Spotlight On Entertainment is now TVMusic Network

February 25, 2009


While everyone knows that Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball in 1947, it is largely forgotten that the groundwork for that event was laid more than 40 years earlier. In 1903, the Ohio Wesleyan baseball team played an away game against Notre Dame. The team’s catcher was a young African-American, Charles Thomas. When he was denied lodging at the team’s hotel in South Bend, Indiana, the Ohio Wesleyan baseball coach, Branch Rickey, had Thomas share his room. Years later, Rickey said the painful segregation incident was his inspiration to sign Jackie Robinson with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Today, African-Americans are part of all Major League Baseball teams, which draw over 80 million fans each year to their games.

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