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Baseball color line
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Baseball color line

The Baseball color line was the separation of African American and Caucasian baseball players in the major leagues in United States before 1947.

The separation originated from 1868, when the National Association of Baseball Players decided to bar "any club including one or more colored persons." As baseball became a professional sport, professional players were no longer restricted by this rule, and for a short while around 1890, African American players played in the big leagues. Over time, they were slowly excluded more and more.

The Negro National League was founded in 1920 by Rube Foster. This created two parallel major leagues, and until 1947, professional baseball in the United States was played in separate homogenous leagues.

The color line was dissolved first when Branch Rickey signed the African American man Jackie Robinson to play for Brooklyn Dodgers.

See also: History of baseball in the United States, Negro League baseball