Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Washington Informer: The Real Reason Blacks Got to Play Major League Baseball

‘twas I, informed on…

Ironically, in the years before Robinson’s breakthrough, a committee was formed to help baseball overcome its “Negro problem” then. The late Queen Mother Audley Moore of Harlem, then 84-years-old told this writer for a 1982 documentary, for The Black Scholars Radio series, that in her early years, she had tried to be a “good Negro” and that she was involved in just such an effort.

“I worked hard at it. And this was what I did as a Negro,” she said. “I’ll give you an example of it. A group of people, my enemies, asked me to form a committee to get Black players into Major League Baseball. I formed a committee, and had Adam Powell and Captain Hugh Mulzac to head it.

“This act broke up the Black teams, killed Black business in southern towns and cities, and many old ladies who sold pies, and there were hot-dog stands, popcorn, shoe-shine boys, Black restaurants, Black hotels. This business was all lost through my act, acting through my Negro mind.

“Had I not been a Negro, I would have told that group of my enemies that I would get the Black teams into baseball, not the Black player. Now, do you see the qualitative difference between getting the player in, and getting the Black teams in?”

Well, “racism – White Supremacy, with the specific definition of racism – White Supremacy in parenthesis, is the dominant power context,” concerning ball games today, psychiatrist Dr. Frances Cress Welsing told me in a telephone interview for this article.

“This is what I feel that Whites consciously and subconsciously think that if the Negro Leagues had just been allowed to go on and flourish, and you had White leagues going on and flourishing, you would then see the Blacks dominating all the time. So, then they cut out the Negro Leagues and then they select(ed) a few Blacks to play, (so today) you are not looking at Blacks constantly beating Whites.

“What would you imagine would be the result if the so-called Negro Leagues had been allowed to continue? Who would you imagine would dominate?” Dr. Welsing said.

Repoz Posted: April 17, 2013 at 05:55 PM | 75 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Rennie's Tenet Posted: April 17, 2013 at 06:19 PM (#4417253)
Doesn't everyone know all this stuff?
   2. Drexl Spivey Posted: April 17, 2013 at 06:20 PM (#4417254)
concerning ball games today, psychiatrist Dr. Frances Cress Welsing told me in a telephone interview for this article


I was wondering why anyone would seek out a psychiatrist for a baseball article. As it turns out, Welsing believes (per wikipedia) that "white people are the genetically defective descendants of albino mutants."
   3. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: April 17, 2013 at 06:29 PM (#4417257)
Wow, I've never come across Welsing before. Fascinating reading.

According to Welsing, various cultural practices express white people's sense of their own inferiority:

On both St. Valentine's Day and Mother's Day, the white male gives gifts of chocolate candy with nuts…. If his sweetheart ingests "chocolate with nuts", the white male can fantasize that he is genetically equal to the Black male


Mind blown.
   4. Steve Treder Posted: April 17, 2013 at 06:30 PM (#4417258)
On both St. Valentine's Day and Mother's Day, the white male gives gifts of chocolate candy with nuts…. If his sweetheart ingests "chocolate with nuts", the white male can fantasize that he is genetically equal to the Black male

Damn! They're on to us.
   5. Sonic Youk Posted: April 17, 2013 at 06:31 PM (#4417259)
As it turns out, Welsing believes (per wikipedia) that "white people are the genetically defective descendants of albino mutants."
I am okay with this. Sounds pretty cool.
   6. McCoy Posted: April 17, 2013 at 06:39 PM (#4417264)
We're all mutants,
   7. Rennie's Tenet Posted: April 17, 2013 at 06:40 PM (#4417265)
albino mutants


