San Antonio lodge grew to become down Jackie Robinson, Dodgers in 1949

I in point of fact experience your column on San Antonio historical past, particularly because it pertains to baseball. Out of your column and David King’s e book, it used to be fascinating to be told that each and every of the next baseball occasions took place in San Antonio on March thirty first:

1922 – Babe Ruth at Previous League Park (nook of South Presa, Carolina and Exertions Streets)

1930 – Babe Ruth at New League Park (nook of East Josephine and Isleta Streets)

1941 – Joe DiMaggio and the New York Yankees at Tech Box (adjoining to San Pedro Springs Park)

1949 – Jackie Robinson and the Brooklyn Dodgers at Challenge Stadium.

With those historic baseball occasions in thoughts, is it conceivable for the Town of San Antonio to claim March thirty first as San Antonio Baseball Day?

Don Crane

Those had been all exhibition video games between primary league baseball groups and native Texas League golf equipment (Indians and later Missions) – with the exception of for the 1922 contest between the New York Yankees and Brooklyn Dodgers (“Subway Skirmish” coated right here Sept 12, 2010) Was once) .

Paula Allen at the 1922 Video games: ‘Large Bambino”s Large Day in San Antonio

Then again, I used to be no longer accustomed to the final tournament in your checklist, and neither used to be David King, writer of “San Antonio at Bat: Skilled Baseball within the Alamo Town”. When requested concerning the 1949 Dodgers recreation, King stated, “I by no means heard the rest about it,” including that “up till then groups were not enjoying as many exhibitions right through spring coaching”, so it used to be large information. Must had been

Even supposing it used to be no longer.

Newspaper protection of this large league go back and forth used to be interestingly muted, and I may no longer discover a unmarried photograph of the Dodgers stars whilst they had been in San Antonio. This can be for the reason that crew used to be simplest right here for a couple of hours – and the reason being a sorry a part of our town’s historical past.

Paula Allen on SA baseball historical past: San Antonio Bears face Detroit Tigers in ancient exhibition recreation

Again then, like different Southern towns, San Antonio’s faculties, swimming swimming pools, restrooms, ingesting fountains, ready rooms, theaters, eating places, lodges, and different public lodging had been segregated. Therefore arranged sports activities and their venues, together with baseball, in any respect ranges.

Even out of doors the South, skilled baseball – each primary and minor leagues – had a colour line. Jackie Robinson turned into the primary black participant to exceed it when he first took the sphere for the Dodgers on April 15, 1947. Robinson of the South.”)

Normally, a number of primary league groups got here to San Antonio for a chain of exhibition video games, scheduled from mid-March to in a while ahead of opening day in April ahead of the common season. As a result of minor league gamers had been steadily former or long term primary league gamers, groups such because the Missions gave their guests a excellent exercise, allowed managers to fine-tune their rosters and allowed probably the most promising minor leaguers to be swept by way of their big-time combatants. Gave me a possibility to be a scout.

Paula Allen at Challenge Stadium: Challenge Stadium hosted the Texas, Negro leagues

Throughout the 1949 preseason, San Antonio hosted the minor league Toledo Dust Hens for the primary time, adopted by way of the most important league Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Browns, all of whom performed two or extra video games at Challenge Stadium. Video games Performed(coated right here) Jun 30, 2012; and February 14, 2014), a purpose-built facility opened in 1947 by way of the Browns, the Challenge’s primary league mother or father group. The Dodgers had been additionally at the program, having laid the groundwork for almost a 12 months previous to their talk over with.

The San Antonio Gentle reported on Would possibly 23, 1948, “The Brooklyn Baseball Membership has requested San Antonio for permission to play one or two exhibition video games subsequent spring.” “The challenge has stated sure after consulting a number of other folks.” This supposed that native enthusiasts would get to peer Robinson, the “Negro Celebrity”, at Challenge Stadium. How San Antonio would take Jackie’s presence used to be the topic of questions. The just about unanimous resolution: He is a baller and excellent, is not he? Carry him in.

Extra from Paula Allen on Stadium: Challenge Stadium extremely joyful many enthusiasts from 1947–64

By means of 1949, the Dodgers’ touring squad incorporated no longer simplest megastar 2nd baseman Robinson, but in addition hitting catcher Roy Campanella, who used to be biracial. Each had been veterans of the Negro leagues and had made a couple of tryouts within the minor leagues ahead of their ascent to Main League Baseball. They had been the primary and 3rd black gamers of the fashionable technology to be regulars with American or Nationwide League groups. (No. 2 used to be Larry Doby of the Cleveland Indians, who accomplished primary league standing a couple of months after Robinson.)

