Found a quirky story over the break. About a time when the Communist Party USA had a sportswriter. His name was Lester Rodney, and he was an amazing man. Mr. Rodney was one of the earliest and strongest voices calling for the integration of major league baseball.
Writing for the Daily Worker (the organ of the Communist Party in the US) Mr. Rodney constantly browbeat baseball commissioner Landis to bring black players into the major leagues. Here's a sample of his writing:
“You, the self-proclaimed ‘Czar’ of baseball, are the man responsible for keeping Jim Crow in our National Pastime. You are the one refusing to say the word which would do more to justify baseball’s existence in this year of war than any other single thing.”
Imagine any sports league in this day and age credentialing a reporter from the Communist Party? It's hard to believe. It's also hard to imagine that the press and the people acknowledged the efforts of the Communists here.
Mr. Rodney died last week, at the age of 98. He really led an extraordinary life.
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