The state of baseball in 1964, from David Halberstam's October 1964:
It was now seventeen years since Jackie Robinson had broken in with the Dodgers, and had done it so brilliantly that he had not only helped lead Brooklyn to a pennant but had also won the Rookie of the Year award. That there was a great new talent pool of black athletes was hardly a secret among the white players themselves. The names of such great black players as Josh Gibson, Satchel Paige, and Judy Johnson had been well known to the many big league players wh had often barnstormed with them after the regular season was over (and who often made more money barnstorming on the all-white major league all-star teams than their colleagues had made playing in the World Series): they knew that the Negro leagues were filled with players who could hit and pitch, and, above all, who had speed. In the years since Robinson's historic arrival in the big leagues, certain teams had moved quickly to sign up the best black players. It was the equivalent of a bargain-basement sale at Tiffany's -- great players available at discount prices, even as the price of young, untried white players was going up very quickly.