Gentle, March 30, 1949, says that during view of the ordinary pastime, the Challenge’s entrance administrative center deliberate particular seating preparations for Dodgers video games. Their stadium’s 8,500-seat grandstand would characteristic a “massive Negro phase” and right-field bleachers. , in addition to some field seats close to the Brooklyn dugout “for coloured enthusiasts who’re going to come back in nice numbers to peer the Brooklyn Negro stars.”

Initially, the Dodgers had been scheduled to play a night recreation at Challenge Stadium. March 31 used to be a Thursday, so an evening recreation may had been preferable for enthusiasts who labored or went to university right through the day. Theoretically, that will have left the day unfastened for Dodgers stars to make a spherical of private appearances and interviews, as did visits by way of Babe Ruth and Joe DiMaggio. However it did not paintings because the Dodgers needed to steer clear of an in a single day keep.

Paula Allen on baseball stars in SA: DiMaggio, Ruth performed many video games in SA

The Brooklyn Membership had deliberate for one, having reserved a collection and 6 rooms on the iconic Gunter Resort, which has welcomed such visiting celebrities as Bud Abbott and Lou Costello, Roy Rogers, President Harry Truman and Mae West. However no longer the 1949 Dodgers – or a minimum of no longer all the crew.

On March 30, 1949, Gentle stated, “Gunter cannot care for the Negro gamers.” (The Negro Motorist Inexperienced Guide for 1949, to be had at the New York Public Library’s site,, has listings for San Antonio companies pleasant to black consumers, most commonly at the traditionally black East Aspect. No such lodges are incorporated, Best at Mundi Vacationer House 129 N Mesquite St.)

The Dodgers arrived at the morning of the sport, when the black gamers “had been to satisfy their buddies and be entertained at their houses.” Robinson and Campanella had been probably served lunch and returned with their teammates simply in time for the three:30 p.m. matchup with the Missions. All the Brooklyn crew “needed to be put at the educate after the sport.”

The Dodgers gained 3–1. Robinson pitched a two-run inning. Gentle, a short lived tale after the April 1, 1949 recreation, notes that he gave his “enthusiasts to cheer within the colourful phase with two singles and a double, two runs batted in, a stolen base and impeccable fielding.” Gave a lot of causes. 2d base.” In line with Gentle’s field rating, Campanella had one hit and made seven outs in the back of the plate. The sport used to be broadcast on KCOR radio (coated right here December 11, 2021), however newspaper protection used to be transient, or even megastar shortstop Peevy Reese — well-known and white — did not garner a lot consideration. Did.

So March 31, 1949, used to be the day the San Antonio bomb drove the Dodgers out of city in provider of segregation.

Paula Allen at the Gunter Resort: Underground eating place oozes deep-down glamor

Trade got here slowly; By means of the mid-Nineteen Sixties, maximum public housing used to be open to all, a minimum of formally.

Robinson and Campanella had illustrious careers. Each had been named Maximum Precious Participant more than one instances, had been decided on to play in more than one All-Celebrity Video games and gained more than one pennants and Global Sequence. Robinson turned into baseball’s first black tv analyst and used to be a pacesetter within the Civil Rights Motion. Campanella, who survived a near-fatal automobile twist of fate, wrote a well-received autobiography, “It is Nice to Be Alive,” advocated for incapacity rights, and labored for the Dodgers for 30 years after his enjoying profession. Each males had been elected to the Nationwide Baseball Corridor of Popularity.

Since 2004, April 15 has been celebrated within the primary leagues as Jackie Robinson Day, honoring the anniversary of his barrier-breaking achievements. In line with the group’s site,, the league requests that on that day, “each participant and all on-field workforce put on their quantity 42” right through play.

Paula Allen at the SA baseball scene: Baseball sponsorship used to be a achieved deal for San Antonio companies within the Nineteen Thirties, ’40s

As for San Antonio Baseball Day, most likely it will have to be honoring San Antonio gamers, no longer simply out-of-town large pictures.

Throughout the primary part of the twentieth century, there have been novice baseball groups (incorporated right here on November 4, 2017) for just about any male representing faculties, church buildings, YMCAs, companies, army gadgets, sport facilities, and neighborhoods. Whilst they would possibly not have at all times performed in combination, there have been alternatives for white, black and Hispanic gamers to take part within the nationwide hobby… for not anything greater than the affection of the sport. , Twitter: @sahistorycolumn | Fb: SanAntoniohistorycolumn