Why Was Baseball Legend Oscar Charleston Forgotten?

The Pathbreaking Player, Scout, and Manager Was Part of a Black Baseball Tradition That Is Still Obscured

History, more often than we would like, is an unjust judge. Consider the case of Oscar Charleston, a baseball player who for nearly 40 years was one of the most talented, charismatic, and profoundly intense competitors in the Negro Leagues.

Today, almost no one—including serious baseball fans—knows the slightest thing about Charleston, despite the fact that he arguably pieced together the best overall résumé of any figure in baseball’s storied history.

That résumé has three basic components: First, Charleston was a stupendously good player—so good that in 2001 the celebrated baseball …

What the Dodgers and Giants’ 1958 Move West Meant for America

When the Two Teams Left for California, They Shifted the Country’s Focus From New York and Helped Fragment the Nation’s Culture

Few phrases are as evocative of a mythical, imagined urban past as “Brooklyn Dodgers.”

Those two words, particularly in the borough that is now a punch line for hipster jokes, …

Why Major League Baseball Tried to Rein in Babe Ruth

The Sultan of Swat Saved a Discredited Game, But the Sport's Establishment Sought to Tame Its Headstrong Superstar

Babe Ruth was baseball’s greatest hero. So why did the national pastime’s establishment turn against him?

The answer lies in the untold story of Ruth’s challenge to the authorities ruling …

How Baseball Got Its Groove Back in the Turbulent 1960s

New Franchises, Colorful Characters, and the Miracle Mets Gave Life to a Sport Grown Stodgy

When examining American history of the late 1960s, one is often tempted to gravitate toward the foreign and domestic strife fostered by the war in Vietnam, the ongoing struggle for …

Take Me Out to the California League

The Golden State's Major League Baseball Is Slow-Paced and Pricey, but Our Minor League Beautifully Binds Us Together

Take me out to the ballgame this summer? Sure, as long as you’re taking me to San Jose or Visalia or Lake Elsinore.

Yep, I know those cities don’t have major …

Democracy Strikes out at Dodger Stadium

The L.A. Ballpark Was a Diverse and Inclusive Public Space. Then Prices Took a Bad Hop.

When Los Angeles Dodgers owner Walter O’Malley opened Dodger Stadium on April 10, 1962, his ticket price structure was simple, straightforward, and inexpensive: $3.50 for box seats, $2.50 for reserved …