The Forgotten History of African American Baseball
by Lawrence D. Hogan
January 2014, 269pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-0-313-37984-0
$53, £40, 46€, A72
eBook Available: 978-0-313-37985-7
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Try to visualize modern team sports in America—baseball, football, basketball—without the inclusion and contributions of African American athletes. Impossible. Yet it’s barely been 50 years since African American baseball players were first allowed to participate in what was previously an exclusive, whites-only pastime at the major league level. Previous to integration in the mid-1940s, the Negro leagues were the only option.

This text gives readers the chance to experience the unique character and personalities of the African American game of baseball in the United States, starting from the time of slavery, through the Negro Leagues and integration period, and beyond.

For 100 years, African Americans were barred from playing in the premier baseball leagues of the United States—where only Caucasians were allowed. Talented black athletes until the 1950s were largely limited to only playing in Negro leagues, or possibly playing against white teams in exhibition, post-season play, or barnstorming contests—if it was deemed profitable for the white hosts. Even so, the people and events of Jim Crow baseball had incredible beauty, richness, and quality of play and character. The deep significance of Negro baseball leagues in establishing the texture of American history is an experience that cannot be allowed to slip away and be forgotten.

This book takes readers from the origins of African Americans playing the American game of baseball on southern plantations in the pre-Civil War era through Black baseball and America’s long era of Jim Crow segregation to the significance of Black baseball within our modern-day, post-Civil Rights Movement perspective.


  • Presents a wide variety of original materials, documents, and historic images, including a never before published certificate making Frederick Douglass an honorary member of an early Black baseball team and author-conducted personal interviews
  • Chronological chapter organization clearly portrays the development of Black baseball in America over a century's time
  • Contains a unique collection of period photographs depicting the people and sites of Black baseball
  • A topical bibliography points readers towards literature of Black baseball and related topics
Lawrence D. Hogan is emeritus professor of history at Union County College, Cranford, NJ. He is author of A Black National News Service: The Associated Negro Press and Claude Barnett and So Many Seasons in the Sun: A Century and More of Conversation with Baseball's Greatest Clubhouse Managers; author and coordinating editor of Shades of Glory: The Negro Leagues and the Story of African American Baseball; and executive producer of Before You Can Say "Jackie Robinson": Black Baseball in America in the Era of the Color Line, which is included in the National Baseball Hall of Fame Classic Baseball Documentaries series.


"This is a book for the serious fan of history and baseball. Hogan does an excellent job of placing the players in their time, explaining what was going on in this country that allowed the barriers in the first place and what happened as baseball evolved."—The Star-Ledger, April 20, 2014

"The Forgotten History is an interesting, satisfying, and quick read. This is a worthy addition to any baseball fan’s book collection."—NINE: A Journal of Baseball History and Culture, July 7, 2015

"The Forgotten World of African American Baseball is an important addition to the chronicles of baseball. It brings alive a forgotten era in our social history by bringing alive the remarkable men whose passion and pride knew no bounds."—Dave Kaplan, Director, Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center

"If you loved Shade of Glory—and who didn't—pick up The Forgotten History. It's not a sequel, but the other half of Lawrence Hogan's story—the one where he replaces facts with ruminations and numbers with reflections. Taken together, Hogan's two books add up to a masterful telling of the tale of America's long-gone kingdom of black baseball." —Larry Tye, Author of the New York Times bestseller Satchel: The Life and Times of an American Legend

"Larry Hogan’s The Forgotten History of African American Baseball is a compelling eye-opener of a narrative that anyone hoping to get the full story of baseball in America should read. It is a story in which truly heroic individuals overcome evil—personified by Jim Crow and Judge Lynch—and prevail. Hogan brings those heroes back to life in a most readable book."—Paul Dickson, Author of Bill Veeck: Baseball’s Greatest Maverick and a 2013 Chadwick Award recipient

"Thank you Dr. Hogan for this latest reflection and tribute to the Negro Leagues. You have woven the fabric of this historical quilt together from both research and relationships with those players and individuals who lived through those times. To me the institution, the teams, and the people involved are national treasures." —Dave Winfield, National Baseball Hall of Fame,2001; developer of the 2008 MLB Negro League Draft and Tribute to the Negro Leagues
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