Tuesday, October 17, 2006
October 6, 2006, Harrisburg, PA
BUCK’s DEATH SHORTENS GAME
The Hilldale Daises pounded the Harrisburg Giants at West End Grounds by a score of 10-0. The game, mercifully shortened by mutual acceptance of the ten run rule, became irrelevant after the following announcement made as the teams changed positions in the middle of the fourth inning:
It is my duty to inform you that Buck O’Neil, star first baseman and manager in the Negro leagues, a pioneering scout and coach in the major leagues who devoted the final decade of his life to chronicling the lost world of black baseball, died this afternoon in Kansas City. He was 94.
Subsequently it was announced that tomorrow’s game in Harrisburg would be part of a doubleheader with the second game being an all-star game featuring many legendary Negro League stars many of whom played with or against Buck during his storied career. A record West End Grounds crowd is expected.
Giants southpaw Willie Gisentaner took the pounding while Hilldale’s Phil Cockrell hurled the events shortened shut out. Line score follows:
1925 Hilldale Daisies 003 17 – 11 9 0 WP- Cockrell
Harrisburg Giants 000 00 – 0 5 0 LP – Gisentaner 6-7 6.51 E.R.A.
1,982 fans attended seeing the Giants fall to 55-54 thus far in 2006-II.
October 14, 2006, Harrisburg, PA - A record crowd of 4,013 fans attended today’s doubleheader honoring the late great Buck O’Neill. They were rewarded with two great games.
In the opener, the Hilldale Daisies nipped the Harrisburg Giants 8-6 with two runs in the top of the 10th inning of loser Sam Cooper. Nip Winters, pitching on two days rest in order to honor Buck O’Neil, went the route with less than his best stuff. John Beckwith slammed his 21st homerun of the season for the Giants.
Hilldale 100 030 020 2 – 8 11 1 WP - Winters
Harrisburg 003 010 002 0 - 6 9 0 LP – S. Cooper 5-6 4.61 E.R.A.
HR – Beckwith (21)
In the second game, scheduled as a tribute to Buck O’Neil, darkness fell with Solomon-like justice after 10 innings of a tie game between an Eastern Negro League All-Star team and a Buck O’Neill managed team from the West. Buck received standing ovations when he brought out the lineup card, switched pitchers, pinch ran, took the field, grounded out, and when he took a post-game bow.
The West jumped to a 3-0 lead in the 3rd on Hilton Smith’s double and Willard Brown’s two run single. Josh Gibson’s mammoth homer tied it in the 6th only to see the West, on Mule Suttles triple and Minnie Minoso’s single, jump back in front 5-3 in the bottom half of the 6th. Sol White’s 7th inning single and Harrisburg’s Fats Jenkins’ 9th inning sac fly produced the tie.
East 000 003 101 0 – 5 7 0
West 003 002 000 0 – 5 10 1
HR - Gibson
Monday, June 12, 2006
West 000 010 000 - 1 2 0 LP-Smith
East 000 151 01x - 8 10 0 WP-Paige
HR- Irvin 2, Charleston, Dixon, Santop
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
This article appeared in the Allentown Morning Call one week before the death of Bob Peterson. It was written by his daughter Margie.
Before Jackie Robinson, there was Cool Papa Bell
by Margie Peterson
February 9, 2006
''There is a story that one day during the 1930s the Pittsburgh Crawfords [an all black professional baseball team] were playing in
Forbes Field in Pittsburgh when their young catcher, Josh Gibson, hit
the ball so high and far that no one saw it come down. After scanning the sky carefully for a few minutes, the umpire deliberated and ruled
it a home run. The next day the Crawfords were playing in Philadelphia
when suddenly a ball dropped out of the heavens and was caught by a startled centerfielder on the opposing club. The umpire made the only
possible ruling. Pointing to Gibson he shouted, 'Yer out -- yesterday in Pittsburgh.' ''
I'm lifting a lot of this history from the book, because I'm fairly sure the author won't sue me. He wouldn't want to loot his grandsons'
college fund. As a semi-pro catcher in the late 1940s, my father, Robert W. Peterson, played against barnstorming black teams. In 1966, he walked
into a Harlem liquor store owned by ex-big league star Roy Campanella
and started the interviews that would become the lifeblood of ''Only the Ball Was White.''
