His bravery and perseverance in the name of equal rights have been well-documented and honored not only in baseball record, but in the larger situation of the struggle to end the disparate medicine of black citizens endemic to American institutions.
But Robinson’s success, in no slight to his considerable achievement, came as the result of the road paved by many less-celebrated predecessors, who, through their business in the Negro Leagues, produced a resolve and quicken to the game unmatched by their Major League copies.
Known to few modern-day baseball fans, Foster sought to ensure that pitch-black musicians were given the due attention and compensation they had long been denied in “separate but equal” America.
No individual before Foster or since has been as instrumental in legitimizing pitch-black baseball both internally and in the eyes of the fans and media . His achievements, though predominantly disdained at the time, were integral in eventually opening all pitch-black actors the right to play in the Major league.
For example, Foster humbly ended a baseball color barrier nearly four decades prior to Jackie Robinson , playing with a semi-pro mixed-race squad out of Otsego, Michigan. Most notably, Foster acted as the virtuoso pitcher for the Philadelphia X-Giants, pitching four members of the team’s five wins in a competition dubbed the “colored championship of the world” in 1903.
In his age and in the decades following, Foster’s success on the mound was practically unmatched. For speciman, the current MLB record for most consecutive earns by a pitcher stood at 24 by the New York Giants’ Car Hubbell, whose stripe terminated on May 31,1937.
Foster triumphed 44 tournaments in a row three decades prior in 1902.
But as fascinating as Foster’s attainments on the diamond were, it was his contributions to the game after his playing periods that continue to endure almost a century eventually . strong>
Before his involvement in league management, the pitch-black baseball leagues were deemed inferior — if they were considered at all. Yet Foster’s blueprint for a unified group led in a brand-new age that would testify all-important in weakening the Major League’s color barrier.
In 1911, a great step was taken toward legitimizing pitch-black baseball as Foster negotiated a partnership with the Comiskey family of Chicago to use the White Sox ballpark for his new squad. With a premiere venue and the team’s marketable vigorous vogue of participate, the newly-formed Chicago American Giants skyrocketed in notoriety, resulting his once-marginalized fraternity to draw more supporters than the neighboring Cubs and White Sox.
In 1919, as his metropolitan of Chicago was involved in scoot riots, Foster appeared a sense of need to amalgamate black baseball player in one tournament. He wrote regularly in the Chicago Defender of the necessity of achieving a conference that would “create a profession that would equal the earning ability of any other profession … prevent Colored baseball from the restrain of white-hots[ and] do something material for the loyalty of the Race.”
Gathering the owners of unaffiliated squads, Foster held a meeting at the Kansas City YMCA and shared his dream. The next year, on Feb. 13, 1920, the Negro National League was procreated , with Foster serving as both president and treasurer.
As other regions developed, they followed in Foster’s footsteps and built their own leagues for pitch-black players, serving as an financial boon not just for the players and front office, but for black communities as well.
Even though Negro Leagues shuttered due to the Great Depression and scarcity of leadership , many squads would return under the banner of the Negro American League in 1937. It was this organization that served as the springboard for Jackie Robinson to perform his famous inroads to Major League Baseball.
While Jackie Robinson remains a civil rights icon, desegregating baseball is an act that no one serviceman can lay claim to. Rube Foster’s legacy may not be as well known as Robinson’s, but his efforts cured ensure equality not just for Jackie Robinson, but every black musician who has played Major league baseball since.