Color Blind

COLOR BLIND                                            TOM DUNKEL
Posted: June 26, 2013

Color Blind: The Forgotten Team That Broke Baseball's Color LineCOLOR BLIND is a prelude to Jackie Robinson’s Major League debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. Semipro baseball was highly competitive in the 1930s, so competitive that even out on the Great Plains a lot of money got bet on games between rival towns. Car dealer Neil Churchill managed Bismarck, North Dakota's team. He began muscling up by luring players from the Negro Leagues, the biggest prize being the great-but-perpetually-unpredictable Satchel Paige, who shocked the baseball establishment by heading west to where the buffalo roam. Paige pitched for Bismarck at the tail end of 1933 and all of 1935. The focal point of the book is that 1935 season, when events take an odd turn toward Kansas.
COLOR BLIND is written with an eye beyond baseball. The narrative touches upon moonshine, gambling, Depression hard times, Dakota pioneer days and, of course, racial discrimination. Sitting Bull, Franklin Roosevelt, and Carl Sandburg are among the famous faces who make cameo appearances


This is a good old fashion baseball story from the mid-west.  North Dakota, in the town of Bismark. This story takes place many years before Jackie Robinson, broke into baseball. But a car sales man put together a semi-pro team that broke the color line years before. He brought together the best players he could find.  It just happened that some of the players were from the Black baseball teams, who either did not play or did not get payed, for one reason or another. Then he brought in maybe the best pitcher of that time the great SATCHEL PAIGE. This story took many hours of research and it was well worth it. This is a great book not just about baseball but how people in charge of the rules
made it to where these men could not be a team any more. For really one reason they were winning. The sad part is that not only did people of that time miss out on some great baseball, but the people of Bismark lost baseball. The man who put everything together was not going to be told how to run his team and that his team could only be white. He being white himself knew the game would not be the same and it was not for many, many, years. If you love baseball you should read this book not every white person was wanting for segregating, they just were not in charge. A great injustice but this is a great story.

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