Campanella told him where to find former Negro leagues stars Buck Leonard and Judy Johnson, who was scouting for the Philadelphia
Phillies at the time. My father talked to them and they gave him more names.
In 1971, the year after ''Only the Ball Was White'' was published, the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown inducted its first Negro leagues
star â€" pitcher Satchel Paige. Sixteen others have since joined him.
This month, my father, who lives in Lower Macungie Township, is slated
to be one of 12 historians of black baseball to vote on players being considered for induction. Unable to travel, he will vote absentee.
Over the years, my father has been asked: What's a white guy doing writing about black history? Invariably, his reply is that it's
American history. ''Negro baseball was at once heroic and tawdry, a gladsome thing and a blot on America's conscience,'' he wrote in 1970.
Everyone gets a legacy. Plumbers' kids learn how to fix leaky faucets.
A millionaire's son wins a life of luxury. I was lucky enough to learn
a fascinating piece of American history at the feet of the guy who wrote it. That's riches enough.
Copyright (c) 2006, The Morning Call
Robert W. Peterson, Negro Leagues Historian, Dies at 80
By RICHARD GOLDSTEIN
Robert W. Peterson, whose pioneering history of the Negro leagues, "Only the Ball Was White," recaptured a lost era in baseball history
and a rich facet of black life in America, died Saturday at a hospital
in Salisbury Township, Pa. Mr. Peterson, who lived in Lower Macungie
Township, Pa., was 80. His death was announced by his wife, Peggy, who said he had lung cancer.
When Mr. Peterson's account of black baseball was published by Prentice-Hall in 1970, little was known of the Negro leagues apart
from the memories of black Americans who had been thrilled by players like Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson and Buck Leonard. Black baseball had
flourished in a segregated America but was largely ignored by the
mainstream press and went out of business in the 1950's, soon after the major league color barrier had been smashed.
When Mr. Peterson was growing up in Warren, Pa., he had seen some of
the great Negro leaguers in barnstorming games. He later played baseball at Upsala College in East Orange, N.J., and worked as an
editor for The World-Telegram and The Sun. When the paper closed in 1966, he turned to freelance writing and set out to learn the history
of the Negro leagues by interviewing the star players and studying microfilm of black newspapers.
Mr. Peterson was inspired by those memories from his boyhood. In the preface to "Only the Ball Was White," he recalled: "One summer day in
1939 a kid squatted on the bank behind home plate at Russell Field in Warren, Pennsylvania, fielding foul balls (which could be redeemed for
a nickel each" no small consideration in those days), and saw Josh Gibson hit the longest home run ever struck in Warren County. It was
one of many impressive feats performed by touring black players that excited the wonder and admiration of that foul-ball shagger. This book
is the belated fruit of his wonder."
Mr. Peterson's book traced black baseball's history from the 19th century and provided first-person accounts, brief biographies of
leading players, league standings and statistics. Writing in The New York Times Book Review, Rex Lardner called the book "a worthy and
fascinating addition to anyone's baseball library."
Many books on black baseball have been written in the decades since, transforming a long-neglected chapter of baseball history into a
Mr. Peterson also wrote "Cages to Jump Shots: Pro Basketball's Early Years," "Pigskin: The Early Years of Pro Football" and "The Boy
Scouts: An American Adventure."
In addition to his wife, he is survived by a son, Thomas, of Westfield, N.J.; a daughter, Margaret Peterson, of Salisbury Township,
Pa.; and two grandsons.
