Segregation in baseball was the norm until this relatively unknown player stepped up.

As the founder and historic aspect of desegregation in plays, Jackie Robinson knowledge taunts and death threats at every point of his Major League career as the first pitch-black musician actually being invited into the league.

His bravery and perseverance in the name of equal rights have been well-documented and reputation not just in baseball record, but in “the worlds largest” context of the struggle to end the disparate treatment of black citizens endemic to American institutions.

But Robinson’s success, in no insignificant to his considerable achievement, came as the result of the road paved by many less-celebrated predecessors, who, through their careers in the Negro Leagues, returned a resolve and speeding to the game unmatched by their Major league counterparts.

In the shade of Jackie Robinson’s bequest are the efforts of Andrew “Rube” Foster, “whos” inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1981, having made the entitlement of “the father of black baseball.”

Foster composing a slam. Photo via digboston/ Flickr.

Known to few modern-day baseball supporters, Foster sought to ensure that pitch-black musicians were given the due attention and compensation they had long been denied in “separate but equal” America.

No individual before Foster or since has been as instrumental in legitimizing black baseball both internally and in the eyes of the love and media . His achievements, though chiefly disregarded at the time, were integral in eventually opening all pitch-black actors the right to play in the Major league.

For example, Foster quietly transgressed a baseball color barrier virtually four decades prior to Jackie Robinson , playing with a semi-pro mixed-race crew out of Otsego, Michigan. Most notably, Foster acted as the ace pitcher for the Philadelphia X-Giants, sloping four of the team’s five winnings in a rivalry dubbed the “colored championship of the world” in 1903.

In his age and in the decades following, Foster’s success on the mound was virtually unrivaled. For instance, the current MLB record for most consecutive acquires by a pitcher stood at 24 by the New York Giants’ Car Hubbell, whose stripe culminated on May 31,1937.

Foster earned 44 games in a row three decades prior in 1902.

But as compelling as Foster’s accomplishments on the diamond were, it was his contributions to the game after his playing epoches that continue to endure almost a century afterward .

Foster’s purpose was simple: Turn the largely ignored pitch-black baseball organization into a legitimate, dignified, and sustainable establishment .

Before his involvement in league management, the pitch-black baseball organizations were seen inferior — if they were considered at all. Yet Foster’s blueprint for a unified administration directed in a new age that they are able to prove all-important in gnawing the Major League’s color barrier.

In 1911, a great step was taken toward legitimizing pitch-black baseball as Foster negotiated a partnership with the Comiskey family of Chicago to use the White Sox ballpark for his new squad. With a premiere venue and the team’s marketable vigorous vogue of frisk, the newly-formed Chicago American Giants skyrocketed in vogue, producing his once-marginalized sorority to describe more followers than the neighboring Cubs and White Sox.

Following the success of his own team, Foster immediately prepared his goal higher, aiming to help elevate all black actors , not just those on his crew.

Foster with a grey player from Joliet, Illinois. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

In 1919, as his municipality of Chicago was involved in scoot rampages, Foster seemed a sense of seriousnes to unify pitch-black baseball player in one organization. He wrote regularly in the Chicago Defender of the necessity of achieving a organization that they are able to “create a profession that would equal the earning faculty of any other profession … keep Colored baseball from the ensure of greys[ and] do something cement for the patriotism of the Race.”

Gathering the owners of unaffiliated teams, Foster held a meeting at the Kansas City YMCA and shared his seeing. The next year, on Feb. 13, 1920, the Negro National League was composed , with Foster serving as both chairperson and treasurer.

As other regions developed, they followed in Foster’s footsteps and built their own organizations for pitch-black players, serving as an financial boon not just for the players and front office, but for pitch-black communities as well.

Sadly, Foster’s oversight would prove to be short-lived as health issues action him to step away from overseeing the burgeoning organization he had created. But that didn’t discontinue the progress he started .

Rube Foster plaque. Photo via Penale5 2/ Wikimedia Commons.

Even though Negro Leagues shuttered due to the Great Depression and shortage of lead , many crews would return under the banner of the Negro American League in 1937. It was this organization that served as the springboard for Jackie Robinson to realize his famous inroads to Major League Baseball.

While Jackie Robinson remains a civil rights icon, desegregating baseball is an behave that no one male can lay claim to. Rube Foster’s legacy may not be as well known as Robinson’s, but his efforts facilitated ensure equality not just for Jackie Robinson, but every pitch-black player who has played Major league baseball since.

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