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Voices from the Negro Leagues: Conversations with 52 Baseball Standouts of the Period, 1924-1960 Hardcover – November 1, 1997
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Baseball players are generally great interviewees, and the 52 players from the Negro leagues interviewed here by veteran author Kelley are no exception. The book is divided into two sections: the first comprises those who played prior to Jackie Robinson's breaking the color barrier; the second section features those who continued to play in the Negro leagues after Robinson's debut. Among the highlights is an interview with Cuban native Minnie Minoso, who turned down a $30,000 bonus from the Mexican league for $500 and the chance to come to the U.S. Frazier Robinson, Satchell Paige's preferred catcher for many years, has some great tales regarding the man many consider the best pitcher ever, black or white. All the subjects recall their youth with fondness and surprisingly little bitterness toward a system that prevented them from achieving the fame and fortune they deserved. Kelley also provides biographies of each subject for context and whatever statistics are available. A wonderful book that should be exceedingly popular among fans with an interest in the game's history. Wes Lukowsky
"Interesting...a solid contribution...should be part of academic and public library collections" -- MultiCultural Review
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And while there are names forever linked with the grand history of NLB, there are hundreds of other players who proudly wore the uniforms of the various clubs, but are small footnotes in the big picture of the game. Author Brent P. Kelley presents an oral history that is split into two parts - before and after Jackie Robinson began playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers of Major League Baseball - that brings to life the players in those box scores.
John "Mule" Miles - who played for the Chicago Elite Giants from 1946-1949 - typifies the player who had great moments that had been lost in time. In 1947, Miles hit 11 homers in 11 games, but it was a game versus Memphis which earned him his nickname. In that contest, Miles smacked two homers - with the latter being the game-winner - which had manager Jim Taylor commenting that he hits the ball like a mule kicks.
There are great stories from Cowan "Bubba" Hyde, Bill Cash, Willie Grace, Bill Beverly and Dennis Biddle which truly captures the real life & times of NLB players.
These voices should never be forgotten and every player chronicled is not only a hero of the game, but a champion on the field of life.