Chapter

Enter Jackie Robinson

Rebecca T. Alpert

in Out of Left Field

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780195399004
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199897360 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195399004.003.0006
Enter Jackie Robinson

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The communist sportswriters continued to agitate for baseball's integration after World War II when Brooklyn Dodger executive Branch Rickey broke the unwritten ban by signing Jackie Robinson. The Daily Worker's role was hidden as Rickey, a staunch anticommunist, sought to erase their contribution. Sensing that integration would mean the end of the Negro Leagues, Abe Saperstein became the premier scout of Negro League talent for the Cleveland Indians and their owner, Bill Veeck. Saperstein and Ed Gottlieb focused their energies on basketball. Only Syd Pollock continued to promote black baseball and its comedy traditions. Jews, especially in Brooklyn, made Jackie Robinson an icon. They believed he exemplified the promise of equality in America, and Robinson himself saw a unique connection between Jews and blacks. But connecting Robinson's pioneering effort to the success of Jewish assimilation obscured the real differences between the fates of blacks and Jews in mid-twentieth-century America.

Keywords: Brooklyn Dodgers; Branch Rickey; Cleveland Indians; Bill Veeck; Jackie Robinson; Jews and blacks; anticommunism

Chapter.  15470 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies

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