious but getting Blacks into the majors was a complex business, fraught with potential pitfalls. Tygiel’s book is the best single…

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