Before Jackie Robinson made his debut with the Dodgers in 1947, black and white ballplayers had already been playing against one another for decades-even on occasion playing with each other, as major leaguers and Negro Leaguers alike discovered the lucrative business of barnstorming during the off-season. These tours reached new heights when Satchel Paige and other African-American stars took on white teams headlined by the irrepressible Dizzy Dean. Recognizing the box-office appeal of their rivalry, Paige and Dean played to the fans, using their signature soaring leg kicks and mimicking each other's styles for fun. Skin color aside, the dirt-poor Southern pitchers had much in common.
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