In honor of Black History Month coming up I found a great video I must share with you. A very motivated teenager, named Cam Perron has been researching the history of the Negro Leagues. This video is very interesting and inspiring as he has tracked down old ballplayers from the Negro Leagues and helped them receive some credit, notoriety, and in some cases, financial restitution that they deserved, but were denied. Many of these players were sadly forgotten. Learning more about the plight of these players has been eye opening. We should all be grateful for the contributions made by these brave athletes to the game of baseball. It’s amazing to see them finally get some long overdue accolades! Enjoy!
Did you know that Martin Luther King Jr. and baseball have a connection? Martin Luther King Jr. looked up to Jackie Robinson and Jackie inspired him as well. King once called Jackie, “a legend and a symbol in his own time.” Here are some tid bits I found from Sports Illustrated:
[A]s Robinson’s career was winding down with the Brooklyn Dodgers, Robinson started to speak out for civil rights. Many people in the press and civil rights community discouraged Robinson from taking this step, worried it would tarnish his image, and even argued that as an athlete Robinson had no vocal place in the struggle. But King, by then the movement’s undisputed leader, said that Robinson had every right to speak because he was “… a pilgrim that walked in the lonesome byways toward the high road of Freedom. He was a sit-inner before sit-ins, a freedom rider before freedom rides.”
An emboldened Robinson toured the south to speak for civil rights and became the most requested speaker on the circuit: more requested than even Dr. King. He would end every speech the same way, saying, “If I had to choose tomorrow between the Baseball Hall of Fame and full citizenship for my people I would choose full citizenship time and again.”
Yahoo.com: MLB.com’s Richard Justice has more about King, who wasn’t afraid to tell pioneering ballplayers like Don Newcombe what they meant to him and the greater good:
Newcombe remembered those comments during a 2009 interview with the New York Post’s Peter Vecsey.
“Imagine, here is Martin getting beaten with billy clubs, bitten by dogs and thrown in jail, and he says we made his job easier,” Newcombe told Vecsey.
Also, Jackie Robinson wrote MLK a personal letter, here it is.
In this letter Jackie Robinson is taking on a role with King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Jackie also supports New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller, and then questions King’s view on him. It’s intriguing to know MLK and baseball have a very strong connection! One thing that shocked me most was when MLK said, “You’ll never know how easy you and Jackie and Doby and Campy made it for me to do my job by what you did on the baseball field.” After all King went through he thought he had it easy! WOW! Let’s remember and honor Martin Luther King Jr. today and always by following his lead as a non-violent, selfless team player! Photos Via:
Josh Gibson of the Homestead Grays (Negro Leagues) could be the best hitter of all time. In his 17 years in the Negro Leagues Josh was credited with around 800 home runs. Some of them launched unbelievably far. If he had the chance to play in the MLB, I believe he could’ve been the all-time home run king easily. Josh’s career came to a tragic end 3 months before the color barrier was broken by Jackie Robinson. Sadly, he died of a brain hemorrhage so he never got his big league chance. If he would’ve lived, he easily would have surpassed 800 and may have even got a shot at the Big Leagues. Josh Gibson, was not even noticed because he was African-American and could’ve been one of the MLB’s greatest hitters of all time. It’s too bad that he never got his big opportunity. Let’s remember and give credit to Josh Gibson as someone who helped pave the way against racism in baseball. Let’s continue to be colorblind, we are all on the same team!
“If they came to Josh Gibson today and he was 17 years old, they would have a blank spot on the contract and they’d say ‘Fill the amount in.’ That’s how good Josh Gibson was.”
–Junior Gilliam, Baseball Digest, June 1969
WOW is all I can say. This looks like an absolute must see movie! I won’t miss this for sure. One of my favorite all-time players here. Can’t wait till April!!!!!!!
What do you think of the trailer?