Does this mean the albinos are the mutants, or the mutants come from albinos?
   8. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: April 17, 2013 at 06:41 PM (#4417266)
Quiet, whitey.
   9. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 17, 2013 at 06:44 PM (#4417268)
Oboy. Many dirty jokes could be typed in this space. ::walk away, Shooty, walk away...::
   10. Mike Webber Posted: April 17, 2013 at 06:59 PM (#4417277)
So his Uncle Nate that played with Jackie, I'm guessing his last name wasn't Muhammad. Anyone know what is was?
   11. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 17, 2013 at 07:05 PM (#4417280)
Seems like a lot of casual racism in the linked article.
   12. TJ Posted: April 17, 2013 at 07:10 PM (#4417283)
"descendants of albino mutants."? Well, that would explain David Eckstein...
   13. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: April 17, 2013 at 07:13 PM (#4417287)
Albino mutants, not albino midgets.
   14. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: April 17, 2013 at 07:28 PM (#4417299)
“What would you imagine would be the result if the so-called Negro Leagues had been allowed to continue? Who would you imagine would dominate?” Dr. Welsing said.


Expecting another puff piece my eyes were glazing over until I got to this paragraph. Other things would come into play, but I'm guessing African-Americans who make up 7% of MLB today, enough for 2 teams, might not be dominating the majors. Someone more interested might want to list those players by ERA+ and OPS+.
   15. Jason Michael(s) Bourn Identity Crisis Posted: April 17, 2013 at 07:38 PM (#4417310)
#14 - The Negro Leagues would still include any dark-skinned Latinos, which would even the numbers out significantly. I think in that case, the two leagues would be competitive with each other, if not equal.
   16. salajander Posted: April 17, 2013 at 07:49 PM (#4417322)
if not equal

So separate, but equal, eh?
   17. Drexl Spivey Posted: April 17, 2013 at 07:49 PM (#4417323)
On both St. Valentine's Day and Mother's Day, the white male gives gifts of chocolate candy with nuts…. If his sweetheart ingests "chocolate with nuts", the white male can fantasize that he is genetically equal to the Black male


I'm going to give my girlfriend white chocolate next Valentine's Day and fantasize that I'm Jim Gaffigan.
   18. Long Time Listener, First Time Caller Posted: April 17, 2013 at 07:58 PM (#4417335)

#14 - The Negro Leagues would still include any dark-skinned Latinos, which would even the numbers out significantly. I think in that case, the two leagues would be competitive with each other, if not equal.


All the same, I'm hoping this thread does not go the route of "thought experiment where we segregate the league on paper" in order to find out, if only to avoid the discussion about "what X player counts as"
   19. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 17, 2013 at 08:04 PM (#4417340)
Wow, I've never come across Welsing before. Fascinating reading.

If you've never encountered Dr. Frances Cress Welsing before, consider yourself lucky and pour yourself a drink. She's the mirror image of every crackpot white supremacist who's ever walked the Earth, and she's been running on along these lines since before most of you were born.
   20. Steve Treder Posted: April 17, 2013 at 08:08 PM (#4417344)
If you've never encountered Dr. Frances Cress Welsing before, consider yourself lucky and pour yourself a drink.

Damn fine advice.
   21. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: April 17, 2013 at 08:13 PM (#4417350)
Woah, how did I not know about this woman? This is great!

What happens if I give my black boyfriend chocolate on valentines day?
   22. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: April 17, 2013 at 08:14 PM (#4417351)
Also, how much non-whiteness is needed to avoid being a corrupted albino mutant? Does my distant native american heritage count? How about Louis CK?
   23. silhouetted by the sea Posted: April 17, 2013 at 08:19 PM (#4417354)
From the Wikipedia article on Dr. Frances Cress Welsing, this is to funny not to post.

