Frank White and the History of Black Baseball in Minnesota

African American baseball players played on integrated teams in Minnesota as early as 1884 in Stillwater. When segregation peaked in the 1920s, African American athletes formed their own leagues and teams, propping up entire local economies associated with black baseball. Historian Frank White has curated an exhibit on this local sports history for the Ramsey County Historical Society, detailing the stories behind teams like the St. Paul Quicksteps, Uptown Sanitation Co., and the St. Paul Colored Gophers. White stopped by the Tuesday Morning Blend to speak with KFAI's Ryan Dawes.

The exhibit “They Played for the Love of the Game: Adding to the Legacy of Minnesota Black Baseball” is on-going at the Landmark Center in St. Paul until June 7.  White will also give a presentation on the historic baseball rivals of St. Paul & Bloomington on April 23 at 6 pm at the Landmark Center. White will also release a book about the history of black baseball with Minnesota Historic Press in 2016.

Photo: This 1968 Atticus Brooks American Legion team from St. Paul won the state championship. Noted African-American baseball players, Steve Scroggins seated in the front row, and Steve and David Winfield standing in the back row, were teammates. Photo courtesy of Bill Peterson.