38 J. Sup. Ct. Hist. 51 (2013)
The Little League Champions Benched by Jim Crow in 1955: Resistance and Reform after Brown v. Board of Education

handle is hein.journals/jspcth38 and id is 53 raw text is: 














The Little League Champions


Benched by Jim Crow in 1955:


Resistance and Reform after


Brown v. Board of Education








                                                    DOUGLAS E. ABRAMS


              Introduction

    Little League Baseball, Inc. calls them
the most significant amateur team in baseball
history.' The Boston Globe calls their story
one of baseball's cruelest moments.2 ABC
News  says that their story is [n]ot about
man's inhumanity to man but man's inhu-
manity to children.3
    They were the Cannon Street YMCA All
Stars, a team of eleven- and twelve-year-olds
who went to the Little League World Series in
Williamsport, Pa. in 1955 after winning the
Charleston, South Carolina city champion-
ship; the South Carolina state championship
in Greenville; and the southern regional
championship in Rome, Georgia. They did
not lose a single game.4
    The Cannon Street All Stars were also the
only team that ever went to Williamsport but
was forbidden to play there for the World


Series title. They attended as Little League's
guests, but they sat in the stands and watched,
barred from competing because they had won
the city, state, and regional titles by forfeits.5
    The All Stars were the team that no one
would play.6 Every other Charleston Little
League team refused to take the field against
them in the city championships. All sixty-one
other South Carolina teams eligible for the
state tournament joined the boycott, and so
did all seven other state champions that
qualified to play for the southeastern regional
title, the final step on the road to William-
sport.7 In the wake of the mass boycott and
forfeits, Little League's national office recog-
nized the Cannon Street All Stars as the city,
state, and southeastern regional champions.8
    None  of the other teams-more  than
seventy in all-ever  suggested that the
Cannon  Street All Stars played dirty. None
ever suggested that the All Stars violated any

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