Baseball History Podcast: Moses “Fleetwood” Walker vs Cap Anson

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“Let’s Get Weird, Sports” is back and the latest episode features the story of the very first African-American player in Major League Baseball history- Moses Fleetwood Walker, commonly known as Fleet Walker. He’s the hero of our story, while Cap Anson is the villain.

Anson, the 1800s “Mr. Cub” so to speak, was a vehement white supremacist, and his actions, as well as those of many others who held sway in baseball at the time (then known as Base Ball) led to the banning of black players for many decades to come. I know what you’re saying: “wasn’t Jackie Robinson the first black player in MLB history?”

Well, not to diminish all that Robinson accomplished, because he is deservedly immortal, but no. Robinson was actually the fourth African-American in MLB history, but he’s the first to endure the prejudice, bigotry and discrimination in a manner that opened the door for integrating baseball.

Fleet Walker is the first black player that baseball chased out of the game, by treating him as subhuman. And Anson was a major part of that. The podcast concludes with a discussion of Anson’s final resting place, a southside Chicago cemetery, in a neighborhood that’s been predominantly black for decades.

The cemetery is the final destination for many African-American social pioneers, as well as Confederate mound, the largest mass burial in the western hemisphere, where over 6,000 Confederate soldiers from Camp Douglas are laid to rest.

Pod is below:

Enjoy!

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, the author of “No,  I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly appears on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the “Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation

You can follow Banks, a former writer for NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com on Twitter here and his cat on Instagram at this link.

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