In his memoir, "Hardball," Bowie Kuhn recalled that when he became baseball commissioner in 1969, a debate had arisen over whether to
induct stars of the Negro leagues into the Hall of Fame. The Peterson
book, Kuhn said, "focused greater attention on the accomplishments of Negro League players."
In 1971, Paige became the first Negro leagues star inducted into the Hall of Fame, and he has been followed by 17 others. Mr. Peterson was
named to the 12-member unit that will vote Feb. 27 on the possible induction of additional figures from black baseball. In view of his
failing health, he had cast a ballot in absentia.
In an epilogue in "Only the Ball Was White," Mr. Peterson called for giving full honors at Cooperstown to Negro leagues stars. "So long as
the Hall of Fame is without a few of the great stars of Negro
baseball," he wrote, "the notion that it represents the best in baseball is nonsense."
I regret that I have not posted since January 14, 2006. However, neither life nor the Harrisburg Giants season has been as neglectful. Both have relentlessly moved on. I just have not chronicled the happenings – happy/sad, joyous and moving, significant and lasting, ephemeral.
Here is a quick summary of some of the items that I have failed to report on here in the Harrisburg Giants blog:
The Death of Mr. Peterson
The election of 17 Negro League players and owners to the Hall of Fame
Bill Staffa’s production of an APBA compatible card set of Negro League Hall of Famers
Pennsylvania Black History Conference
10th Annual Harrisburg Senators Negro League Commemorative Night
“Hall of Famers in the Parking Lot”
Linkage to the Negro League Yahoo Group
118 games of Harrisburg Giant baseball
Upcoming Events include:
The culmination of the 2006-I Harrisburg Giant season, now through next week
The East-West Classic All-Star Series, June 13-17
The new 2006-II Harrisburg Giant season, opens July 3rd
9th annual Jerry Malloy Negro League Research Conference, Kansas City, July 7-9
Induction of 17 Negro Leaguers into the Hall of Fame, July 30th
2nd annual Lancaster Barnstormers Negro League Night, August 1st
10th annual Judy Johnson Night, Wilmington, DE, August 19th
I hope to recap a few of the events in the first list and to keep my hundreds of readers updated on the upcoming events a little more faithfully than I have since January. Happy Reading! Let’s play two!
Saturday, January 14, 2006
Friday, January 13, 2006
Thursday, January 12, 2006
If not for a couple of base running faux pas the New York Yankees might still be batting and scoring runs. Down four going into the top of the 9th this afternoon at West End Grounds, the first eight Yankee batters reached base safely. Singles by pinch hitters Gazelle & Paschal opened the inning followed by long hits by Combs, a triple, and Koenig, a homer, a walk to the Babe and then singles by Gehrig, Meusel and Lazerri. The game was kept interesting when Gehrig was tossed out at third and Meusel was picked off first. Mark Koenig had 4 hits and 9 total bases in the contest.
In addition to Koenig, Tony Lazzeri homered for the visitors; Oscar Charleston & Ben Taylor had circuit clouts for the home team. Gisentaner, Carter and Pritchett all failed in the 9th with Wilbur Pritchett taking the defeat; Herb Pennock lucked out with the win; while Wilcy Moore earned the save.
NYY 000 002 005 – 7 13 0 WP – Pennock Save - Moore
HBG 200 000 220 – 6 11 0 LP - Pritchett
HR – Charleston (3), Lazzeri, Taylor (1), Koenig
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
The streaking Harrisburg Giants beat the New York Yankees 3-2 at West End Grounds this afternoon before 1,970 fans. Fats Jenkins 8th inning single proved to be the game winner. Babe Ruth was held hitless for the visitors and, in fact, made the final out with two men on in the 9th. Red Ryan did the heavy lifting pitching 7 innings but Cliff Carter came on and picked up the win and Lucas came on to retire Ruth and get the save. Yankee ace hurler Wilcy Moore took the defeat.
