University of Pittsburgh
September 7, 2011

Pitt History Symposium Celebrates Sports Historian and Faculty Member Rob Ruck’s Latest Book

Ruck is the author of Raceball: How the Major Leagues Colonized the Black and Latin Game
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH—The University of Pittsburgh Department of History will hold a symposium celebrating sports historian and faculty member Rob Ruck’s newest book, Raceball: How the Major Leagues Colonized the Black and Latin Game (Beacon Press, 2011), from 4 to 6 p.m. Sept. 15 in the William Pitt Union Lower Lounge, 3959 Fifth Ave., Oakland.

The symposium, part of the department’s Book Symposia Series, will be followed by a reception.

Reid Andrews, Pitt Distinguished Professor of History and chair of the department, will moderate the presentation. Participants include Sean Gibson, executive director of the Josh Gibson Foundation; Lara Putnam, Pitt associate professor of history; and Laurent Dubois, Marcello Lotti Professor of Romance Studies and History at Duke University. The commentators will talk about Raceball within the context of their own work on the Negro Leagues, soccer, and the Caribbean.

Raceball examines the converging histories of Black and Latin ballplayers in the major leagues and challenges the traditional rendering of these histories as a story of Black and Latin segregation followed by redemptive integration. In his book, Ruck suggests that segregation gutted the Negro Leagues and subjected Latin players to Jim Crow racism. Today, he notes, Major League Baseball is tightening its grip on the burgeoning Caribbean baseball academies while in the United States it exploits the legacy of the Negro Leagues.

For more information, call 412-648-7452 or visit