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One Of A Kind 1950s Detroit Tigers Civil Rights Poster

"Mr. Rogell The Tigers Aren't All White Anymore"

This hand-lettered poster was found behind a framed charcoal drawing that had been hanging on a wall since its purchase in the 1960’s. The poster was being used as a stiffener for the drawing. It is apparently an early (1958) civil rights poster, supporting the fact that the Detroit Tigers professional baseball team got its first black player (Ozzie Virgil Sr., June 6, 1958), despite the anti-negro atmosphere pervasive in Detroit politics, and embodied by Billy Rogell, who was a city councilman at the time. Billy Rogell was a shortstop for the Detroit Tigers from 1927 – 1939, and was a vocal critic of the integration of the baseball team and Detroit. Rogell once suggested “taking an area and moving the whites the hell out- and moving the negros in” as a solution to racial tensions. This poster can easily be interpreted as a snub to Mr. Rogell and as applause for the move of the Detroit Tigers. The Tigers were the second-to-last professional team to hire a black player. The last team was the Boston Red Sox in 1959. As you can see in the pictures it shows some signs of wear, but that is to be expected on a piece of this vintage nature. This poster measures 28" X 20".

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