NYY 000 100 100 – 2 11 0 LP – Cy Moore
HBG 000 110 01x – 3 10 0 WP – Carter Save – Lucas
HR – none
The series resumes tomorrow with Three Finger Gisentaner on the hill for the home team and the Yanks sending the wily Herb Pennock to the mound.
In other news, Judge Kennesaw Mountain Landis has appointed a three person panel consisting of William Hulbert, Ban Johnson and Rube Foster to hear the protest regarding the three potentially ineligible Giant players. The Giants have not represented the players as having played for the Harrisburg Giants but feel that their being on the roster of other Harrisburg teams predating the Giants should qualify them for inclusion on this composite Giants team. Both Frank Grant and Clarence Williams played for the Harrisburg Ponies in 1890 while Satchel Paige pitched for and against the Giants in exhibition games in the 1950s. A decision by the panel is expected within the week. In the meantime, Frank Grant knocked in the 2nd run and scored the 3rd and winning run in today’s game.
The Harrisburg Giants captured the series opener versus the 1927 New York Yankees behind a murderous 13 hit attack featuring John Beckwith’s fourth homer of the young season. After the game Yankee owner Jake Ruppert and Ed Bolden owner of the Hilldale Club, the Giants next opponent, filed a protest with regard to player eligibility on the Harrisburg roster. Both of the opposition owners feel second baseman Frank Grant, catcher Clarence Williams – both new additions to this year’s club – and pitcher Satchel Paige (currently in an extended spring training) should be prohibited from further action as Giants since they never played for Colonel Strothers club or any subsequent Poles, Dixon or Felton owned franchises. A decision by a yet to be appointed panel is expected shortly.
On the field Oscar Charleston pounded three hits to lead the barrage including a double and a steal and Daltie Cooper pitched well enough to win a complete game. Babe Ruth homered for the Yanks as they jumped out three to nothing in the first. The Giants, consistently hitting throughout the contest, caught and passed the visitors in the 5th inning. Bob Meusel also homered for the New Yorkers. 2,001 fans witnessed the Giants 4th consecutive victory. Twice last year the Giants won five in a row and they will send Red Ryan to the hill tomorrow to try to match that streak.
NYY 300 000 011 – 5 7 0 LP – Urban Shocker
HBG 012 022 03x – 10 13 0 WP – Daltie Cooper 1-0
HR – Babe Ruth, Bob Meusel, John Beckwith (4), Rap Dixon (1)
Monday, January 09, 2006
In action late last week and over the weekend the Harrisburg Giants, having dropped the series opener Thursday at the Grounds, captured three of four contests against the New York Yankees of 1937 to win the series and finish their initial week of the 2006-I season at 5-3. This is particularly encouraging since their opponents for the week – the Yanks and the St. Louis Stars – were the Giants biggest nemesis in 2005-II. Last year the Giants were 2-8 against these two clubs and, in the season finale, the Stars captured the Hoverter-Reed Trophy.
In wrapping up the first week; the Giants lost the opener to the Yanks, 7-6, on Thursday and were clobbered Friday night 9-2. In that game, however, Bill Dickey was injured on the base path and did not appear behind the plate over the weekend. Lefty Gomez struggled, walking five and hitting two, but with excellent offensive backing was able to hurl a complete game for the Bronx Bombers. George Selkirk’s three run eighth inning homer put the game out of reach. Gisentaner did not pitch badly but he took the defeat for the Giants.
NYY 000 210 042 – 9 11 1 WP – Lefty Gomez
HBG 000 100 010 – 2 5 1 LP – Lefty Gisentaner
HR – Selkirk
On Saturday, the sun rose again and the now 2-3 Giants took the field in the late afternoon before a crowd of 2,871 at West End Grounds. Geechie Corbett, off a rough start in the opener, looked in 2005 form as he yielded a first inning run but nothing more in hurling the Giants to a 3-1 victory. Geechie scattered 7 hits and issued a walk in pitching a complete game gem. The Yanks bunched their hits – getting three in the first but only one run & three more in the seventh leaving the bases full. Mack Eggleston’s two run 6th inning homer provided the margin.