Is it not also curious that when white males are young and vigorous, they attempt to master the large brown balls, but as they become older and wiser, they psychologically resign themselves to their inability to master the large brown balls? Their focus then shifts masochistically to hitting the tiny white golf balls in disgust and resignation — in full final realization of white genetic recessiveness.[5]
   24. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: April 17, 2013 at 08:22 PM (#4417358)
Pfft, I always knew my place, I started with the slightly larger white balls!
   25. jdennis Posted: April 17, 2013 at 08:40 PM (#4417376)
the negro leagues were not as good as the al/nl, though they were reasonably close. i would say they were about the level of the ua, aa, pl compared to the nl. the pl i think would be the best comparison because it was top-heavy, like the negro leagues.

also, i'm pretty sure there's no study verifying that african-genomed male genitalia is even larger than eurasian-genomed male genitalia. they can't even agree on the general averages, it's not like they go around studying genital size all the time.

psychology is like codified prejudice to me, i dismiss pretty much everything i hear from any psychologist out of hand, except for the very structured basic stuff like electric impulse response, etc. but the academic standards for non-lab psych are just pathetic, you can just talk out of your ass and market it. never trust a scientific study from a popular publication. that means it failed the academic journal.

   26. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 17, 2013 at 08:41 PM (#4417377)
Wow, I've never come across Welsing before. Fascinating reading.

If you've never encountered Dr. Frances Cress Welsing before, consider yourself lucky and pour yourself a drink. She's the mirror image of every crackpot white supremacist who's ever walked the Earth, and she's been running on along these lines since before most of you were born.


Damn fine advice.


Well, she's never been nominated for vice president, so she's never quite gotten the publicity that she deserves. But if you become familiar with the 40+ year history of her truly bizarre rantings, you'll find her career value on the Humor Scale to be truly Palinesque.
   27. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: April 17, 2013 at 08:44 PM (#4417383)
The Negro Leagues would still include any dark-skinned Latinos, which would even the numbers out significantly.


Over Gary Sheffield's dead body!
   28. Howie Menckel Posted: April 17, 2013 at 09:04 PM (#4417400)

I got a varsity letter in high school for hitting the little white balls, although I did enjoy the brown balls when I was younger.
   29. catomi01 Posted: April 17, 2013 at 09:09 PM (#4417407)
Pfft, I always knew my place, I started with the slightly larger white balls!


I've moved on to the neon-yellow softballs...what does that mean doctor?
   30. Voros McCracken of Pinkus Posted: April 17, 2013 at 09:12 PM (#4417413)
I don't even want to know about badminton...
   31. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: April 17, 2013 at 09:26 PM (#4417433)
I don't even want to know about badminton...


Ultra-colonialist, shuttling around white cocks.
   32. McCoy Posted: April 17, 2013 at 09:33 PM (#4417441)
So now we all understand Andy's love affair with 8 ball billiards.
   33. Howie Menckel Posted: April 17, 2013 at 09:57 PM (#4417475)
anyone know what a fondness for the fuzzy yellow balls means?
my college girlfriend and I used to enjoy playing with those together - pretty rigorously, too



   34. McCoy Posted: April 17, 2013 at 10:00 PM (#4417481)
Somebody likes going to Thailand.
   35. base ball chick Posted: April 17, 2013 at 10:06 PM (#4417486)
fascinating

this chocolate stuff - with or without nuts

so if husby do gets me peanut brittle it means he thinks i should have sez with asian guys

i think the doctor is the one who is nuts
   36. Canker Soriano Posted: April 17, 2013 at 10:38 PM (#4417521)
Is it not also curious that when white males are young and vigorous, they attempt to master the large brown balls, but as they become older and wiser, they psychologically resign themselves to their inability to master the large brown balls? Their focus then shifts masochistically to hitting the tiny white golf balls in disgust and resignation — in full final realization of white genetic recessiveness.[5]

The popularity of the orange balls must have really ###### with her mindview.
   37. Bhaakon Posted: April 17, 2013 at 10:44 PM (#4417525)
Is it not also curious that when white males are young and vigorous, they attempt to master the large brown balls, but as they become older and wiser, they psychologically resign themselves to their inability to master the large brown balls? Their focus then shifts masochistically to hitting the tiny white golf balls in disgust and resignation — in full final realization of white genetic recessiveness.[5]


I've heard of some cutting edge studies relating certain cranial measurements typical of the various races and their characteristic behavioral patterns that this author may find fascinating.
   38. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: April 17, 2013 at 10:48 PM (#4417527)
I've heard of some cutting edge studies relating certain cranial measurements typical of the various races and their characteristic behavioral patterns that this author may find fascinating.

it's the cranial/testicular volume ratio that's important
   39. Walt Davis Posted: April 17, 2013 at 11:00 PM (#4417538)
A health tip kids ... if your testes are shaped like footballs, consult a doctor immediately.

