The Negro Baseball Leagues were professional leagues in the United States for players of African descent. At its height of popularity--from 1920 through World War II, Negro Baseball Leagues were an integral part of African-American life and culture during the Jim Crow Era.
In 1947, Jackie Robinson became the first African-American to integrate major league baseball. Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin argues that Robinson"s ability to desegregate the Major League Baseball "allowed black and white Americans to be more respectful and open to one another and more appreciative of everyone"s abilities."
Yet Robinson did not begin his career as a baseball player in the Major Leagues. Instead, he began his career two years earlier by playing with the Kansas City Monarchs. In his first year as a player, Robinson was part of the 1945 Negro League All-Star Game. As a member of the Kansas City Monarchs, Robinson played 47 games as a shortstop, registered 13 stolen bases and hit .387 with five home runs.
Jack Roosevelt "Jackie" Robinson was born on January 31, 1919 in Cairo, Ga. His parents were sharecroppers and Robinson was the youngest of five children.
Satchel Paige begins his career as a baseball player in 1924 when he joins the Mobile Tigers. Two years later, Paige made his debut in the Negro Baseball Leagues by playing with the Chattanooga Black Lookouts.
Soon, Paige was playing with the Negro National League Teams and was considered a popular player amongst audience members. Playing for teams throughout the United States, Paige also played in Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Mexico.
Paige once described his technique as: "I got bloopers, loopers and droppers. I got a jump ball, a be ball, a screw ball, a wobbly ball, a whipsy-dipsy-do, a hurry-up ball, a nothin" ball and a bat dodger. My be ball is a be ball "cause it "be" right were I want it, high and inside. It wiggles like a worm. Some I throw with my knuckles, some with two fingers. My whips-dipsy-do is a special fork ball I throw underhand and