January 05, 2006

Amoung The Immortals: 5 Year Process to Bring Long Overdue Recognition.

Sportsfilter's own skydivedad interviews prominent baseball historian Dr. Lawrence Hogan of Union College, lead researcher for "The Negro Leagues Researchers/Authors Group" and author of the upcoming book Shades of Glory : The Negro Leagues & the Story of African-American Baseball.

posted by justgary to baseball at 07:16 PM - 8 comments

I did finally, before he had to go, get the Good Doctor to talk about some of the players, I promised him I would not publish those comments until after the Inductees are made public. He did say Sol White was his favorite player from the Pre-Negro League era. He played on several intergrated minor league teams in the 1880's and hit .381 in 1887 on an intergrated team, a year before the color line was drawn. I myself grew up a Baseball Fanatic and hadn't heard of the Negro Leagues until the early 1980's when working at the Chicago Sun-Times an Old Time Baseball Reporter and contributing editor to the Baseball Encyclopedia Jerome Holtzman use to talk about the Great Negro League Teams that used to come into Chicago. Many of their games were played in Comiski Park and drew huge crowds. The Chicago Defender was one of the Newspapers Dr. Hogan used in his research. Anyway, it's all very fasinating and I've already ordered a copy of the book. I'll post a follow up column when the Inductees are named. Holtzman loved to talk Baseball and his stories of the Prowess of the Negro League Players fasinated me. This Research Project is exciting and sadly long over due. The list of 39 Players was culled down from 94 submitted to the Screening Committee in November. The Screening committee was chaired by Fay Vincent (non voting member) and MLB 8th Commissioner and "Honorary Director HOF". It's members were choosen for their expertise they were Dick Clark, Adrian Burgos, Larry Lester, Dr. Hogan and Jim Overmyer. Written recommendations from fans, living Negro League Players, Historians and the work produced by the Study Commissioned by MLB in 2000. I am really looking forward to that Inductee Announcement coming out of Tampa in late Feb. and with spring training right around the corner it's going to help put some positive spin to the start of the 2006 Baseball Season. After last years Steroids Scandal maybe seeing Baseball trying to right this wrong in a small way will start the season in a positive direction.

posted by skydivedad at 08:53 PM on January 05, 2006

I've already ordered a copy of the book I will be very soon. Thanks for the interview. Can't wait to read the book.

posted by justgary at 09:24 PM on January 05, 2006

skydivedad: you do not have an email in your profile. Please email me. I want to share something that is somewhat related with you.

posted by scully at 09:38 PM on January 05, 2006

terrapin Check your gmail

posted by skydivedad at 09:52 PM on January 05, 2006

Thanks, skydivedad. Great interview. Thanks for sharing.

posted by scully at 06:43 AM on January 06, 2006

skydivedad: If you're ever in the KC area, you would really enjoy attending the Negro League Museum in the old district. Every once in a while, Buck O'Neil is wandering around with the rest of the visitors. He is an amazing man that does a lot for the community. Kansas City has a rich history with the Negro League, being the home city of the Monarchs.

posted by hawkguy at 08:59 AM on January 06, 2006

The Kansas City Monarch were the Yankees of the Negro Leagues. A charter member of the Negro National League in 1920. They won more then a dozen League Titles and were the longest running Negro League Team. Some of the finest Baseball Players to ever walk the Planet wore the Monarch Jersey. Cool Papa Bell, Turkey Stearnes, Newt Allen, Jesse Williams, Elston Howard, Skip "Buck" O'Neil, Sachel Page. The Monarchs sent the most players to MLB when the color barrier was finally broken. Jackie Robinson was a Monarch as were Satchel Page, my own beloved Earnie Banks. Hank Thompson, WIlliard "Home Run" Brown to name a few. Yes, I'd love to see the KC Museum. The Monarch were the Glamor Team for sure.

posted by skydivedad at 09:39 AM on January 06, 2006

What an awesome story. I had no idea that this process was underway. Long overdue. If they could only get the pension mess sorted out now. A number of years ago, I had a youth team (10-12 yo) I coached, where I gave end of year awards that were named after Negro League players. The kids were almost all unaware that the Negro Leagues existed, and many parents as well. I had a lot of fun doing the research for this. Hopefully, this will continue to bring word of the exploits of these great players to the public. I would love to sit down with Buck O'Neil for a cold one or two. Looking forward to the book.

posted by sfts2 at 02:22 PM on January 06, 2006

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