NYY 100 000 000 – 1 7 0 LP – Red Ruffing
HBG 001 002 00x – 3 7 1 WP – Geechie Corbett 1-1
HR – Eggleston
The action moved 45 miles down the road to Lancaster’s Rossmere Base Ball Park on Sunday due to Pennsylvania’s Blue Laws prohibiting professional baseball in Harrisburg on Sundays. Promoter Tommy Shield’s excellent hospitality was enjoyed by 3,472 fans in the Red Rose City. As usual the Sunday offering was a double header; and the Yanks could not grab either encounter from the home standing Giants.
Ping Gardner started and struggled through six stanzas yielding four runs on 7 hits and three walks including two doubles to DiMaggio and one to substitute catcher Jorgens, Meanwhile the Giants were pounding Pearson for 16 hits and 11 runs featuring a bases clearing double by Ben Taylor. Counting Poles pinch hit single … all nine positions in the batting order contributed at least one hit. Rap Dixon led the way with three hits including a double, two steals, 2 runs and a ribbie.
NYY 102 002 000 – 4 7 1 LP – Monte Pearson
HBG 420 000 50x – 11 16 0 WP – Ping Gardner 1-0
HR – none
In the nightcap, the Giants won an exciting game with some two out bottom of the ninth magic when Beckwith singled (for his fourth consecutive hit) and Rev Cannady followed with his second double of the game. This action came after the Yanks chipped away with solo runs in the 8th and 9th to tie the game at 7-7. The Giants had jumped out in front with a four spot in the first triggered by a DiMaggio blast and the Giants found themselves trailing for most of the game. The Brown Bomber – John Beckwith – knocked in 5 runs sparking the comeback prior to scoring the game winner in the ninth. Beckwith struck two towering home runs. Reliever Lucas pitched 6 strong innings of relief to keep the Yanks from pulling away while Beckwith did his stick work.
NYY 410 000 011 – 7 11 0 LP – Bump Hadley
HBG 012 020 201 – 8 14 0 WP – Sam Cooper 2-1
HR – DiMaggio, Beckwith 2 (3)
This week the 1927 Murderer’s Row Yanks visit Cottage Hill Field where the Giants will set up shop. Following the Yanks in will be the 1925 champion Hilldale Club of the Eastern Colored League. The Giants schedule does not get any easier.
Friday, January 06, 2006
Presently there are 213 players inducted in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Of them, 153 began their careers during baseball’s segregated era and 60 began their careers, including Jackie Robinson, during baseball’s integrated era. Of the 153 players from the segregated era, 18 (12%) are former Negro League players. Of the 60 players from the integrated era, 25 (42%) would previously have been relegated to the Negro Leagues.
In 2000, the National Baseball Hall of Fame, intent on rectifying the situation to the extent merited by player performance, sought proposals for a $250,000 study of the Negro Leagues. In 2001, the Baseball Researchers and Authors Group (BRAG) were selected to carry out the landmark study. In 2005, the study was completed and findings reported to the Hall. In turn, the Hall appointed a blue ribbon panel to recommend and ultimately select players deemed meritorious of induction.
4800 players participated in the Negro Leagues. 94 players (2%) were given very serious consideration and, of those, 31 players (and 8 other figures) have been identified and remain under consideration for induction. A decision on which ones (if any) will be selected will be made in late February 2006.
It is my strong personal belief that all 31 players (and 8 others) should be selected for the following three reasons:
- All of the players were exceptional talents and performed at the very top 1% of all players appearing in the Negro Leagues. A case for statistical merit can be made for all 31 players.
- All 4,800 players who appeared in the Negro Leagues suffered in varying degrees due to the lack of opportunities for them to pursue a career in organized baseball. This exercise will likely never be repeated, at least not in this format, and to deny any now – at this late stage (after having been passed through a screen that eliminated 99.4% of their contemporaries) – would be to add to that suffering. While, conversely, to induct all of them would serve, in a small way, to ease some pain and provide for some semblance of harmony.
