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East-West All-Star Game
The Negro League's Best Of The Best
Only 27 Negro League players had the honor of being elected to an East-West All-Star Game squad 5 or more times during the heyday of this annual classic. Who were they? More...
Negro League History 101
Negro League History 101
Need an introduction to the Negro Baseball Leagues? For those who are just discovering the story of the Negro League baseball we have prepared a primer on this fascinating part of American sports and cultural history. More...


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Question: Were there any white players in the Negro Leagues?

Answer:

While Jackie Robinson was in his first season in integrated baseball with the Montreal Royals (the Brooklyn Dodgers' farm club in the International League), the Cleveland Buckeyes signed the first white player ever to play in the Negro Leagues. The Buckeyes' signee was Eddie Klepp, a young, white pitcher.

Ironically, during his brief stay with the Buckeyes (he was released after the 1946 season) Klepp was victimized by the same Jim Crow laws in the South that had barred black players from playing on white teams. In some Southern cities like Birmingham the law prohibited black and white players from playing together on public athletic fields. The law was applied during the Buckeye's visit to play the Birmingham Black Barons, and Klepp was barred from the taking the field.


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