In July 1955, when the African American 11- and 12-year-olds on the Cannon Street YMCA All-Star team registered for a baseball tournament in Charleston, South Carolina, it put the team on a collision course with segregation. White teams forfeited their games.
Little League officials ruled Cannon Street ineligible to play in the tournament because they had advanced by winning on forfeit, denying the boys their dream of playing in the Little League World Series. Cannon Street was invited to attend the Little League Championship in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, for a practice session. The crowd chanted “let them play” to no avail.
This week on The Historians Podcast, Chris Lamb, author of Stolen Dreams: The 1955 Cannon Street YMCA All-Stars and Little League Baseball’s Civil War (Univ. of Nebraska Press, 2022).
Lamb is chairman of the Journalism and Public Relations Department at Indiana University in Indianapolis. He is the author of 12 books, including several on sports, race, and the media.
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