Beyond Baseball's Color Barrier is a comprehensive history of African Americans in Major League Baseball from the 1879s through today and with an eye towards the future. The timeline begins in 1879 with the curious story of the first known player with African American lineage and continues through today’s game. It examines how the color line was drawn, efforts made to erode it and the progress towards Jackie Robinson’s debut. From there, the book uses personal accounts and colorful stories to examine the trends of African American player participation throughout Major League Baseball history.
At the heart of Beyond Baseball's Color Barrier are the great African American baseball players themselves. The book takes readers through generations, showing how African American ballplayers have influenced the sport. Using the stories of dozens of African American stars, the book traces the exponential growth of diversity in the sport. A boom in participation among African American players in the 1970s led the sport into a prosperous era of personalities that mirrored American culture of the time and led to peak participation in the early 1990s.
Beyond Baseball's Color Barrier is due for publication May 12, 2021 through Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. It is available for preorder NOW through Amazon.
Baseball is a game of incredible moments, awe-inspiring feats, and dramatic finishes. But not all of these events actually impacted the game itself or the players still to come. Moments such as Lou Gehrig’s last Opening Day appearance, the very first All-Star game, or Mickey Mantle’s first game to hit home runs from both sides of the plate are iconic not because they were game-changing plays, but because they affected the course of baseball history.
In 50 Moments That Defined Major League Baseball, Rocco Constantino provides a fresh history of the national pastime by recounting the most extraordinary and iconic moments—both renowned and obscure—that shaped the game as it moved from the Dead Ball Era, through World War II, and on to the modern era. Events include Jackie Robinson’s first All-Star Game, Babe Ruth’s 50th home run in his first season as a Yankee, Hank Aaron’s first career home run, and many more. Highlighting these moments are Constantino’s exclusive interviews with over 50 former Major League Baseball players, managers, and umpires, as they candidly share their memories and provide commentary on these impactful events. Many of the players interviewed played in the World Series or an All-Star Game, including Rod Carew, Fred Lynn, Shawn Estes, and Jeff Montgomery.
50 Moments That Defined Major League Baseball is available NOW through Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
In May of 2020, Constantino teamed with Chris Vitali and a small team of other die-hard baseball history fans to launch the multimedia website BallNine. While the site is largely based in baseball history, current topics and oddities about the game are featured on the site as well. As co-founder with Vitali, the Editor-in-Chief, Constantino's main role is to interview former players as he brings stories of the game to the fans directly from those involved. He also appears on related podcasts and video casts as well.