This was a presentation given at the Passing the Ball: Race and Sports conference at Temple University.
In 1913 James Sullivan, the U.S. minister to the Dominican Republic said:
“I deem it worthy of the Department’s notice that the American game of baseball is being played and supported here with great enthusiasm. The remarkable effect of this outlet for the animal spirits of the young men, is that they are leaving the plazas where they were in the habit of congregating and talking revolution and are resorting to the ball fields where they become wildly partizen [sic] each for his favorite team. The importance of this new interest . . . should not be minimized. It satisfies a craving in the nature of the people for exciting conflict, and is a real substitute for the contest in the hill-sides with rifles, if it could be fostered and made important by a league of teams . . . it well might be one factor in the salvation of the nation.” – Race, Sport and Politics: The Sporting Black Diaspora by Ben Carrington