In late 2010, a few of us HBCU (Historically Black College and University) baseball enthusiasts were approached by College Baseball Hall of Fame executive director, Mike Gustafson about establishing a category of honorees to be selected from both HBCU schools and other African-American pioneers of college baseball. The initial committee was made up of three individuals… myself (Jay Sokol), Dr. Johnathan Winters and Ruffin Bell. Since then we have added one more member, Harold Michael Harvey. Each member, whether it be though involvement in college baseball as fan, umpire, former ballplayer and/or college athletic department administrator, was selected because of their passion for black college baseball.
The aim of the committee is to recognize a group of individuals who have long gone unrecognized. Black college baseball is a segment of college baseball that has had a rich and excellent, but virtually unpublicizied history.
————————————- to be modified ——————————–
It’s often been said that baseball mirrors American life. Sadly, the history of segregation and racial injustice in our country is paralleled in baseball too.
The story of negro leagues baseball is well documented and has been thoroughly researched by many dedicated individuals.
On the other hand, the history and struggles of African-American college baseball players at otherwise predominately “white” colleges during the nineteenth century and beyond are far less often noted.
The late Ocania Chalk, in his book “Black College Sports“, referenced a number of these individuals as well as individuals and teams comprising historically black college and university baseball teams.
This research site is intended to both preserve and in some cases, uncover the history of African-Americans in college baseball and will focus on three areas…
- Black pioneers of college baseball in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries
- Baseball stars from historically black colleges and universities
- Blacks who integrated college teams after the desegregation of professional baseball
It is not our intent to indite past social injustices related to college baseball, but instead to celebrate and honor those ballplayers who endured and flourished.