Sports... generally. What about Italians?

Carrol Cox cbcox at
Sat May 18 16:26:13 MDT 1996


    I find your report on the Irish fascinating. Incidentally, I read
someplace in the last few months that for many decades the police
departments of the larger cities were in effect an "affirmative action
program" for the Irish (thus again exploding the dirty old balloon about
"everyone else" except African Americans "making it on their own"). Later,
I believe, Italians came to dominate the police forces in many cities.

    What are the statistics in baseball on Italians? My impression from
what I can vaguely remember of the 30s and early 40s was that there
were very large numbers of Italians on baseball teams (the Dimaggios
being the most famous instance).

And it just occurred to me: early in the century there were, I believe
many athletes from poor Southern whites. Athletics is simply an
individualist "way up" for *some* members of any group with limited

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