Unless you're over the age of 45 in which case that's just gravity doing its thing.

   40. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: April 17, 2013 at 11:09 PM (#4417548)
Once you go Nerf, you never go berf.
   41. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 17, 2013 at 11:38 PM (#4417574)
So now we all understand Andy's love affair with 8 ball billiards.

Actually I can't stand that game. and haven't played it since 1964 when I didn't know better. Too much ducking and dodging and not enough trying to pocket balls. When it comes to pool I'm strictly a yellow striped ball man. 8 ball is for cowards.
   42. Eric P. Posted: April 18, 2013 at 02:33 AM (#4417647)
Somebody likes going to Thailand.


Who said anything about ping pong balls?
   43. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: April 18, 2013 at 03:24 AM (#4417657)
Is it not also curious that when white males are young and vigorous, they attempt to master the large brown balls,...
Except that there aren't any sports that use large brown balls, well, it wouldn't make sense anyway. And why aren't balls just as readable as stand-ins for breasts? Why did I read this thread?
   44. Ebessan Posted: April 18, 2013 at 04:06 AM (#4417660)
#14 - The Negro Leagues would still include any dark-skinned Latinos, which would even the numbers out significantly. I think in that case, the two leagues would be competitive with each other, if not equal.

If we're going with Welsing's totally idiotic, ridiculously unaware counterfactual here, if we accept the premise that the NeL were ever able to get their #### together and become an organized and stable league, with quality representatives throughout the Northeast and Midwest, and with a player pool strong enough to intimidate an MLB still following the "gentlemen's agreement" TO THIS DAY, this assumes that the still much wealthier and crazily exploitative MLB wouldn't have tried to soak every player out of Europe, Canada, and Australia that they could to fill up the white ranks, when they would have had exponentially more motivation to do so than they ever have had in reality.
   45. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: April 18, 2013 at 04:27 AM (#4417661)
I'd like to know what Welsing thinks about soccer and volleyball players.

And please, don't get her started on Mr. Met...
   46. Drexl Spivey Posted: April 18, 2013 at 04:51 AM (#4417667)
Welsing has been criticized for stating that black male homosexuality was imposed on the black man by the white man in order to reduce the black population,


Dr. Welsing is an absolute lunatic...but still oddly fascinating. I've never come across anyone crazy enough to say this.
   47. bjhanke Posted: April 18, 2013 at 06:32 AM (#4417673)
Based on the comments here, Welsing sounds like Ayn Rand trying to write academic papers.

The last info I have heard on the white/black skin color thing was from one of the endless History Channel stations, or maybe National Geographic. The idea - apparently backed by genetic analysis - is that the further north your population is, the less melanin you need in your skin to offset the effects of the number of hours that the sun shines in the year. So you have blacks near the equator, lighter brown skin along the Mediterranean, and blonds in Sweden. The show also claimed that the amount of time it would take the descendants of a black person who moved to Sweden to become white-skinned blonds is about 10,000 years. Also, the claim was that northern white people have smaller FLACCID male members because of the need to keep as little skin as possible exposed to the cold. Erect, there appears to be no difference, at least according to the TV show. I, personally, am unqualified to judge this kind of research, so I have no idea whether any of this is true. - Brock Hanke
   48. Bug Selig Posted: April 18, 2013 at 06:34 AM (#4417674)
“What would you imagine would be the result if the so-called Negro Leagues had been allowed to continue? Who would you imagine would dominate?” Dr. Welsing said.


