Presentation on theme: "Baseball: A Decade of Conflict The National League (NL) faced a renewed threat from rival professional circuit, the American Association (AA). Tensions."— Presentation transcript:
Baseball: A Decade of Conflict The National League (NL) faced a renewed threat from rival professional circuit, the American Association (AA). Tensions quickly developed after the AA franchise from Philadelphia failed to submit their list to the national board, leaving their star players Harry Stover and Louis Bierbauer available as free agents. Acting quickly, the NL's Pittsburgh team swooped in to sign Bierbauer, much to the chagrin of the AA, who labeled the Pittsburgh team as “Pirates,” a name that has stuck ever since. As the two leagues wrestled for control, the “Second Association War” plunged professional baseball into a state of decline.
Baseball: A Decade of Conflict Rule Changes The National League extended the distance between the pitcher's mound and home plate to an astounding 60 feet, 6 inches. Pitchers were required to deliver the ball with their back foot fixed to a rubber slab, eradicating the “softball” like skip-step delivery that had beleaguered offenses in the past.
Baseball: A Decade of Conflict Rule Changes Home runs were witnessed, average team scores increased, and 26 players hit a batting average of.300 or above. In fact, over the course of the entire decade seven players hit a whooping.400 or better average.
Baseball: A Decade of Conflict Baseball's Tarnished Image Players sharpened their spikes in an effort to inflict deep wounds against their opponents when sliding into bases. Infielders tripped or blocked base runners. Catchers threw their masks in front of runners to hinder their progress toward home plate.
Baseball: A Decade of Conflict Baseball's Tarnished Image Clearing of the dugout became a frequent occurrence as heated rivalries spilled over into full-blown fistfights, or what we call today bench clearing brawls. No other team captured this bellicose spirit better than the Baltimore Orioles. The league produced a new set of guidelines under the title, “A Measure for the Suppression of Obscene, Indecent and Vulgar Language upon the Ball Field.”
Baseball: A Decade of Conflict The Rise of the American League Apart from the power struggles and rule changes, baseball in the 1890s is perhaps best remembered for the enactment of a “color ban”, that barred black players from the nation's favorite pastime up until Jackie Robinson's much-publicized entrance into the major leagues in 1947. Unofficial bans had prevented blacks from playing in the National League since 1872. Yet as many as 54 African Americans played professional baseball on integrated teams from 1883 to 1898. Most professional baseball teams enforced a “Gentleman's Agreement,” whereby they promised not to field any black players.
Baseball: A Decade of Conflict The Rise of the American League As Jim Crow racial segregation swept across the country, situations for black players rapidly deteriorated, culminating in the complete exclusion of blacks from white professional teams just prior to the turn of the century. In response to their exclusion, black players formed professional teams and began touring throughout the country. By calling themselves the “Cubans” and talking gibberish on the field, black players attempted to mask their African American ethnicity. By 1900 5 major black professional teams were competing throughout the United States, including the Cuban Giants, the Cuban X Giants, and the Columbia Giants.