- Even if all 31 were to be inducted, the percent of players in the Hall whose careers began during the segregated era who toiled in the Negro Leagues would still be far short (49 of 184 or 27%) of the percent of players whose careers began since integration who would have been Negro Leaguers under the segregated arrangement.
Thursday, January 05, 2006
Bill Dickey’s two run 9th inning triple provided the margin in a come from behind rally launched by the Bronx Bombers this afternoon. Trailing 5-4 entering the ninth, the Yanks rallied with Crosetti doubling, Rolfe singling, DiMaggio drawing a walk. Gehrig’s strikeout interrupted the rally but Dickey followed with his three-bagger and the damage was done. Oscar Charleston closed the gap in the bottom of the 9th with a single but Cannady ended the game when he hit into a 6-4-3 double play. Grandma Murphy earned the save in relief of Spud Chandler who struggled all day but achieved the victory. Sam cooper took the defeat in relief of Red Ryan. The game was played in front of 2,709 fans.
Here is the line
NYY 010 021 003 - 7 10 0 WP – Chandler save – Murphy
HBG 000 200 211 – 6 13 0 LP – S. Cooper
HR - Gehrig
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
Oscar Charleston’s two round trippers, the second of which being a game winning, two out, eighth inning grand slam, led the Harrisburg Giants to their second straight come from behind win over the St. Louis Stars. The two game to one series victory all but mathematically eliminates any possibility of the Stars defending the Hoverter-Reed Cup at the end of the year.
Leroy Matlock was on the mound when the Giants tallied the game winner but today’s loss went to Double Duty Radcliffe who – tiring after catching the second game of this series and pitching 7 2/3 innings today – loaded the bases before leaving in the bottom of the eighth. Charleston, who struck 41 homers in ’05-I, greeted the southpaw Matlock with his second homer of the game giving Lucas the win. Cliff Carter worked a scoreless ninth for a rare Giant save. A total of 2,573 fans were in attendance.
The line score:
StL 201 021 010 - 7 14 0 LP – T. Radcliffe
HBG 111 002 04x - 9 10 0 WP – Lucas 1-0; Save - Carter
HR – Charleston 2 (2)
NOTE: In the twenties, when a Negro League team was going to play a big game against a solid group that perhaps featured several major leaguers, the two most sought after ringers to add to a lineup were always Oscar Charleston & John Beckwith. It is no surprise therefore that the Harrisburg Giants, featuring both in 1927, were the highest paid team in Negro League baseball that year.
Tuesday, January 03, 2006
The Harrisburg Giants captured a stirring come from behind victory this afternoon at West End Grounds when they beat the St. Louis Stars 5-4. The win snapped a five game losing streak to the Stars and earned the Giants their initial win of the 2006-I season. Frank Grant singled in the winning run of Leroy Matlock in the bottom of the 9th inning. Sam Cooper was rewarded with the win for his one scoreless inning. Ping Gardner put in a solid eight for the Giants.
Cool Papa Bell homered for the second straight game for the visitors who managed a total of just six hits. The Giants tied the game in the bottom of the ninth when, with one out, Jenkins singled, Dixon tripled, and Charlie tied it with a long sacrifice fly. In the bottom of the 9th, Cannady led of with a double, Taylor was purposely passed and Frank Grant stroked a solid single to right to end the game. A crowd of 2,206 enjoyed the festivities.
StL 010 003 000 - 4 6 0 LP – Matlock
HBG 000 020 021 - 5 9 0 WP – Sam Cooper
HR - Bell
Monday, January 02, 2006
Sunday, January 01, 2006
The Negro Leagues and the Story of African-American Baseball
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON (Nov. 18, 2005)-A major work on the Negro leagues and African-American baseball, published in association with the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, will be released by National Geographic Books in February 2006. It is timed to coincide with a special series of Hall of Fame events honoring Negro league players in 2006, commencing with the announcement of any new Hall of Fame inductees from the Negro leagues and the era before the Negro leagues, in Tampa, Fla., on Feb. 27.
