Deadspin, USA Today Demand Reparations For Negro League Baseball Players

Posted on Sat 12/19/2020 by


By Jay Maxson ~

It started last January, but few were paying attention then. On Wednesday, Major League Baseball announced that it is elevating Negro League baseball to the status of Major League. In short time, the liberal media began to demand that the surviving players and family members from the 1920-1948 Negro League era receive reparations from MLB.

Commissioner Rob Manfred called MLB’s decision a matter of “correcting a longtime oversight in the game’s history.” Left-leaning media responded by declaring Black Lives and reparations now matter greatly.

A call for baseball reparations had already arisen last January, but it’s just now starting to pick up steam.

On Wednesday, Deadspin’s Chris Baud demanded reparations. He cited Grand Valley State University Professor Lou Moore, who teaches African American history and civil right and who wants the names of the racists that “Jim Crowed” black players. Baud’s Deadspin colleague Tom Laforgia went further: “How about retroactively pay major league salaries to these players and their surviving families?” “This is the least baseball can do,” Baud adds.

Baud’s post prompted USA Today’s race and inequality grievance monger Mike Freeman to join in the reparations drumbeat.:

“While baseball acknowledging these Black players is important, it should only be a first step. Baseball needs to retroactively pay the newly recognized Negro League players and their surviving families.

“Pay them reparations.”

Furthermore, Freeman says that if baseball rightfully believes that recognizing Negro League players is important, then it needs to fully recognize them. “America is about democracy and opportunity but it’s also just as much about cash.”

A century ago, monthly pay for African American rookies was $75 a month, $175 for veterans and $375 for the best players, like Satchel Paige (see above photo). Players received $1.50 a day  for meal money. Players from the winning team in the black World Series received $307 each.

Hall of Fame caliber white players were making up to $25,000 then. A player’s share on the team winning the World Series was $6,000. In 1922, Babe Ruth’s salary reached $50,000.

Freeman writes, “If you think white players made more money because they were more talented that’s just false. Black players earned less because they were Jim Crow’d.”

Which means that in 2020 MLB owes back pay for the injustices of a century ago. If this happens now, and if Democrats take over the federal government next year, it wouldn’t be surprising if the calls for reparations spread well beyond baseball, too.

Freeman later shoots his argument in the foot by saying reparations would not even cost baseball that much money because in the 1940s, the Negro League salaries began to increase. That was also the decade when Jackie Robinson integrated MLB and the Negro National League closed down.

“Use (Willie) Mays, (Bill) Greason, Golden and (Ron) Teasley as the faces of a compensation plan, like lead plaintiffs in a lawsuit, and account for what was a wide disparity in pay between Black and white players during those 28 years,” Freeman demands in listing some of the Negro League greats.

“Then baseball needs to pay them.”

How soon before Jesse Jackson joins in the movement for baseball reparations? Before LeBron James throws in his two cents? More media lemmings join in? This is all so inviting for social justice warriors.

Jay Maxson is a Contributing Writer for MRC  (Media Research Center)  Culture.

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