If I could pick one quote to summarize what chapter 2 of Raceball was trying to express it would be “social and cultural significance outweighed black baseball’s shaky economic underpinnings”. Although there is significance in the economics of early black baseball leagues, they would not have been possible at all without the men who fought so hard to make them work. This is where I feel that the cultural significance comes into play. 

The “numbers game” was an incredibly interesting way for successful black men to give back and support their community while also increasing their business. These men who ran the game were almost unanimously held in high regard by their communities. Due in no small part to contributions such as soup kitchens, political campaigns, employment opportunities, and of course their funding of baseball teams. Numbers men also became a sort of bank for the community. In a time when banks’ lending was heavily biased according to race, men like Greenlee would provide loans, many of which were never expected to be paid back. The author stated that these men “would have been steel tycoons, wall street brokers, auto moguls had they been white”. I think that even though they would have had more opportunity if they had been white, the accomplishments that they achieved for their communities mean more considering their own situation. 

The social aspect that stood out to me the most was the relationships between black and white players. Many young boys living in poor areas would play baseball together. These friendships ran deep, and the boys would even receive “whuppings” from their “black mamas” and their “white mamas” when they got in trouble. Even though they grew up playing together the boys would have to segregate when they eventually wanted to join organized leagues. Even though these players were separated out in the United States, they would often play each other in off season games in Cuba and scrimmages. Interracial games were popular, and in 1922 Babe Ruth’s All-Stars lost a double header to a black team. This event, along with many other losses to black teams, led to the commissioner banning interracial games. With commissioners and management consistently dismissing African American and Latino players as lesser, the white players who they went up against knew that this was simply not true. I think the event that exemplifies this fact is when John Henry Lloyd was compared to Honus Wagner, Wagner said that he was honored.