Baseball has been considered by many to be America’s past time but not all people in America were allowed to partake in the game on equal grounds. Modern Baseball has been around since 1845. The game has been played on the continent since the late 1700s in various forms that seem alien to us today. However, the concept of segregated leagues did not begin until 1885 after the infamous The Anson-Walker incident of 1884.
Moses Fleetwood Walker
Before there was Jackie Robinson in 1947, there was Moses Walker, who was the only Black player on an all white team in the 1880s. According to MLB.com, on July 20, 1884, Anson’s National League Chicago White Sox were to play an exhibition against Toledo of the American Association. Toledo had one Black player, Walker, who played catcher. Chicago let it be known ahead of time that Anson would not play on the same field with Black ballplayers. However, with the support of the Toledo team, Walker played anyway, despite Anson’s objections. After the incident, many racist “gentlemen ballers” came to Anson’s side and Black players were forced out of the minor leagues.