Because whites have a superiority issue.
   49. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 18, 2013 at 06:46 AM (#4417679)
Welsing has been criticized for stating that black male homosexuality was imposed on the black man by the white man in order to reduce the black population,


Dr. Welsing is an absolute lunatic...but still oddly fascinating. I've never come across anyone crazy enough to say this.

Then you must never have listened to many talk shows on black-oriented radio stations. Here's a hot tip: Hannity, Savage and Limbaugh don't hold exclusive patents on paranoid-driven insanity, and there are plenty of dittoheads on some of those shows who don't lack for melanin.

Seriously, Welsing's a total crackpot, but she's just as much a product of her time and place (she's 78) as someone like Jesse Helms or Strom Thurmond, though fortunately for the world her views have been far less influential on policy. There are always going to be crazy people coming out of every culture, and she just happens to be one you've never heard of before yesterday. So enjoy.
   50. Blastin Posted: April 18, 2013 at 07:49 AM (#4417692)
There are always going to be crazy people coming out of every culture


My cousin, just as black as I am, is a crackpot, too. He lives with my uncle and is refusing to go to law school (or some other grad school) because he doesn't want to "learn the white man's law." (Of course there are plenty of reasons not to go to law school, but that's besides the point.) I try to play devil's advocate (ha) sometimes and say, "Perhaps you want to learn it so as better to dismantle it!!!" I'm not agreeing with his lunacy, mind you, but trying to push him to do something besides smoke weed all day long. But mostly I just don't talk to him except when I have to go down there for Thanksgiving. We used to be very close, too, since we're the same age.

I'm glad he's not on facebook anymore, because I'm sure he would have been Alex Jonesing all over himself this week and I didn't have any desire to see that.
   51. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: April 18, 2013 at 08:11 AM (#4417699)
   52. Howie Menckel Posted: April 18, 2013 at 08:27 AM (#4417705)

"Except that there aren't any sports that use large brown balls,"

back when this critic was in prime of life, basketballs used to be brown.
   53. Publius Publicola Posted: April 18, 2013 at 08:51 AM (#4417714)
As it turns out, Welsing believes (per wikipedia) that "white people are the genetically defective descendants of albino mutants."


This is a variant of the Nation of Islam's racial theory. It's pretty batshit. Stanley Crouch talks about this a lot.
   54. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 18, 2013 at 08:58 AM (#4417717)
Blastin, is your cousin Dave Chappelle?
   55. Lassus Posted: April 18, 2013 at 09:01 AM (#4417718)
Stanley Crouse

Crouch?
   56. Publius Publicola Posted: April 18, 2013 at 09:02 AM (#4417719)
Thx (sp), Lassus.
   57. Publius Publicola Posted: April 18, 2013 at 09:06 AM (#4417724)
I've seen Welsing interviewed a couple of times. I think Tony Brown had her on his show. What was even more scary was that Brown seemed to be listening in agreement, saying stuff like "Yes, isn't that interesting?" or "It all makes sense, doesn't it?"? or something along those lines.

Edit: Dammit, someone had put up a series of Youtube videos of a Tony Brown show of Welsing debating William Shockley at Clark University in Atlanta but they all seem to be deleted. That exchange must have been unbelievable.
   58. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 18, 2013 at 09:09 AM (#4417728)
I've seen Welsing interviewed a couple of times. I think Tony Brown had her on his show. What was even more scary was that Brown seemed to be listening in agreement, saying stuff like "Yes, isn't that interesting?" or "It all makes sense, doesn't it?"? or something along those lines.

Tony Brown? Maybe he was just frightened?
   59. Publius Publicola Posted: April 18, 2013 at 09:11 AM (#4417730)
Poor substitute but here she is on Phil Donahue:

Dr. Frances Cress Welsing Pt 1 of 2
   60. Publius Publicola Posted: April 18, 2013 at 09:12 AM (#4417731)
Shooty, Tony Brown had some pretty bizarre ideas himself.
   61. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: April 18, 2013 at 09:12 AM (#4417732)
I knew a Welsing acolyte in college, a girl who I was helping with some political stuff until I got to know her better (she had other issues too) - at which point I was like 'why exactly do you want the help of one of your inferiors?'
   62. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 18, 2013 at 09:20 AM (#4417738)
Shooty, Tony Brown had some pretty bizarre ideas himself.

