Finalist, 2004 Seymour
Medal, awarded to best book of baseball history or biography's Negro League Committee
2003 Robert Peterson Recognition Award
CASEY Award, one of year's ten best baseball books
Elysian Fields Quarterly
Dave Moore Award, one of year's best baseball books
Top Ten African American Nonfiction Titles of 2003
"The story of trying to bring the star of the Negro League team that
played in the Washington Senators' park when the Senators were on the
road onto the major-leaguers' roster may be a little-known side skirmish
in the fight to integrate the national pastime, but it's fascinating."
in D.C.: Pitching to Black Fans (Quote)
Washington, Time to Have a Ball (Quote)
Begin New Chapter by Rehashing Some History (Quote)
is Ready for Some Baseball -- But is Everybody? (Quote)
in the Days of the Grays
Hits Home Run with "LeDroit's Home Team" (Scroll Down)
Glory of D.C. Grays (Quote)
Root, Root for the Home Team (Quote)
The Washington Grays (Scroll Down)
Days Ahead for Washington? (Scroll Down)
the Homestead Grays come back to life in Washington, D.C.?
Baseball: Selig gives Expos blindfold, cigarette
Book Review: Beyond the Shadow of the Senators
Homestead Grays and the Integration of Baseball
not Hail the Grays?
Seeking to Revive Grays' Name (Quote)
the Signs Say the Expos Belong Here (Quote)
Conversation with Brad Snyder (Interview)
of Summer Reading: Beyond the Shadow of the Senators (Review)
on the Yankees and Other Baseball Reads (Scroll Down)
dinner puts writers at the plates
has dusted off a story long forgotten... (Scroll Down)
Seamheads, Enjoyable Distractions (Archive--fee required)
with WAMU's Kojo Nnamdi (Real Audio Format)
They Were Kings (Scroll Down)
You Could Say Jackie Robinson (Free Registration Required)
Books: A Reading List (Free Registration Required)
Writer Sam Lacy played key part integrating baseball (Quote)
a Game: Beyond the Shadow of the Senators (Print Review)
with NPR's Bill Littlefield (Real Audio Format)
Snyder's compelling history chronicles the rise of baseball, both black
and white, in Washington, D.C.
Hits and Eras--The Season's Best Baseball Books (Scroll
Grays Area (Adobe Acrobat
Kept in the Dark
Author: Failure to integrate cost D.C. the Senators
of Grey; The little-known team that integrated baseball
Makes Baseball History (Excerpt from Legal Times)
a swing at some baseball books
Great Baseball Team that Played in D.C.
a Baseball History (Free Registration Required)
Forgotten Champions (Free Registration Required)
Book on Homestead Grays looks at segregation in D.C.
Griffiths to blame for 32-year hiatus?
It is one of the game's ultimate ironies: the Negro leagues' greatest
dynasty playing in the same city as the major leagues' perennial patsy
(" Washington--first in war, first in peace and last in the American
League"--the oft-told one-liner about the woeful Senators). The Grays
of Josh Gibson and Buck Leonard were superior to their AL counterparts
both on the diamond as well as at the box office, yet baseball's color
barrier kept the two teams from ever competing. Brad Snyder uncovers a
fascinating yet forgotten slice of history with his tale of the struggle
for integration in the nation's capital, the heroic black sportswriters
who led that crusade and why their noble efforts ultimately failed.
Library Journal, Baseball Round-Up, February 2003
Beyond the Shadow of the Senators: The Untold Story of the Homestead Grays
and the Integration of Baseball. Highlighting the efforts by two African
American sports columnists to integrate baseball in Washington, DC, Snyder
discusses the reluctance of Washington Senators owner Clark Griffith to
end Jim Crow baseball in the nation's capital. Griffith benefited financially
from renting his home ballpark to the Homestead Grays of the Negro Leagues.
Those who witnessed the Grays perform at Griffith Stadium saw such great
ballplayers as Buck Leonard and Josh Gibson and also insured profitability
for Griffith, whose woeful Senators were unable to do so on their own.
An original work.
Historical accounts of major league baseball's integration too often begin
and end with one white owner, Branch Rickey, and one black player, Jackie
Robinson. But, as with any significant historical milestone things are
never as simple as they seem. Snyder, who covered baseball for the Baltimore
Sun, spent 10 years researching a little-known side skirmish in the battle
to integrate the national pastime, one that took place in the shadow of
the federal government. This struggle involved the white owner of the
major-league Washington Senators, Clark Griffith, who was not as evil
as he was penurious, and a black player, Buck Leonard, who was a more
talented player than Robinson and probably every bit as courageous. The
wild card in the Washington mix was Sam Lacy, a black journalist inducted
into baseball's Hall of Fame in 1997. Lacy, an eloquent supporter of integration,
covered the Homes-tead Grays, a Negro League team that played in Griffith's
ballpark when his Senators were on the road. Griffith vigorously opposed
major-league baseball's integration because the rent from the Grays kept
his other team afloat. Leonard, the star of the Grays, often referred
to as the "black Lou Gehrig," was thought by many to be the logical choice
to integrate the game. Snyder weaves the personal stories of Lacy, Griffith
and Leonard into a textured account of a time when baseball symbolized
the nation at large and when those with vision understood the implications
of integrating an experience shared by so many Americans. A fascinating
little-known chapter in the familiar story of baseball's color line.
Snyder looks at the roots of Jackie Robinson's integration of major league
baseball, but examines that historic event from a variety of angles. This
well-documented and enjoyable account illuminates the life of Sam Lacy,
a crusading black journalist for a Washington, D.C., black weekly, and
his efforts to force major league baseball to integrate. But the book
is also a fascinating and largely untold story about the unholy but profitable
alliance between Clark Griffith, owner of the Washington Senators, and
the dynamic but shady Negro League team owner Cum Posey, founder of the
Homestead Grays, a storied Negro League franchise founded in Pittsburgh.
Using the burgeoning black middle class of WWII Washington, D.C., as a
social backdrop, Snyder details how Negro League owners like Posey allied
themselves financially with white Major League owners, renting segregated
Major League ballparks (at exorbitant
rates) for their Negro League teams while the white teams were on the
road. The practice became particularly profitable in Washington after
Posey moved his Homestead Grays (and such black stars as Buck Leonard
and Josh Gibson) to D.C. from Pittsburgh in 1940. Disgusted by the Senators'
racist owners and the team's inept play, black fans flocked to the pennant-winning
Grays' games, which outdrew the Senators' games. Snyder also sketches
the lives of great players like Buck Leonard with great sensitivity, insight
and historical context. The book tells two stories: one is how the Griffiths,
a legendary baseball family, killed baseball in Washington, D.C., through
their own narrow-minded greed and racism; the other is the story of Lacy
and Wendell Smith, his fellow black Hall of Fame sportswriter, and the
extraordinary black athletes of the Negro Leagues and their determination
to play baseball at its highest level.