The Integration of the Pacific Coast League: Race and Baseball on the West Coast

Wednesday, August 15, 2018 6:00PM

<p><em>The Integration of the Pacific Coast League: Race and Baseball on the West Coast</em></p>

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The Integration of the Pacific Coast League: Race and Baseball on the West Coast

Join us and author Amy Essington for a presentation and signing for her new book The Integration of the Pacific Coast League: Race and Baseball on the West Coast. During the signing, step inside our North Baker Research Library and view our Dick Dobbins Collection on the Pacific Coast League.

Please reserve your tickets in advance. There is limited seating.

About the Author:

Amy Essington is a lecturer at California State University, Fullerton, and Cal Poly Pomona. She has taught in the CSU system for sixteen years. Amy is also the Executive Director of the Historical Society of Southern California. She worked as intern at the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institute and National Baseball Hall of Fame Library, Cooperstown, New York. Amy Essington has published and presented on aspects of baseball history, sport history, and social history at academic conferences and in Southern California. Her book, Race and Baseball in the West: The Integration of the Pacific Coast League, was published by the University of Nebraska Press in June 2018.

About the Book:

While Jackie Robinson’s 1947 season with the Brooklyn Dodgers made him the first African American to play in the Major Leagues in the modern era, the rest of Major League Baseball was slow to integrate while its Minor League affiliates moved faster. The Pacific Coast League (PCL), a Minor League with its own social customs, practices, and racial history, and the only legitimate sports league on the West Coast, became one of the first leagues in any sport to completely desegregate all its teams. Although far from a model of racial equality, the Pacific Coast states created a racial reality that was more diverse and adaptable than in other parts of the country.

The Integration of the Pacific Coast League describes the evolution of the PCL beginning with the league’s differing treatment of African Americans and other nonwhite players. Between the 1900s and the 1930s, team owners knowingly signed Hawaiian players, Asian players, and African American players who claimed that they were Native Americans, who were not officially banned. In the post–World War II era, with the pressures and challenges facing desegregation, the league gradually accepted African American players. In the 1940s individual players and the local press challenged the segregation of the league. Because these Minor League teams integrated so much earlier than the Major Leagues or the eastern Minor Leagues, West Coast baseball fans were the first to experience a more diverse baseball game.

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