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Exhibition Baseball Americana

Edward David Ritton, photographer. African American baseball team. Danbury, Connecticut, ca. 1880. William A. Gladstone Collection of African American Photographs, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (026.00.00)

African American Baseball Team

Martin Luther King, Jr., famously observed in 1963 that the most segregated hour of the week was Sunday at 11 a.m., when Americans of different ethnicities attended their respective church services. Sporting Life magazine made a similar remark in 1891, writing that “Probably in no other business in America is the color line so finely drawn as in baseball.” Dressed in their Sunday best, an African American baseball team, shown here, embodied both notions.