December 21, 2009 |
Art Pennington hasn't faced Satchel Paige in nearly 60 years, but he's at the plate now, batting from the left side here in the water-damaged basement of a 50-year-old clapboard house. "Oh boy," Pennington says, shaking his head. "I didn't hit him then. I won't hit him now." With that, the former Negro League All-Star rolls red dice across a rickety card table. When they come to a stop, the man sitting next to him consults a color-coded rectangular card: Pennington has hit a soft grounder back to the mound.
August 1, 2009 |
How fast could pitcher Leroy "Satchel" Paige hurl a baseball? According to catcher Biz Mackey, a Paige contemporary, Satchel's fastball "tends to disappear. Yes, disappear. I've heard about Satchel throwing pitches that wasn't hit but that never showed up in the catcher's mitt nevertheless. They say the catcher, the umpire and bat boys looked all over for that ball, but it was gone. Now how do you account for that?"
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 19, 2008 |
Sherman "Jocko" Maxwell, 100, a pioneering black sportscaster who chronicled the Negro baseball leagues before the sport's racial barrier fell, died Wednesday at a hospital in West Chester, Pa., after battling pneumonia, according to his son, Bruce Maxwell. Supporting himself with a post office job during the day, Maxwell worked at night as a radio sportscaster. He was a prolific writer, submitting stories to the Ledger in Newark, N.J. -- the predecessor of the Star-Ledger -- on games played by the Newark Eagles.
June 10, 2008
While the nation marveled at Barack Obama's presumptive capture of the Democratic Party's nomination for president last week and measured the country's racial progress against his achievement, the long march toward justice passed another milestone at Disney's Wide World of Sports complex in Florida. Before baseball's annual draft got underway, every team in the major leagues symbolically drafted a surviving member of the Negro Leagues.
March 30, 2008 |
"We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball" is, ostensibly, a children's book. But author-illustrator Kadir Nelson's text is so engrossing -- and his oil paintings so evocative -- that the rubric is inadequate. Nelson's soulful work about this long-neglected brand of our national pastime deserves -- nay, demands -- an all-ages audience. The title comes from a quote by Negro Leagues founder Rube Foster: "We are the ship; all else the sea."
February 13, 2007 |
The distinguished gentleman stood in a Beverly Hills hotel lobby, wearing a suit and a baseball cap, sharing his stories late into the evening. He spoke of pride and prejudice. He spoke of Willie Mays and Roberto Clemente. He spoke with humility, not bitterness, about serving a country that denied him the opportunity to pursue his career at the highest levels. He spoke so late into this Saturday evening that he finally excused himself.