23 photographs, 1 map
As star players for the 1955 World Champion Brooklyn Dodgers, and prior to that as the first black players to be candidates to break professional baseball’s color barrier, Jackie Robinson and Roy Campanella would seem to be natural allies. But the two men were divided by a rivalry going far beyond the personality differences and petty jealousies of competitive teammates. Behind the bitterness were deep and differing beliefs about the fight for civil rights.
Robinson, the more aggressive and intense of the two, thought Jim Crow should be attacked head-on; Campanella, more passive and easygoing, believed that ability, not militancy, was the key to racial equality. Drawing on interviews with former players such as Monte Irvin, Hank Aaron, Carl Erskine, and Don Zimmer, Jackie and Campy offers a closer look at these two players and their place in a historical movement torn between active defiance and passive resistance. William C. Kashatus deepens our understanding of these two baseball icons and civil rights pioneers and provides a clearer picture of their time and our own.
William C. Kashatus is the author of many books, including September Swoon: Richie Allen, the ’64 Phillies and Racial Integration.
“A fantastic and thought-provoking analysis of how two men championed the fight for racial harmony in segregated America via different rules of engagement. A must-read for any serious student of baseball and American history.”—Larry Lester, historian for the Negro League Baseball Hall of Fame