Back in the latter 18th century, black players often played on baseball teams alongside whites. But segregation took an ugly turn in the dawning days of the 20th century and blacks were barred through Jim Crow laws.
Undaunted, black teams were formed across America. The first organized league structure was conceived in Kansas City in 1920 and thus was born the Negro National League, followed by eastern and southern leagues.
The decline of the Negro Leagues began in 1945 when Jackie Robinson, a player for the Kansas City Monarchs, was recruited by Major League baseball’s Brooklyn Dodgers.
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