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Celebrate 100 Years of the Negro Baseball Leagues with These Books and Resources

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The Mohawk Giants
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Baseball history is all around our region with Abner Doubleday, recognized as a founder of baseball, from the Ballston Spa area and the National Baseball Hall of Fame being right in Cooperstown. The region is home to history around the Negro Baseball Leagues with the Mohawk Giants based in Schenectady.

The Negro Leagues officially celebrated a century since they were formed in the spring of 1920. Continue the celebration and the learning with these suggestions of books, videos, and other resources from the Crandall Public Library and WMHT Public Media.

Learn more about the Mohawk Giants in a Watch with WMHT Facebook Watch Party of The Mohawk Giants: Schenectady and the Negro Leagues on Thursday, June 18 at 7pm on WMHT Public Media's Facebook Page.


The Mohawk Giants: Schenectady and the Negro Leagues (Documentary Film)
The Mohawk Giants: Schenectady & The Negro Leagues follows the history of Negro League baseball in Schenectady and the Capital Region. The Mohawk Giants were an independent professional negro league baseball team supported by mostly white fans, whose players were a mix of young bucks on the way up and older veterans who were on their way down from the Negro Major leagues.

Clips on Diversity, Breaking Barriers and More
This is not just a story about our national pastime though, this is a story of social change in the United States. The negro leagues are anchored in the ugliness of American segregation. The power of sport has always been barrier breaking in this country. These men dared to dream to play baseball. The pride, perseverance, and courage these men demonstrated in the face of adversity would not only change the game of baseball, but change our country.

WMHT Specials

The Mohawk Giants: Schenectady & the Negro Leagues | Tra

Rating: NR

Premieres Monday, April 11, 2016 at 7:30pm on WMHT-TV and on


Oscar Charleston: the Life and Legend of Baseball’s Greatest Forgotten Player by Jeremy Beer
796.357 Bee (2019)

Negro League Baseball by Ernest C. Withers
796.357 Wit (2004)

Few and Chosen: Defining Negro Leagues Greatness by Irvin Monte
796.357 Irv (2007)

The Negro Leagues: 40 Years of Black Professional Baseball in Words and Pictures by David Craft
796.357 Cra (1993)

Negro League Baseball: the Rise and Ruin of a Black Institution by Neil Lanctot
796.357 Lan (2004)

A Calculus of Color : the Integration of Baseball's American Leagueby McGregor, Robert Kuhn
796.3576 McG (2015)

Opening Day: the Story of Jackie Robinson’s First Season by Jonathan Eig
796.357 Eig (2007)

The Last Hero: A Life of Henry Aaron by Howard Bryant
796.357 Bry (2010)

Let’s Play Two: the Legend of Mr. Cub, the Life of Ernie Banks by Ron Rapoport
796.357 Rap (2019)

Satchel: the Life and Times of an American Legend by Larry Tye
796.357 Tye (2009)

Don’t Look Back: Satchel Paige in the Shadows of Baseball by Mark Ribowsky
796.357 Rib (1994)

Campy: the Two Lives of Roy Campenella by Neil Lanctot
796.357 Lan (2011)

1954: the Year Willie Mays and the First Generation of Black Superstars Changed Major League Baseball Forever by Bill Madden
796.357 Mad (2014)

Jackie Robinson: A Biography by Mary Kay Linge
796.357 Lin (2007)

First Class Citizenship: the Civil Rights letter of Jackie Robinson by Jackie Robinson
796.357 Rob (2007)


“Fences” (2017) Blue Ray and DVD

“42” (2013) DVD

“Jackie Robinson” (a Ken Burns Film) (2016) DVD


"The Jackie Robinson Story” Streaming video on Hoopla (2019)

“Branch Rickey: A Life” by Jimmy Breslin Overdrive eaudiobook (2011)

“Jackie Robinson” (a Ken Burns Film, PBS) streaming video on Hoopla (2016)

“Jackie Robinson: My Own Story” by Jackie Robinson ebook on Hoopla (2016)


The Negro American League
in 1945, Jackie Robinson entered the Negro American League to play for the Kansas City Monarchs. In this clip, teammate Buck O’Neil recounts that when the team bus stopped at a gas station in Oklahoma, and the station attendant stated that the restroom was "for whites only,” Robinson told the attendant “No restroom, no gas.” Fearing the loss of a large sale of gasoline, the attendant agreed to let them use the restroom.

Exploring Negro League Baseball
This teaching guide helps instructors use a specific primary source set, Negro League Baseball, in the classroom. It offers discussion questions, classroom activities, and primary source analysis tools. It is intended to spark pedagogical creativity by giving a sample approach to the material. Please feel free to share, reuse, and adapt the resources in this guide for your teaching purposes.

Racial Segregation in Major League Baseball
For more than 60 years, until 1947, African American athletes were banned from Major League Baseball with few exceptions. Today this might seem unbelievable, but at the time public discrimination was rampant and accepted. Unwilling to be excluded from the sport, African American professional baseball players started their own league and developed a style of play that gave the game two of its strongest attributes: entertainment value and athleticism. In this activity, students will examine the collusion of white baseball club owners and their “gentleman’s agreement” (meaning no written policy) to exclude African American athletes from the major leagues. Students will learn about Negro league baseball, which formed as a response to such pervasive and accepted racism.