“Dunkel’s enthralling narrative of Bismarck’s talented collection of white and black players falls into the ‘must-read’ category.” Cleveland Plain Dealer
The Forgotten Team That Broke Baseball's Color Line
978-0-8021-2137-0 • $17.00 • Paperback • Apr. 2014
“A tale as fantastic as it is true.” Boston Globe
“[Color Blind] tells one of the great untold stories about baseball history, one that almost sounds too good to be true.” Chicago Tribune
“A delightful read. This is a tale worth telling.” Washington Post
When baseball swept America in the years after the Civil War, independent, semipro, and municipal leagues sprouted up everywhere. With civic pride on the line, rivalries were fierce and teams often signed ringers to play alongside the town dentist, insurance salesman, and teen prodigy. In drought-stricken Bismarck, North Dakota, during the Great Depression, one of the most improbable teams in the history of baseball was assembled by one of the sport’s most unlikely champions. A decade before Jackie Robinson broke into the major leagues, car dealer Neil Churchill signed the best players he could find, regardless of race, and fielded an integrated squad that took on all comers in spectacular fashion.
Color Blind immerses the reader in the wild and wonderful world of early independent baseball, with its tough competition and its novelty. Dunkel traces the rise of the Bismarck squad, focusing on the 1935 season and the first National Semipro Tournament. This is an entertaining must-read for anyone interested in the history of baseball.