SHADES OF GLORY: The Negro Leagues and the Story of African-American Baseball (National Geographic Books, ISBN 0-7922-5306-X, February 2006, $26) tells the story of black baseball, from slavery days when it was played on plantations in the pre-Civil War South to the first organized games of the mid-19th century to the glory days of the Negro leagues in the 1920s, '30s and '40s. This comprehensive, 432-page work, illustrated with more than 50 vintage photographs, details the game's rich cultural history and profiles the players, owners and fans that made baseball come alive for generations of African Americans.
The principal author is Lawrence D. Hogan, with co-authors Adrian Burgos, Leslie Heaphy, Neil Lanctot, Michael Lomax, James Overmyer, Robert Peterson, Robert Ruck and Lyle Wilson.
In his foreword, baseball historian Jules Tygiel writes, "Once the flower of a segregated African-American universe, the celebration of black baseball has blossomed into a national phenomenon. The realm of black baseball was a vibrant and colorful one. It offered a panorama of innovation and enterprise, entertainment and excitement, and unparalleled athletic achievement. Yet this spectacle resulted from and was made necessary by the nation's worst impulses: the cancer of segregation and discrimination that plagued the United States in its Jim Crow years. In recalling the Negro leagues, we honor the resiliency and creativity of an oppressed people. We also celebrate the demise of that world and its replacement by a national pastime more fully characterized by equality of opportunity."
SHADES OF GLORY is a compelling and lively history that combines vivid narrative, interesting anecdotes, biographical essays and scores of archival photographs of players, teams and evocative artifacts to recreate the excitement and passion of the Negro leagues. It traces the story of black baseball from its beginning on Southern plantations to the first great teams, such as the Cuban Giants, to the era of the vibrant barnstorming teams from the East Coast, Chicago and Cuba, to the glory days of the American league play and the decline of those leagues in the days of the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s.
Drawing on years of research, SHADES OF GLORY is the result of a comprehensive study on the history of African Americans in Baseball, from 1860-1960, commissioned by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum and funded by a $250,000 grant from Major League Baseball. As part of this landmark study, the Hall of Fame supervised an effort to compile the most thorough and accurate statistics on Negro league players and games ever published, tracking down box scores for league-sanctioned games from thousands of entries from more than 120 period newspapers. Larry Lester and Dick Clark, co-directors of the Hall of Fame Project, were the compilers of this groundbreaking statistical record of black baseball. A 20-page statistical component is included in SHADES OF GLORY.
The book heralds the achievements and contributions of players, scouts, managers, team owners and executives as well as sportswriters and fans of the game. It locates the baseball story in the context of African-American history as a whole. Names such as "Pop" Watkins, Moses Walker, Sol White, Grant Johnson, Abel Linares, John Henry "Pop" Lloyd, "Smokey" Joe Williams, James "Cool Papa" Bell, Satchel Paige, Jackie Robinson and many others emerge in all their glory. The book is an important contribution to sports history and a moving tribute to the players and teams that wrote a unique chapter in the annals of baseball and American culture.
Lawrence D. Hogan, a senior professor of history at Union County College in New Jersey, will give a presentation on the history of black baseball at National Geographic headquarters in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 21 as part of the National Geographic Live! program of lectures. http://nationalgeographic.com/nglive/washingtondc/index.html
A seven-city book tour featuring Hogan, Tygiel and several former Negro league players, African-American Hall of Famers and former African-American Major League Baseball players begins on Feb. 21. The cities are Atlanta; Birmingham, Ala; Chicago; Cleveland; Detroit; Kansas City, Kan.; and Washington, D.C.