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“Writing in snappy rhymed couplets, Smith delivers a play-by-play, inning-by-inning account of the second annual East-West Classic, held in Chicago in 1934, an all-star face-off between the best players from the Negro League. Working in graphite, Morrison contributes full-bleed and spot illustrations of dynamic, athletic players in motion.”—Publishers Weekly
“Use this book as an exciting complement to Kadir Nelson’s We Are the Ship.”—Booklist
August 26, 1934
Welcome to Chicago, welcome all!
It’s a beautiful day to play baseball.
Bright sun with not one single cloud in the sky,
a blue-curtain backdrop to watch baseballs fly.
Hello, everybody, to you from me,
Lester Roberts, on your radio on WNLB,
bringing you the play-by-play in a creative way
of the second annual Negro League East-West game
Last year’s game was fun-filled with eighteen runs,
including a cannon shot that came from
the bat of Mule Suttles, who swung his barrel chest
and arms to launch a four-bag express
into center-field stands, sending slug-happy fans
into a frenzy, making sepia hands
clap and cheer and throw hats into the air,
a heart-stopping moment for all who were there.
But that was last year—now it’s on to
the Negro League East-West Classic number two,
featuring players voted in by you,
the fans who follow this game through and through.
But before our game starts and before we do
first we will hear “Lift Every Voice and Sing,”
the Negro National Anthem, sung by the Jubilee
Singers, representing our wonderful Windy City.
What better way to start this glorious day,
so let’s listen in as they take it away.
Lift every voice and sing
Till earth and heaven ring,
Ring with the harmonies of Liberty;
Let our rejoicing rise
High as the listening skies,
Let it resound loud as the rolling sea.
Sing a song full of the faith that the dark
past has taught us,
Sing a song full of the hope that the
present has brought us;
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun,
Let us march on till victory is won.
Thank you, performers, and again welcome all.
Enjoy the show, folks,
© 2012 Charles R. Smith Jr.
Posted September 5, 2013
Posted March 3, 2012