I don't know much about him, actually. My mom used to watch him and in the few times I happened to catch him he seemed like a black Charlie Rose to me. Anyway, I just watched some of Dr. Welsing on youtube and, you know, she says just enough sensible things to couch around the crazy. I can see why she has an appeal to some people.
   63. depletion Posted: April 18, 2013 at 10:57 AM (#4417839)
It's reasonable to mourn the loss of the Negro Leagues with their accompanying jobs and businesses. Ideally, perhaps, they could have tried to merge several teams into the big leagues. But I'm guessing that the existing major league team had too much money for the Negro Leagues to compete with for talent. Desegregation didn't happen according to a neatly laid out plan and the ancillary personnel of the Negro Leagues were some of the (short term) losers.
   64. bobm Posted: April 18, 2013 at 11:00 AM (#4417842)
The New York Times
The Smaller the Ball, the Better the Book: A Game Theory of Literature

Date: May 31, 1992, Sunday, Late Edition
Final Byline: By George Plimpton; 

SOME years ago I evolved what I called the Small Ball Theory to assess the quality of literature about sports. This stated that there seems to be a correlation between the standard of writing about a particular sport and the ball it utilizes -- that the smaller the ball, the more formidable the literature. There are superb books about golf, very good books about baseball, not many good books about football or soccer, very few good books about basketball and no good books at all about beach balls. I capped off the Small Ball Theory by citing Mark Twain's "Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County," perhaps the most universally known of sports stories, in which bird shot (very small balls indeed!) is an important element in the plot.


http://www.nytimes.com/books/97/06/08/nnp/26049.html
   65. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: April 18, 2013 at 11:12 AM (#4417849)
This is a variant of the Nation of Islam's racial theory. It's pretty batshit


Yep, Yacub the evil scientist making the white man in a laboratory. Muhammad Ali used to talk about this in all seriousness. I still have an interview he did with Playboy on the topic from the early-70s. I bought it for the interview, honest!
   66. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 18, 2013 at 11:23 AM (#4417858)
Muhammad Ali used to talk about this in all seriousness.

Yeah, but I give a pass for a lot of that talk from that period in time. I've read a Malcolm X interview he gave Playboy from the same time period and he says a lot of dumb stuff like that, too. I think they were groping for a vocabulary to express their anger but also for a way to be not be the "other" anymore and it came out in weird ways. Also, in fairness to them, the FBI and other law enforcement agencies gave them a lot of reason to be angry and paranoid.
   67. Bourbon Samurai in Asia Posted: April 18, 2013 at 11:34 AM (#4417871)
Somebody likes going to Thailand.


Who said anything about ping pong balls?


Man, I saw that once and it is on the list for the grossest thing I've ever encountered. Just about got myself stabbed trying to leave, too, until they figured out I'd left money for the drinks at the table.
   68. bunyon Posted: April 18, 2013 at 11:41 AM (#4417881)

also, i'm pretty sure there's no study verifying that african-genomed male genitalia is even larger than eurasian-genomed male genitalia. they can't even agree on the general averages, it's not like they go around studying genital size all the time.


As I've been saying for years, we desperately need more female and gay male scientists.
   69. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: April 18, 2013 at 12:13 PM (#4417920)
The last info I have heard on the white/black skin color thing was from one of the endless History Channel stations, or maybe National Geographic. The idea - apparently backed by genetic analysis - is that the further north your population is, the less melanin you need in your skin to offset the effects of the number of hours that the sun shines in the year. So you have blacks near the equator, lighter brown skin along the Mediterranean, and blonds in Sweden.


