In 1961, local Black civic leaders and civil rights activists Dr. Ralph Wimbish and Dr. Robert Swain sent shockwaves through the baseball world. They refused to continue the practice of opening their homes and hotels to Black players who were not permitted to stay with their white teammates in local St. Petersburg hotels.Ralph Wimbish Jr. (right) and Bill White (left), seven-time All Star who trained in St. Pete when he was with the Cardinals. He went on to become president of the National Baseball League.
Their actions weren’t meant to discriminate against the Black players – just the opposite. Their stand effectively ended segregation of baseball’s spring training, and brought on the integration of hotels in St.… Read More