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Twins Integrate Spring Training Camp

Mar. 3, 1964 - The Minnesota Twins, pressured by civil rights groups to end segregated housing of players, moved their baseball training camp headquarters today to an integrated hotel in Orlando, Florida. The move was reported in a brief statement telephoned by the club to St. Paul-Minneapolis news media. Calvin Griffith, the club president, made the announcement.

The team will be at the Downtowner Motel. White players had stayed at the Cherry Plaza Hotel (pictured right) and Negro players at the Sadler Motel.

Negro groups in Minneapolis-St. Paul complained this winter that the Twins were the only major league club to permit segregated housing in spring training. Members of the Congress of Racial Equality had threatened to picket the Twins’ home opener against Washington April 21 unless accommodations were integrated.

In his statement today, Mr. Griffith said: “We had to give up a little in the quality of accommodations. As a matter of fact, neither the white nor the Negro players will have quite such commodious quarters as when they were separated. But we have accomplished the primary purpose of bringing our players together without discrimination.”

The 112-room Downtowner Motel was completed 15 months ago. It has a swimming pool, two dining rooms, and a cocktail lounge. It has always been integrated, its manager said today.

Twins catcher Earl Battey, a Negro and one of the original complainants about the segregated facilities, said he wanted to “make it clear that we do not object to the quality of our accommodations at the Sadler. The quality is equal to anything we have in major league cities during the season. Our position was that equal but separate accommodations was still discrimination.”

Added Negro teammate Vic Power: “I think it’s a good thing for the morale of the club. We play as a unit, so we ought to live as a unit.”


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