FWIW, my understanding is that this is half of the generally accepted idea. The other half is that lighter skin allows you to produce more vitamin D, which is done when one absorbs sunlight through the skin. In Europe, which is both very far north (Rome is slightly north of New York City) and often quite foggy and cloudy, it's a big deal. See the traditional British problem with rickets, which is mostly caused by vitamin D deficiency. Further towards the equator your problem is skin cancer and so forth, so more melanin is a good thing.

This explanation is pretty convincing as a basic framework, but probably still somewhat imperfect -- there isn't a clean gradation of skin tones from the equator to the arctic, and people at the same latitudes in different parts of the world can have very different skin tones and hair types. Evolution is complex.

(Blue eyes are a related and relatively recent mutation. It probably got passed on because light blue eyes absorb more light, and allow slightly better low light vision in places like like Scandinavia and the British Isles that are dimly lit a good amount of the time. The tradeoff is a problem with glare. This is of course a disadvantage for a baseball player in day games.)

The show also claimed that the amount of time it would take the descendants of a black person who moved to Sweden to become white-skinned blonds is about 10,000 years.


Well, physical evolutionary pressures are nothing like they once were. You can drink vitamin D milk and get a sun lamp and vacation in Ibiza, something that cave men had a hard time pulling off.
   70. PreservedFish Posted: April 18, 2013 at 12:34 PM (#4417948)
Maybe I don't get evolution, but I don't see how something like blue eyes would spread via natural selection. Sure, nice to have if you live up north, I guess, but not a major procreative advantage. The blue eyed dude isn't going to spread more seed just because he has fractionally better eyesight in the winter.
   71. Blastin Posted: April 18, 2013 at 12:36 PM (#4417951)
Blastin, is your cousin Dave Chappelle?


He wishes he was funny.
   72. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: April 18, 2013 at 12:36 PM (#4417952)
Maybe I don't get evolution, but I don't see how something like blue eyes would spread via natural selection. Sure, nice to have if you live up north, I guess, but not a major procreative advantage. The blue eyed dude isn't going to spread more seed just because he has fractionally better eyesight in the winter.


It doesn't have to be a procreative advantage if it's a survival advantage (i.e., maybe you see the winter predator a hair before the brown-eyed caveman next to you does). If blue eyes help you survive a bit better, then you're more likely to have kids, whether the ladies like the eye color or not.

EDIT: Redacted for math errors. My general point is that tiny advantages can have huge repercussions over long spans of time.
   73. AROM Posted: April 18, 2013 at 12:40 PM (#4417956)
“What would you imagine would be the result if the so-called Negro Leagues had been allowed to continue? Who would you imagine would dominate?” Dr. Welsing said.


Really depends on how many teams you had. Add 12 teams to the existing 16 MLB teams, and the statistical analysis I've seen suggests the MLB teams were a bit better. Consolidate them to 4, or maybe 6 teams, and the NLB teams would be better. I know NLB allstar teams generally beat the white allstar teams, and what that says about the quality of the star players. But the white teams just have a much larger talent pool to draw from.

If adding a set number of NLB teams to MLB was the way integration was handled, they wouldn't stay as black or white teams for long. Sure, the reserve clause prevented player movement, but at some point, assuming the initial change works and the teams become used to playing each other regularly, there would be trades. Stan Musial for Josh Gibson? Then you'd have marginal players trying to catch on. A utility infielder is cut from one black team, the others don't want to sign him. Say a white team has an open spot. Why can't they sign him?

Willie Mays comes along a few years after integration. Seems perfectly reasonable that some of the white teams would offer more money than the black teams could. And once you've accepted playing against players of different skin color in league games, and the idea that black players were inferior (hard to fathom now, but pre-integration that was not an uncommon belief) was utterly disproven, it's hard to see how an restriction on black players playing with white teammates could hold.
   74. zenbitz Posted: April 18, 2013 at 01:20 PM (#4418034)
This explanation is pretty convincing as a basic framework, but probably still somewhat imperfect -- there isn't a clean gradation of skin tones from the equator to the arctic, and people at the same latitudes in different parts of the world can have very different skin tones and hair types. Evolution is complex.


