Sport: A Hard Out

Branch Rickey, the beefy, bushy-browed boss of the old Brooklyn Dodgers, was at his histrionic best. Scowling at the young black ballplayer seated in his office, he portrayed in turn a bigoted umpire deliberately making bad calls, a haughty railroad conductor pointing to the Jim Crow car, and a hostile waiter snarling, "Nigger, you can't eat here." "Suppose they throw at your head," Rickey demanded. "Suppose you're fielding a ground ball, and a white player charges into you and sneers, 'Next time get out of my way, you dirty black bastard.' What do you do...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!