PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Feb. 13 is the 100th anniversary of the Negro League Baseball.
The teams in the Negro League played a key role in baseball’s history, especially some of the teams based here in Pittsburgh.
Now the city is celebrating the anniversary and its historical significance.
It wasn’t until February 13, 1920, that the self-sustaining Negro League Baseball hit the fields.
“The organization was better. The funding was better. The investment was better. And it lasted longer,” says Samuel Black, director of African American programs at the Heinz History Center.
Black says during the first part of the 20th century, America’s past-time was a segregated sport.
“Until Jackie Robinson in 1947, the game drew the color line,” Black told KDKA money editor Jon Delano on Thursday.
“So there are a lot of Negro League players who clearly had the talent to play major league baseball.”
Among those players were many from Pittsburgh whose teams pre-date the creation of the Negro League.
“The Homestead Grays goes back a little earlier than 1910. Matter of fact, a bunch of steelworkers playing for the Homestead Steel Works.”
And later with the Pittsburgh…