Interracial Baseball Games: 1944

It is not always easy to determine if an interracial game between "All-Star" teams was truly a "major-league" game. It was fairly common for "All-Star" teams to include a few career minor-leaguers (although career Pacific Coast League players were sometimes career "minor-leaguers" by choice) and it is not always clear how many minor-leaguers is too many. For example, the Baltimore Elite Giants played Sunday doubleheaders against a team of "Major League All Stars" on September 10 and September 24. Both of these doubleheaders took place during the 1944 American and National League regular seasons, which limited the ability of these teams to include active major-league players. They did, however, include a number of former and future major-leaguers. But were there enough such players? For example, this team used three pitchers in these four games. Johnnie Wittig pitched in 83 games for the New York Giants between 1938 and 1943 (and one game with the Boston Braves in 1949) and clearly qualifies as a "major-leaguer" (if not really an "all star"). The All-Stars lost both of Wittig's starts (he went 0-1). But the other two "major-league" pitchers were Don Kerr, who was described as "formerly of the Orioles" and somebody identified in box scores as "Romay", neither of whom appear to have ever played in either the American or National League.

Retrosheet has decided to exclude these games (for now). This leaves two games between teams which are more clearly "major-league" quality. These games involved the Birmingham Black Barons (BIR); the Kansas City Royals (KCR), a black barnstorming team; and two white "all-star" teams, identified here as MLS and AGS (the latter standing for the Augie Galan Stars).

These two games are summarized below with links to box scores. The box score files and team rosters for these games can be downloaded from the link at the bottom of this page.

October 11, 1944 at Wrigley Field, Los Angeles, California
KCR  100 000 030   4  8  3
MLS  030 010 001   5 11  2
WP: Barrett, LP: Brewer
Retrosheet box score

October 15, 1944 at Seals Stadium, San Francisco, California
BIR  500 100 010   7 14  0
AGS  000 000 103   4 11  3
WP: Markham, LP: Gibson
Retrosheet box score

Download 1944 Interracial Box Scores and Roster Files

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Page Updated: 5/15/2021

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