Catching Dreams: My Life in the Negro Baseball Leagues

Catching Dreams: My Life in the Negro Baseball Leagues

by Frazier Robinson
     
 

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In a rare memoir about the Negro Leagues and its celebrated players, Frazier "Slow" Robinson offers an inspiring and often entertaining view of the black baseball diamond through a catcher's mask. In 1939, at the age of 29 - after playing professional baseball for twelve years - Frazier Robinson caught for the legendary Satchel Paige in barnstorming games from New… See more details below

Overview

In a rare memoir about the Negro Leagues and its celebrated players, Frazier "Slow" Robinson offers an inspiring and often entertaining view of the black baseball diamond through a catcher's mask. In 1939, at the age of 29 - after playing professional baseball for twelve years - Frazier Robinson caught for the legendary Satchel Paige in barnstorming games from New Orleans to Walla Walla. Robinson played several more seasons in the Negro Leagues before finishing his career in Canada. While his career was a solid one, it was less spectacular than that of his friend and Hall-of-Famer, Satchel Paige, and so more typical of the experience of most Negro Leaguers. Robinson covers, in remarkable detail, the personal perspective of the men, the teams, and the times that shaped this uniquely American subculture. From playing catcher for obscure industrial teams to barnstorming with Satchel Paige, he chronologically traces his nationwide path through the 1920s, �30s, �40s, and early �50s.

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Editorial Reviews

New York Times Book Review
...[B]y using his least years to immortalize these stories, [Robinson] contributed as much to the game with a tape recorder as he ever did with a bat or glove.
Booknews
Robinson's vivid first-hand account of his 25-year career in Negro League baseball offers a rare and personal perspective of the men, the teams, and the times that shaped this uniquely American subculture. He chronologically traces his nationwide path through the 1920's, 30's, and 40's from playing catcher for obscure industrial teams to barnstorming with Hall-of-Famer Satchel Paige, for whom he caught for two years. Embroidering his story with the threads of black society, he provides a glimpse of life as a black athlete in a racially divided nation. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknew.com)
NY Times Book Review
...[B]y using his least years to immortalize these stories, [Robinson] contributed as much to the game with a tape recorder as he ever did with a bat or glove.
Kirkus Reviews
A behind-the-plate memoir by a catcher from the Negro Leagues' glory years. Perhaps Robinson (who died in 1997) was nicknamed "Slow" for lumbering around the bases, but his memories and observations are quick and lively, capturing a homey slice of African-American history. Co-author Bauer, a baseball book antiquarian, allows the Oklahoma native to speak with local color. Back in 1940, when Robinson made $325 a month with the Kansas City Monarchs, he recalls a trash-talking opposing batter in friendly terms: "He'd jive to you and we'd jive at him. You might be mad that he got you [homered off your pitcher], but you couldn't be mad at him." This laid-back spirit suffuses the book's best portions. In a haphazard baseball world where team rosters were a matter of which stars were barnstorming where, some impromptu games pitted a Negro League team against a colorful white bunch of Gospel fundamentalists like the Israelite House of David, whose players sported waist-long hair and shaggy beards. When games with the New York Cubans brought him to New York, Robinson visited the Apollo Theater or hung with Red Foxx and Count Basie, but off-field life's most memorable episodes involved cruising country roads with Satchel Paige, who could barely drive his Chrysler and once wouldn't pitch because he had 52 traffic violations and "was afraid he'd be arrested on the mound." Robinson also caught for other greats, like Leon Day and John Markham. Jackie Robinson's breakthrough changed all their lives for the better but meant the end of the Negro Leagues. The fan gets a rare glimpse at some Negro League players, like Larry Doby, before they crossed over, and at many stars who would have had Hall ofFame careers if they'd had the chance. Authentic Americana, with enough balls, strikes, players, and pennant chases to keep the hardcore fans happy. (30 b&w photos, not seen)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780815605638
Publisher:
Syracuse University Press
Publication date:
02/28/2002
Series:
Sports and Entertainment Series
Edition description:
1 ED
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.90(d)
Lexile:
890L (what's this?)

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