Baseball, Negro League, Negro League East West discussed on Heartland Newsfeed Radio Network
Talking to these guys. What did you find was your first impression about the negro leagues from having talked with them. What did you come away with. As far as an impression of the sport and of the game itself played by the african american players The first impression that i came away with was that these guys played essentially major league baseball without playing in the major leagues. They were making buyers. Many of these guys were better than major league baseball players but they were shut out from playing in the major and then my other biggest takeaway is probably the fact that there was no documentation or recognition of these guys of their careers and that that really Kind of stood out to me. What struck me is is that i didn't realize how big the negro leagues were. And maybe you can give us some insight about how big they were and how important it was to the african culture in other words the black people in this country. That blacks were playing the national pastime. Yeah it was. It was huge business. I mean it was one of the top businesses among blacks during The period of the negro leagues starting in nineteen twenty going to the early sixty. In addition to the the main negro themselves do where hundreds of regional and semi pro teams scattered around the country which were also big business is really just. It brought the whole community together. People dress up in their nicest clothes. Some of these games would attract fifteen twenty. Thirty thousand people The negro league east west all star games often attracted more people than major league. All star game so yeah it was. It was a huge deal for for the community at the time and also lends itself because during that period of time. Baseball always had great personalities. Great stories and as you've talked to these players that played in the negro leagues. What are some of your favorite stories that you've heard from them out There's so many spoken with probably two or three hundred guys Unfortunately many of the stories. I've heard are not. I don't wanna say favorite stories because they kind of have you know. sad seems to them or or negative aspects to where they were chased out of town or their bus broke down. And you know nobody helped them out but there are some pretty cool stories about guys You know this isn't one particular story but many of the guys have spoken with where sixteen seventeen years old and just hopped on a buff and next thing. I knew they were playing professional baseball. One of my buddies out here in los angeles. Nee dancy he was sitting in the stands when he was about thirteen or fourteen years old watching his older brother play on the memphis red sox and all of a sudden they just needed somebody to come in and fill in so he went from never having really played baseball before to playing on the memphis. Red sox and the negro league At the still in player for one game and several months later ended up going out on the road and playing with methods red sox a teenager and several years later he rejoined into the negro league. Play two years with the kansas city. Monarchs playing in one of the east west all star games where he was a starter and i think he was. Mvp of the game as well so pretty pretty crazy. How guy just became a professional baseball player from sitting in the stands to playing the game right then and there cam. Did you get an impression. And i've got this when talking over the years to a couple of the negro league players that they were enamored with the movie about bingo on traveling all star team of african american black players. Have you gotten any impression for many of them about how they felt the way the game and also the neighbor league baseball player was portrayed in the movie. You know. I don't bring that movie up All that much but a lot of guys look at that movie and they say you know like we were. We were serious team. The negro league was not a joke. yes. There was a little bit of clowning around on the indianapolis clowns baseball team. Which is kind of like what that movie was modeled after the indianapolis concert. Kind of the harlem globetrotters But they also played a very good high-quality baseball as well so guys look at that and say hey look this is a little bit of not an embarrassment but an exaggeration and it kind of dragged down the credibility of the league. I guess you could sex. What sense of personal satisfaction do you get and having done this for a long period of time and bringing to the forefront the history of negro league baseball on its players. i really enjoy When people reach out to me. Or i get to tell somebody about the negro league and they don't know anything about it and next thing. I know they're googling negro league they wanna meet a player or player and their cities coming out to their school to talk. I really just enjoy Seeing people learn And educate themselves about this essentially forgotten part of history in baseball history. One of the things that i sense in talking to the negro baseball players that i've interviewed is that i'd never once have. I heard any anger about their exclusion for major league baseball. I guess be a an acceptance of. That's the way it was at that particular point. You've talked to money more than i have. What sense do you get about how they feel about that period of time you know. It really varies based on the player many players are just grateful that they were able to participate in the negro league play professional baseball for several years but many of the players also went on and after their negro league days went on and played in the minor leagues for dozens of years or three or four years or maybe even half a season and then they got cut so there are. There are many guys that i've spoken with. That played in. The negro league went onto the minors and then played in triple a for three or four years and it just never able to make that break into the majors. A lot of those guys are are a little bit bitter at that fact knowing that there were guys that weren't as as them that made it up even if it was just a few days and they just never did. We only have a little bit over a minute. Left one has been the reaction. What reaction have you gotten over the. Hbo's real sports story on you. I've had a lot of people. Send me facebook. Linked in messages tweets all sorts of stuff. i've had a few relatives of player contact me which is actually led to a few new players being tracked down that i've gotten in touch with. We're actually work. I'm working on getting attention for one of the former players dot whose son reached out to me after the initial real sports episode aired. So i think that's the biggest Thing that's happened so far but yeah just a lot of good outreach. people. I'm asking about the degray league getting different players around the country to come in and talk at schools and organizations Overall just like a lot more awareness to the streets players and and to what's going on with the living players cam. I wanna thank you. Not only for what you're doing but bringing into to the forefront so people can understand and can appreciate this particular part of not only baseball history sports history as well. I know there's going to be a movie that's gonna come out. I can hardly wait to see it. But again i want to congratulate you for the great job that you've been doing and thanks for sharing the memories and your thoughts about the negro leagues with us. Take care and keep up the good work. Thank you on fan perrin with us and again you may have seen him on that piece by. Hbo's real sports about the negro leagues as he. Chronicles not only the league but also the outstanding players. If you haven't had a chance to see it be sure to check it out. You can find it certainly online. We continue across the country and around the world. It's good to have you with us here on sports by.