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Negro Baseball Leagues
Integrating Cleveland baseball : media activism, the integration of the Indians and the demise of the Negro League Buckeyes
Stephanie M. Liscio.
Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland & Co., c2010.
Focusing on the Negro American League Buckeyes, this detailed history describes the effects of major league integration on blackball in Cleveland, as well as the cont-roversial role that the local black press played in the transformation. Included are historical photos, rosters for all Cleveland Negro League teams, and a list of the city's players in the annual East-West All-Star game.
     
Our white boy
Jerry Craft, with Kathleen Sullivan ; foreword by Larry Lester.
Lubbock, Tex. : Texas Tech University Press, c2010.
At the outset of summer break in 1959, Texas Tech senior Jerry Craft had no more enticing options than to stay home and help on the family ranch¿so the telephoned offer to play for a semipro baseball club he¿d never heard of came as a welcome surprise. But Craft was in for an even bigger surprise when he reported for tryout and discovered he¿d been recruited for the West Texas Colored League. Wichita Falls/Graham Stars manager Carl Sedberry persuaded Craft to put aside his misgivings and pitch for the Stars. Despite the derision of black teammates, fans, and opponents, and his own trepidation, ¿that white boy¿ took the mound to close a rousing victory in his first game. At home and on the road in segregated Texas, Craft saw discrimination firsthand and from every side. Yet out of his two seasons with the Stars comes an unlikely story of respect, character, humor, and ultimately friendship as the teammates pulled together to succeed in a game they loved.
     
"I will never forget" : interviews with 39 former Negro league players
Brent Kelley.
Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland, [2010?]
This book continues the riches of two highly praised previous volumes, Voices from the Negro Leagues "interesting...solid"--MultiCultural Review) and The Negro Leagues Revisited ("wonderful"--Booklist/RBB; "voluminous...top-notch"--Public Library Quarterly). The players interviewed in this new book of interviews are Bill Bethea, John "Scoop" Brown, Paul Casanova, Jim Colzie, Bunny Davis, Ross Davis, Clifford DuBose, Lionel Evelyn, Hubert Glenn, Herald "Beebop" Gordon, Raymond Haggins, J.C. Hartman, Joe Henry, Carl Holden, Vernell Jackson, Clarence Jenkins, Ernest Johnson, Thomas Johnson, Marvin Jones, Ezell King, Willie Lee, Larry LeGrande, William Little, Nathaniel McClinic, John Mitchell, Grady Montgomery, Bob Motley, Charley Pride, Mack Pride, Bill "Sonny" Randall, Henry Saverson, Eugene Scruggs, Willie Sheelor, Sam Taylor, Ron Teasley, James Way, Sam Williams, Walter Williams, and Willie Young. Photographs of the players and their teammates and complete-as-possible statistics supplement the interviews.
     
Satch, Dizzy & rapid Robert : the wild saga of interracial baseball before Jackie Robinson
Timothy M. Gay.
New York : Simon & Schuster, c2010.
Before Jackie Robinson integrated major league baseball in 1947, black and white ballplayers had been playing against one another for decadeseven, on rare occasions, playing with each other. Interracial contests took place during the off-season, when major leaguers and Negro Leaguers alike fattened their wallets by playing exhibitions in cities and towns across America. These barnstorming tours reached new heights, however, when Satchel Paige and other African- American stars took on white teams headlined by the irrepressible Dizzy Dean. Lippy and funny, a born showman, the native Arkansan saw no reason why he shouldnt pitch against Negro Leaguers. Paige, who feared no one and chased a buck harder than any player alive, instantly recognized the box-office appeal of competing against Dizzy Deans "All-Stars." Paige and Dean both featured soaring leg kicks and loved to mimic each others style to amuse fans. Skin color aside, the dirt-poor Southern pitchers had much in common.Historian Timothy M. Gay has unearthed long-forgotten exhibitions where Paige and Dean dueled, and he tells the story of their pioneering escapades in this engaging book. Long before they ever heard of Robinson or Larry Doby, baseball fans from Brooklyn to Enid, Oklahoma, watched black and white players battle on the same diamond. With such Hall of Fame teammates as Josh Gibson, Turkey Stearnes, Mule Suttles, Oscar Charleston, Cool Papa Bell, and Bullet Joe Rogan, Paige often had the upper hand against Diz. After arm troubles sidelined Dean, a new pitching phenom, Bob FellerRapid Robertassembled his own teams to face Paige and other blackballers. By the time Paige became Fellers teammate on the Cleveland Indians in 1948, a rookie at age forty-two, Satch and Feller had barnstormed against each other for more than a decade.These often obscure contests helped hasten the end of Jim Crow baseball, paving the way for the games integration. Satchel Paige, Dizzy Dean, and Bob Feller never set out to make social historybut thats precisely what happened. Tim Gay has brought this era to vivid and colorful life in a book that every baseball fan will embrace.
     

In 1920 Rube Foster formed the first official Negro Baseball League, the Negro National League (NNL), in Kansas City. 

Special games

The National Negro League (NNL) and Eastern Colored League (ECL) inaugurated a World Series in 1924. 

In 1933 over 20,000 fans attended the first East-West All-Star game at Chicago's Comiskey Park.

Negro League Baseball Timeline

During the next 40 years the NNL and other black baseball leagues throughout the country provided Americans with some of the best baseball games and players ever seen on the diamond. 

Names of the most successful leagues in addition to the NNL were the Eastern Colored League (formed in 1923), American Negro League (formed in 1929), and Negro American League (formed in 1937). 

St. Louis had a team as early as 1922.  Originally known at the St. Louis Giants, the team became the the Saint Louis Stars.  The Stars played twelve seasons (1922-31, 1937, 1939) winning championships in 1928, 1930, and 1931.  Well-known players included speedster James "Cool Papa" Bell, George Scales, George "Mule" Suttles, and Willie "Devil" Wells. 

In 1947 Jackie Robinson signed a contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers, becoming the first black baseball player to cross the color barrier.  Although the Negro League continued until 1960, Robinson's success marked the beginning of the end for the Negro Baseball League.

Today the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (Kansas City), Negro League Baseball Players Association and Negro League Baseball.com work to keep alive the history and stories of the men (and yes women) who played in the leagues.  

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff