The entrance of black players into the major leagues was just the beginning of the struggle for racial equality in the sport -- in the clubhouse and on the field. The black ballplayers on the New York rosters faced hostility from some of their teammates, bean balls and spiking on the field, taunting from fans of opposing teams, and a system of legalized segregation in the South that followed them to spring training and on the road.
But the upper echelons of baseball stood firm. Facing the rumored threat of a strike by the St. Louis Cardinals, Ford Frick, president of the National League, warned, "I do not care if half the league strikes. Those who do it will encounter quick retribution. They will be suspended and I don’t care if it wrecks the National League for five years. This is the United States of America, and one citizen has as much right to play as any other. The National League will go down the line with Robinson whatever the consequence."