“Consider the story of Adrian Constantine ‘Cap’ Anson.
Cooperstown officially opened its museum doors on June 12, 1939. Anson, considered the greatest player and manager of the 19th century, was among the class of ’39 after being voted in posthumously by the Veterans Committee. He had the stats: The first member of baseball’s 3,000-hit club, he led the league in RBIs eight times and was a four-time batting champion who averaged .415 in 1872 and .399 in 1881, albeit in far fewer games than today’s standards (and even those numbers are apocryphal).
Anson, as many baseball purists are well aware, was a racist. Famously, on July 14, 1887, Anson, of the Chicago White Stockings, refused to play against the Newark Little Giants because of its black pitcher, George Stovey. It wasn’t the first time Anson had objected to competing against black players. But on this particular day, the directors of the International League met and decided that contracts would no longer be offered to black men except for those already employed in the league. In a separate gentlemen’s agreement, blacks were excluded from the major leagues beginning in 1885 and baseball’s color barrier would last another 60 years, until the name Jackie Robinson entered the American conscience and changed the course of history.
How can Major League Baseball, which proudly celebrates Robinson’s legacy every season, continue to keep Anson, who has become synonymous with the history of segregation in baseball, in its most hallowed halls while Bonds remains a pariah? Segregation was far more destructive than performance-enhancing drugs in regards to evaluating talent in baseball. This much is irrefutable. Baseball history would be completely different if players such as Josh Gibson and Satchel Paige had been given the opportunity to suit up against Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.”July 18, 2019