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Thank you for visiting my website. My name is Jeffrey Copeland, and I write everything from nonfiction books to textbooks — for folks of all ages.
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After Jackie: 15 Pioneers Who Helped Change the Face of Baseball
Most people know the story of Jackie Robinson and his courage and struggles when breaking the color barrier in Major League Baseball. However, Jackie was the pioneer for only one of the sixteen teams in Major League Baseball at the time, there being eight each in the National and American Leagues. What about the “other fifteen”? Very few accounts have been written about the groundbreakers for the other fifteen teams, and much of what has been written about them has typically been statistical and chronological descriptions of their careers. While they faced many of the same hurdles and roadblocks placed in front of Jackie, each also had individual twists and turns in his journey as together they joined in the struggle to enact great change. Mr. Robinson took the field for the Brooklyn Dodgers in April of 1947, but it wasn’t until twelve years later that the last team added a person of color (Pumpsie Green, in 1959, for the Boston Red Sox). Twelve years. In this book, the contributions of each of the fifteen and their journeys to the Major Leagues are chronicled.
Each chapter of the book begins with a section describing the individual’s early life and path to the Major Leagues. This is followed by an account of a scene (or scenes) representative of a milestone moment in his career to help the reader understand the complexity of his journey. Every effort has been made to keep the scenes as close to the actual events and historical record as possible – through interviews, archival audio and film footage, and baseball records of the era. Finally, a summary of the player’s life after baseball is provided. All three sections blend together to present the challenges and the groundbreaking work of the “other fifteen” men who stepped forward to help change not just a sport, but also a nation.
“In both baseball history, and American history, Jackie Robinson holds an enduring place of honor and respect. While nothing will ever diminish his standing, those who followed him in integrating their respective teams, faced their own versions of the obstacles and racism Robinson encountered. And, like Jackie, they were distinct individuals with personal lives and stories beyond their on-field performances and symbolic significance. With that in mind, After Jackie contains vivid and moving stories. It is also a contribution to the historical record.”—Bob Costas, Ford C. Frick Award recipient and member of the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame