Obama honors Negro League players at White House

President Barack Obama is honoring former baseball players in

the Negro League, a haven for African-American players who for

decades were prevented from competing with white players in

professional baseball.

The White House says Obama invited about a dozen players to the

White House on Monday to mark their contributions to American

history, civil rights and athletics. The players competed for teams

like the Philadelphia Stars, New York Black Yankees, Indianapolis

Clowns and Boston Blues.

The Negro League thrived in the early part of the 20th century.

Its decline started after Jackie Robinson in 1947 became the first

African-American to play Major League Baseball in modern times,

clearing the way for other black players to compete in the major

leagues. The league disbanded a few years later.