Because Bearden wouldn’t play ball, he couldn’t play ball

“[In the early 1930s] his pitching for the [semipro Boston Colored] Tigers caught the eyes of recruiters from the Philadelphia Athletics, and the owner offered him a position on the team… with one stipulation. He would have to pass for white. [Romare] Bearden proudly declined. Soon after he would leave Boston… and return to New York. He never played professional baseball again.”

— From “The Man Who Spurned a Baseball Career to Become a Renowned Artist”  by Jason Parham on

Coincidentally, Bearden and baseball have recently been at odds in his hometown, as Romare Bearden Park and a proposed minor-league stadium compete for the same piece of Charlotte real estate.