Similar authors to follow
Manage your follows
About Larry Lester
Larry Lester is co-founder of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (NLBM) in Kansas City, Missouri, and served as its Research Director and Treasurer for five years (1991-1995). He was instrumental in the development of the Museum's business plan, and its Incorporation in 1990. He was the driving force in its licensing program that generated $1.4 million in their start-up years. With only black & white photographs available, his research of archival newspapers along with interviews of former players, Lester was able to discover the authentic colors & designs, allowing apparel manufacturers to reproduce retro-vintage caps, jerseys, and jackets from Black baseball's heyday. In 1995, Major League Baseball Properties reportedly awarding $143,248 in royalties to surviving Negro League players from the sale of memorabilia and apparel.
Lester also acquired rare artifacts from the families of Satchel Paige, Oscar Charleston, Josh Gibson, Archie Ware, Chet Brewer and others for the NLBM's archives. The Museum’s current static exhibition and informational kiosks, were developed from Lester’s personal collection of historic photographs, accompanied with his captions written from archival news clippings. Likewise, Lester developed the NLBM's first traveling Negro League exhibit that has been showcased each year at Major League Baseball’s FanFest during All-Star Week since 1993. A similar exhibit “Discover Greatness: An Illustrated History of the Negro Leagues” owned by the NLBM has traveled to various museums and libraries nationwide since 1999.
Lester has developed other non-sport exhibits; Currency of Change; Stamps of Recognitions, and more recently Beyond the Help: African-American Maids on the Silver Screen. Other exhibits to come!
He left the NLBM in 1995 to launch NoirTech Research, Inc., combining his expertise in research and technology to strategically track the African-American experience in sports and entertainment.
Lester is most proud of his partnership with the National Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum in Cooperstown, NY, from 2000 to 2004, as he co-chaired a comprehensive study of African-American baseball from the Civil War up through the mid-fifties, appropriately called “Out of the Shadows.” As a result of this work, in 2006, he served on the Special Negro Leagues Committee for the National Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum, selecting a record 17 Negro League players and executives. Statistics compiled from the $250,000 study are available on Seamheads.
As a dedicated advocate for equal rights, Lester actively campaigns for retroactive pensions for worthy Negro League veterans and to also raise funds to purchase headstones to be placed on unmarked graves of athletes. Lester's familiar relationship with former players inspired an invitation from President Barack Obama in August of 2013 for a Meet & Greet with the Commander-in-Chief.
He is chairman of the Society for American Baseball Research's (SABR) Negro Leagues Committee which host annually the Jerry Malloy Negro League Conference, the only academic symposium, since 1998, dedicated exclusively to the examination and promotion of black baseball history.
In January of 2017, Lester was named President of the Greater Kansas City Black History Study Group, a branch of the Association for the Study of African-American Life and History (ASALH), founded by Dr. Carter G. Woodson in 1915.
An author/editor of 12 books, Lester has written forewords to several books, and has served as an editor/fact checker to countless doctoral dissertations and theses on sports history. He is listed as a contributing researcher to more than 200 publications on African-American history and has served as a consultant on numerous sports documentaries with ESPN, ESPN2, PBS, C-SPAN, CNN, MSNBC, HBO Real Sports, Fox Nation and other media outlets.
As one of the founding members of the 100 Black Men of Greater Kansas City, he continues to give back to his native community via its mentoring and reading programs. It's motto: "Real Men, Giving Real Time!" is employed using four pillars of commitment: 1) Education, 2) Economic Empowerment, 3) Health & Wellness, and 4) Mentoring.
The recipient of many honors and awards, Lester considers giving the keynote speech, at his 50th class reunion in 2017 for the Central High School Blue Eagles, his greatest privilege. Giving credence to the class motto, "Nothing shall Surpass the '67 Class.”
More information can be found at: www.LarryLester42.com
Customers Also Bought Items By
Titles By Larry Lester
The photos include rare images of Willie Wells, Smokey Joe Williams, Satchel Paige, Minnie Minoso, Monte Irvin, Martin Dihigo, Pete Hill, Rap Dixon and Cannonball Redding, among many others.
From Rube to Robinson brings together the best Negro League baseball scholarship that the Society of American Baseball Research (SABR) has ever produced, pulled from its journals, Biography Project, and award-winning essays. The book includes a star-studded list of scholars and historians, from the late Jerry Malloy and Jules Tygiel, to award winners Larry Lester, Geri Strecker, and Jeremy Beer, and a host of other talented writers. The essays cover topics ranging over nearly a century, from 1866 and the earliest known Black baseball championship, to 1962 and the end of the Negro American League.
Todd Peterson’s “May the Best Man Win: The Black Ball Championships 1866-1923” opens the volume and looks at championships that preceded the Colored World Series of 1924. The late Jerry Malloy covers an early circuit in “The Pittsburgh Keystones and the 1887 Colored League.” Malloy points out that the short-lived league garnered the acceptance of the National Agreement of 1883, something no other Black organization was able to do.Not only did Black baseball begin earlier than most fans of the sport may realize, it took root in places that might not be expected either.
Steven R. Hoffbeck and Peter Gorton tell the story of legendary southpaw John Donaldson, who pioneered baseball in Minnesota and who would eventually be part of the NNL’s 1920 inaugural season with the Kansas City Monarchs.Two seminal Negro Leagues researchers—Dick Clark and John Holway—place the 1921 NNL season in context, including a sidebar from the original 1985 article detailing SABR’s Negro Leagues Committee’s efforts to compile a statistical history.
Of course there are also profiles of some of the Negro Leagues’ now-mythic figures: Sol White (by Jay Hurd), Rube Foster (by Larry Lester), and Oscar Charleston. Jeremy Beer contributes his article “Hothead: How the Oscar Charleston Myth Began,” which rebuts the notion that Charleston was a brawler in need of anger management.
Ballparks and venues also get a look, with a major league field and a Negro League field included. James Overmyer’s “Black Baseball at Yankee Stadium” describes the tenant/landlord relationship of Negro Leagues teams with the New York Yankees during the 1930s and 40s, while Geri Driscoll Strecker’s “The Rise and Fall of Greenlee Field” is a cradle-to-grave biography of the Pittsburgh Crawfords’ stadium.
The final section of the book covers integration and the socio-economics of Black baseball. Leading off is Larry Lester’s masterful “Can You Read, Judge Landis?” which refutes the contention that Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis was blameless for the persistence of baseball’s segregation. MLB’s official historian John Thorn and the late Jules Tygiel weigh in with “Jackie Robinson’s Signing: The Real, Untold Story.” And Japheth Knopp’s “Negro League Baseball, Black Community, and the Socio-Economic Impact of Integration” explores Kansas City as a case study in the effects of integration.
Brian Carroll’s “Early Twentieth Century Heroes: Coverage of Negro League Baseball in the Pittsburgh Courier and the Chicago Defender” studies the cooperation among the African American press, local business communities, and baseball men such as Rube Foster to form the Negro National League, and later, the Eastern Colored League. And Duke Goldman presents an in-depth and meticulously referenced recap of the winter meetings and in-season owners meetings from the formation of a second Negro National League in 1933 through the last gasp of the Negro American League in 1962.