Baseball and race relations have a long storied history together in America. Tom Dunkel’s new book, Color Blind: The Forgotten Team That Broke Baseball’s Color Line, argues that when we speak of Jackie Robinson, Curt Flood, and other pioneers, we should also include Neil Churchill’s 1935 barnstorming squad from Bismark, North Dakota in the discussion.
During the Great Depression, one of the most improbable teams in baseball history was assembled by one of the sport’s most unlikely champions. A decade before Jackie Robinson broke into the Major Leagues, Churchill signed the best players he could find, regardless of race. Churchill field an integrated squad that took on all comers in spectacular fashion. Church drafted stars from the Negro Leagues, including Quincy Troupe, Hilton Smith, Ted Radcliffe, and the great Satchel Paige. Color Blind enlightens readers on this forgotten team.