During the 1940s Wendell Smith at the Pittsburgh Courier and Sam Lacy at the Baltimore Afro-American waged an unrelenting battle in the black press against segregation in professional baseball. But, while the mainstream press virtually ignored the issue, Lacy and Smith did not wage their battle without the aid of at least one white sportswriter--Lester Rodney.
Just as history has overlooked so many of the men who labored in the fields of baseball's Negro Leagues, so has it overlooked the significant contributions made by Lester Rodney. Why? Because he was a communist. Rodney maintained an incessant barrage against baseball's color ban for ten years in the pages of New York's widely distributed communist Daily Worker, and his efforts bore considerably fruit.
The San Francisco Chronicle staff writer Jack Epstein looks into Rodney's life, career and contributions to American baseball and society in "Baseball's Conscience Finally Gets His Due."