This is actually not true. There is a guy in my dept. who works on this, Greg Barsh. See: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC212702/ (graph is also in wikipedia). There IS a very clean gradient of skin reflectance as a function of latitude.

As for blue eyes - not all individual phenotypes are subject to very strong selection. Most mutations are neutral and can be carried next to selected ones simply because they are proximal on a DNA strand and the population hasn't had time to equilibrate.
   75. Moeball Posted: April 18, 2013 at 05:37 PM (#4418411)
What would you imagine would be the result if the so-called Negro Leagues had been allowed to continue? Who would you imagine would dominate?” Dr. Welsing said.


Well...this did kind of sort of happen, in a way.

Here are my favorite baseball players in my formative fan years in the mid to late '60s (i.e., these were the baseball cards I wanted to get):

C Bill Freehan AL John Roseboro, then Johnny Bench NL
1B Harmon Killebrew AL Willie McCovey NL
2B Bobby Knoop AL Bill Mazeroski NL
3B Brooks Robinson AL Ron Santo NL
SS Jim Fregosi AL Maury Wills NL
LF Carl Yastrzemski AL Billy Williams NL
CF Mickey Mantle AL Willie Mays NL
RF Al Kaline AL Hank Aaron or Roberto Clemente NL
P Jim Kaat AL Juan Marichal NL

It never occurred to me at the time (hey, I was just a kid!) that the vast majority of players I liked in the NL were people of color and that all my favorite players in the AL were white guys. In fact, these were pretty much a big part of the All Star teams for several years and, as we know looking back, for pretty much most of the '60s and all of the '70s, the NL was winning the All Star game every year. Of course, this probably had more to do with the American League's delays at jumping on the integration bandwagon than anything else, I would imagine.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
robneyer
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-30-2014
(1 - 8:19am, Sep 30)
Last: Dan Lee is some pumkins

NewsblogOT: NFL/NHL thread
(8139 - 8:10am, Sep 30)
Last: Kurt

NewsblogMets close season optimistic for next year
(51 - 8:05am, Sep 30)
Last: Lassus

NewsblogESPN: Ron Gardenhire out after 13 Seasons with Twins
(36 - 8:03am, Sep 30)
Last: Lassus

NewsblogMLB’s Biggest Star Is 40 (And He Just Retired). That Could Be A Problem.
(8 - 7:50am, Sep 30)
Last: simon bedford

NewsblogOT August 2014:  Wrassle Mania I
(262 - 7:49am, Sep 30)
Last: Rowland Office Supplies

NewsblogBaseball Past & Present: Vote: The 25 Most Important People in Baseball History.
(282 - 7:41am, Sep 30)
Last: Rennie's Tenet

NewsblogRemembering George ‘Shotgun’ Shuba, 1924-2014
(6 - 7:35am, Sep 30)
Last: Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip

Hall of MeritMost Meritorious Player: 2014 Discussion
(10 - 7:32am, Sep 30)
Last: bjhanke

NewsblogAttanasio discusses Brewers collapse, changes coming for 2015
(127 - 7:04am, Sep 30)
Last: Harveys Wallbangers

NewsblogRBI Baseball, 2014 Playoff Edition
(3 - 6:54am, Sep 30)
Last: Leroy Kincaid

NewsblogThe Calm-Before-The-Storm and Postseason Prediction OMNICHATTER, 2014
(82 - 6:33am, Sep 30)
Last: Dr. Vaux

NewsblogMadden: How dare the sabermetrics crowd and others try to diminish Derek Jeter’s greatness
(144 - 5:20am, Sep 30)
Last: cardsfanboy

Hall of MeritMost Meritorious Player: 1958 Ballot
(9 - 2:49am, Sep 30)
Last: bjhanke

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - September 2014
(392 - 1:53am, Sep 30)
Last: Gold Star - just Gold Star

Page rendered in 0.8184 seconds
52 querie(s) executed