|Playing Through: African American Baseball in Dunn County
by Matt Carter
, Dunn County Historical Society
This presentation looks at the African American experience through the context of baseball. Baseball provides the ideal way to look at African American history because it encompasses all aspects of the African American experience, from segregation to integration.
The history of African Americans influence on baseball has been largely overlooked in baseball history. Recently the topic of African American baseball and the Negro Leagues have risen in popularity, but with few historians researching the topic and few sources available, the literature on the topic is limited. African Americans have been playing baseball since the game’s creation. Much of the research on the topic of African American baseball starts with reintegration and Jackie Robinson. Just as important to the history of baseball are the years prior to reintegration.
Playing Through: African American Baseball in Dunn County will look at African American baseball history from Moses Fleetwood Walker’s last game in professional baseball before being banned thru reintegration. To do this, I will look at barnstorming baseball teams and players and the importance they played in society and to the reintegration of America’s Pastime.
In order to accomplish this, I will look specifically at Dunn County, Wisconsin and the hidden and fascinating story of black baseball. In the early 1900s thru the late 1940s black barnstorming baseball teams traveled through Dunn County playing baseball against the local teams. I will examine the role of these barnstorming baseball teams on the United States, but more specifically Northern Wisconsin.