No. 159 Cap Anson (Number 19 First Base)

Cap Anson was the one who refused to have his team play on field with a black player Moses Fleetwood Walker in an exhibition game in 1883. This started a trend until Walker refused to play a team with Walker and black pitcher George Stovey. Now days Anson is the representative of that era of baseball’s mistreatment of black players. However, there was a lot of more powerful men then Anson at the time. What they actually needed was someone to stand up and take on Anson who would have had to back down. Baseball didn’t have anyone in power really willing to do that. They were conspectuses by their silence. In fact, I wonder if the owners didn’t want blacks, but figured players like Anson would take action for them. Then they can conveniently say the players don’t want blacks in the game and we can’t mis-treat the players. However, they were able to take advantage of the players in every other regard.

In a way it is kind of sad Anson was a bigot who had enough power to take action showing his bigotry. He had an interesting life. He started as a raw ball player with Rockford in 1871 at the age of 19 and played in the league for 27 years. He was the first player to get over 3,000 hits and managed 22 years winning 5 pennants. However, those years as manager were basically when he was playing.

Being broke after his career, he went on the vaudeville circuit with two daughters to make a living. I think it shows him as a good Father that he had his daughter’s support after they had grown up.

What he did was despicable, but he wasn’t the only villain in this case.

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