In 1947 Jackie Robinson broke baseball's color barrier and became a hero for black and white Americans, yet Robinson was a Negro League player before he integrated Major League baseball. Negro League ballplayers had been thrilling black fans since 1920. Among them were the legendary pitchers Smoky Joe Williams, whose fastball seemed to "come off a mountain top," Satchel Paige, the ageless wonder who pitched for five decades, and such hitters as Josh Gibson and Buck Leonard, "the Ruth and Gehrig of the Negro Leagues."
Although their games were ignored by white-owned newspapers and radio stations, black ballplayers became folk heroes in cities such as Chicago, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, New York, and Washington DC, where the teams drew large crowds and became major contributors to the local community life. This illuminating narrative, filled with the memories of many surviving Negro League players, pulls the veil off these "invisible men" who were forced into the segregated leagues. What emerges is a glorious chapter in African American history and an often overlooked aspect of our American past.
About the Author:
Donn Rogosin is currently working on a Brazilian music program for television
About the Author:
Monte Irvin played eight years in the Negro Leagues
About the Author
Donn Rogosin has been a public television executive and an independent producer of documentaries. He wrote for the acclaimed documentary There Was Always Sun Shining Someplace, a film on Negro League baseball, and is currently working on a Brazilian music program for television.
Monte Irvin played eight years in the Negro Leagues and eight years in the Major Leagues. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1973.
Table of Contents
The World That Negro Baseball Made 3
Up from Obscurity 37
The Cult of Professionalism 67
The Heat of the Harlem Moon 92
On the Road 118
The Latin Connection 152
Dusk and Dawn 178