Minnesota History: Building A Legacy

"They Played for the Love of the Game: Adding to the Legacy of Minnesota Black Baseball" Research and Writing

  • Project Overview
  • Project Details
Cover of book that was produced from manuscript.

Project Overview

Recipient: Ramsey County Historical Society

This grant supported the completion of the remaining research (approximately 60% complete at this time) for a book-length history of Minnesota Black Baseball as part of the work done by the author in 2010 to mount an exhibit on this topic with the Ramsey County Historical Society. The completed manuscript will be available to other researchers in the Research Center of the Ramsey County Historical Society, St. Paul, Minn. and elsewhere.


When it's published, the book on Minnesota Black Baseball will provide a greater, more detailed examination of Black Baseball in the 1940s and 1950s than can be found elsewhere. While not the only book on Black baseball, this manuscript will be a critical resource for researchers and the public seek to understand this topic.


A broad and detailed understanding of this period of Black Baseball in our state is needed because many changes in the acceptance of Black baseball players occurred after Jackie Robinson broke the color line in Major League Baseball in 1947. Robinson's achievement at the Major League level did not suddenly wipe out the racism that many Black ballplayers experienced, especially in states such as Minnesota, but slowly changes did take place that opened up more opportunities to play for talented African-American athletes. An understanding of the complexities of these changes and their impact on the baseball players who are central to Mr. White's account will be a major contribution to the literature on this sport in Minnesota.

Project Details

To complete the research and writing of a manuscript documenting the history of Black baseball in Minnesota, 1940s-1960s.

Fund Availability:

01/01/2013 - 01/01/2014

Legal Citation / Subdivision
Laws of Minnesota for 2011 Chapter 6, Article 4, Subdivision 5, Statewide Historic and Cultural Grants.

Appropriation Language
Statewide Historic and Cultural Grants. $5,250,000 the first year and $5,250,000 the second year are for history programs and projects operated or conducted by or through local, county, regional, or other historical or cultural organizations; or for activities to preserve significant historic and cultural resources.

Funding Amount: $6,900

Direct Expenses: $6,900

Project Manager

John Lindley
Ramsey County Historical Society
75 W 5th Street, Suite 323
St. Paul, MN 55102


Members of Recipient's Governing Body: Carolyn Brusseau, Thomas H. Boyd,Julie Brady,William Frels, Anne Cowie, Nancy Randall Dana,Cheryl Dickson, Joanne A. Englund, Ken Johnson, Howard M. Guthmann, Richard (Rick) Heydinger, John Holman , Nancy McKillips, Sandy Kiernat, David Kristal, Carl Kuhrmeyer, Father Kevin McDonough, Richard H. Nicholson, Susan McNeely, Bob Muschewske,Laurie Murphy,Jay Pfaender, Jeffrey Slack, Ralph Thrane, Paul A. Verret

Subject: History

Administering Agency

Minnesota Historical Society

Board Members:

Minnesota Historical Society Governing Board:

William R. Stoeri, President
Missy S. Thompson, Vice President
Ruth Huss, Vice President
D. Stephen Elliott, Secretary
Dean M. Nelson, Treasurer

Suzanne Blue
Brenda J. Child
Robert Bruininks
Judith S. Corson
D. Stephen Elliott
Phyllis Rawls Goff
William D. Green
David R. Hakensen
Ruth S. Huss
Martha Kaemmer
Dennis L. Lamkin
David M. Larson
Charles Mahar
Dean M. Nelson
Elizabeth M. Nordlie
Dennis Nguyen
Peter R. Reis
Hussein Samatar
Simon Stevens
Susan Kenny Stevens
William R. Stoeri
Karen Wilson Thissen
Missy Staples Thompson
Eleanor Winston

Mark Dayton, Governor
Yvonne Prattner Solon Lieutenant Governor
Mark Ritchie, Secretary of State
Lori Swanson, Attorney General
Rebecca Otto, State Auditor

Advisory Group Members:

Historic Resources Advisory Committee

Mark Peterson, Winona (Chair)
- Executive Director, Winona County Historical Society
- Governor's appointee to Minnesota Sesquicentennial and Minnesota Humanities Commissions
- Qualified in history, historic preservation and history museum administration

Leanne Brown, Eden Prairie
- Director of Development, Carver County Library/Library Foundation
- Formerly, Executive Director, Carver County Historical Society
- Qualified in history, project management and museum studies

Jack Byers, Minneapolis
- Manager, Minneapolis Community Planning and Economic Development Department (CPED)
- Manages CPED's Preservation and Design Section
- Qualified in historic preservation, architecture, urban geography and planning

Tamara Edevold, Bagley
- Executive Director, Clearwater County Historical Society
- Active in Minnesota's Historic Northwest, regional historical organization
- Qualified in history, archaeology, anthropology and history museum administration

Ram Gada, Eden Prairie
- Engineer
- Active in the documentation of Minnesota's East Indian community
- State Historical Records Advisory Board (SHRAB), former member
- Qualified in engineering, energy consulting and grants administration

William Latady, Tower
- Bois Forte Deputy Tribal Historic Preservation Officer
- Curator, Bois Forte Heritage Museum
- Qualified in archaeology, anthropology, historic preservation and history museum administration

Benjamin Vander Kooi, Luverne
- Attorney practicing as Vander Kooi Law Offices, P.A., in Luverne, MN
- Active in Vote Yes! Campaign
- Past chair, MN State Arts Board
- Advisor, National Trust for Historic Preservation
- Qualified in historic preservation, nonprofit and grants administration

Brenda Child, Minneapolis
- Chair, Department of American Indian Studies, University of Minnesota
- Enrolled member, Red Lake Nation
- Qualified in history, American Studies and American Indian Studies

Nicole Foss, Bemidji
- Executive Director, Beltrami County Historical Society, Bemidji, MN
- Qualified in anthropology, historical archaeology, library and museum fields

Kris Kiesling, Roseville
- Director of Archives and Special Collections at University of MN Libraries
- State Historical Records Advisory Board (SHRAB) member
- Qualified in library and archives, digital services and history

Jan Louwagie, Marshall
- Coordinator, Southwest Minnesota Regional Research Center, Southwest Minnesota State University
- Founding member of Society for the Study of Local and Regional History
- Former member of State Historical Records Advisory Board (SHRAB)
- Qualified in history and archival administration

Ann Meline, Saint Cloud
- Deputy Director, Stearns History Museum, St. Cloud
- Formerly Assistant Director/Public Programs managing Exhibits, Collections and Education Departments
- Former grant reviewer for Institute of Museum and Library Services
- Qualified in history, nonprofit and museum administration

Peter Reis, White Bear Lake
- President, White Bear Lake Area Historical Society
- Chair, Minnesota Historical Society's Grants Review Committee
- Qualified in history and nonprofit and grants administration

William Stoeri, Minneapolis
- Ex-officio member (president of the MHS Board)

Missy Staples Thompson, Saint Paul
- Ex-officio member (treasurer of the MHS Board)

Conflict of Interest Disclosed: None

Quick Facts

Project Type: Grants

Recipient: Ramsey County Historical Society

Funding Amount: $6,900

Source: Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund

Status: Completed

Appropriation Years: 2013

Recipient Type: Non-Profit Business/Entity

Activity Type: Grants/Contracts

Counties Impacted: Statewide

MN Senate District: 65

MN House District: 65B

This site is updated regularly with descriptions and data related to Legacy projects funded through the Minnesota Historical Society by the Legacy Amendment's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund (ACHF).
Further information about the use and impact of all Legacy Funds can be found on the Minnesota Legislative Coordinating Commission's Minnesota's Legacy site.