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Negro Leagues Newsbeat

Monday, May 29, 2023

Black baseball getting an upgrade at the National Baseball Hall of Fame

Hall of Fame officials have embarked on a plan to update their Black baseball exhibit, called Pride and Passion. They have assembled a five-person committee of Negro Leagues historians and baseball experts to guide the expansion, said Jon Shestakofsky, vice president of communication and education for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum….

In its exhibit, the Hall plans to spotlight some of the lesser known players who shaped the Negro Leagues and its forerunners. For every ballplayer of Satchel’s standing, teams suited up complementary talents such as catcher Ted “Double Duty” Radcliffe and pitcher Hilton Smith, and boasted forward-thinking owners such as Foster and Gus Greenlee.

Their stories need to be told, just as the stories of Monte Irvin, Henry Aaron, Willie Mays and their careers in the Negro Leagues need a mention beyond what they did in the bigs. The narratives about those stars start in the Negro Leagues, a fact some fans of the game have forgotten, if they ever knew.

Shestakofsky said the Hall didn’t have the expertise in-house to ensure it told those stories with honesty, thoughtfulness and authenticity, prompting officials to reach beyond its offices for help.

The help the Hall of Fame assembled is made up of Leslie Heaphy, Larry Lester and Rob Ruck, three respected historians who were part of a 2006 committee that selected Mule Suttles, José Méndez, Effa Manley, Cum Posey and 13 other figures from Black baseball for induction into the Hall.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 29, 2023 at 09:34 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, negro leagues

Friday, February 24, 2023

Jocko Maxwell, the forgotten sports broadcasting great

“This was the first African-American sports broadcaster on radio,” Donna Halper, a professor at Lesley University, SABR researcher, and the first woman to ever host a broadcast at Northeastern University, said in a recent phone call. “He’s the first—and I love firsts, I’m a media historian—but given all the things that Jocko Maxwell achieved, what does he have to do to get into Cooperstown?”

It started out as five-minute segments, giving the scores and updates of the day. Soon it grew to 10 minutes, then 15. He went from WNJ to WHOM, he held call-in broadcasts on Brooklyn’s WLTH, and eventually went to WWRL, where he would be named its sports director in 1942. His shows aired multiple times a week on multiple stations across the dial.

Far more than simply reading out the scores of the day, Maxwell was known for his devotion to the Negro Leagues—giving them time on stations that would never usually pay any attention to them.

“Jocko was on his own mission,” sportswriter Jerry Izenberg wrote in The Star-Ledger after Maxwell’s passing in 2008. “He let the world know what was going on in places like Ruppert Stadium and Forbes Field and Comiskey Park when the ‘other’ teams (which meant Blacks) took over from the regular tenants. And in his way, he made the part of America that would listen know all about these Black knights of the open road.”


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 24, 2023 at 02:49 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: negro leagues

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Negro Leagues Data Is Now Available on FanGraphs!

All calculations for these leagues, including WAR, are treated as if these leagues were part of our original major league historical data, with the following exceptions:

– There are some years/leagues for which pitcher home run allowed data is not available. For these years, we are only calculating RA9-WAR and have substituted that for our FIP-based WAR in the “WAR” column. Should home run allowed data become available in the future for these years/leagues, we will adjust accordingly.

Missing Home Run Allowed Years
League Abbreviation Years No Home Run Allowed Data
Negro National League I NNL 1920-1931 1925, 1927, 1929, 1930, 1932
Eastern Colored League ECL 1923-1928 1924-1925
American Negro League ANL 1929 —
East-West League EWL 1932 —
Negro Southern League NSL 1932 1932
Negro National League II NN2 1933-1948 1939-1942
Negro American League NAL 1937-1948 1939-1942

– The Fielding component for all Negro Leagues data uses Michael Humphrey’s Defensive Regression Analysis (DRA) calculation as opposed to Sean Smith’s Total Zone (TZ).

– The park factors for these leagues are currently calculated as neutral. We may revise this in the future.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 14, 2023 at 12:49 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: negro leagues

Monday, February 06, 2023

Negro Leagues legends to be featured in MLB The Show 23

Negro League legends are coming to MLB The Show.

MLB The Show 23 will feature eight of the greatest Negro League players—Satchel Paige, Jackie Robinson, Buck O’Neil, Rube Foster, Hilton Smith, Hank Thompson, John Donaldson and Martín Dihigo—in a new game mode called “Storylines.”

Sony, which partnered with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and NLBM president Bob Kendrick to bring Negro League stars to MLB The Show, announced the new feature for the game on Monday. MLB The Show 23 will be released on March 28.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 06, 2023 at 12:06 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: negro leagues, video games

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Hardball Talk: Harrison Ford to play Branch Rickey in Jackie Robinson biopic

According to Spencer Fordin of, Legendary Pictures announced yesterday that Harrison Ford will play Hall of Fame Dodgers’ executive Branch Rickey in a biopic about Jackie Robinson.

Many prominent actors have been mentioned for the role of Rickey over the years, including Robert Redford this past April, but Ford was apparently their top choice. His work in “Cowboys and Aliens” probably put him over the top.

As for Robinson, he’ll be played by the relatively unknown Chadwick Boseman. The 27-year-old has appeared in television shows such as “Lincoln Heights” and NBC’s “Persons Unknown.”

The film, which is appropriated titled “42,” is being written and directed by Brian Helgeland of “L.A. Confidential” and “Mystic River” renown.

Shia LaBeouf will play Branch Rickey’s son who takes over the movie for no reason.

Tripon Posted: December 10, 2011 at 08:41 PM | 110 comment(s)
  Beats: business, dodgers, history, media, mets, negro leagues, special topics, television, yankees

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

In Media Res: Mediating Baseball

In Media Res is a weekly online publication about different roles media play in culture; they take up a different theme each week—this week is Mediating Baseball!

Mediating Baseball [October 24-28, 2011]

Monday October 24, 2011 – Elizabeth Rawitsch (University of East Anglia) presents: Melting Pot or Multiculturalism? Mediating Ethnicity in Baseball

Tuesday October 25, 2011 –  Pellom McDaniels III (University of Missouri-Kansas City) presents: “I is Unruffable”: Rereading African American Sports Performances as Unique Expressions of Dissent

Wednesday October 26, 2011 –  Annie Dell’Aria (City University of New York) presents: Tagging Fans, Tweeting Beards: Major League Baseball, social media, and the body

Thursday October 27, 2011 – Nicholas David Bowman (West Virginia University) presents: Major League Brouhaha: Boosting ratings with bad blood?

Friday October 28, 2011 – Jeremy Groskopf (Georgia State University) presents: “I Found Kong”: Naturalizing the National in Baseball Fiction

formerly dp Posted: October 26, 2011 at 12:59 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: media, negro leagues, online

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

TRACER: Bill Veeck’s Satchel Paige vs Joe Dimaggio anecdote

Bill Veeck was known for telling some wonderful tales and so I decided to see if one of his tales was actually true.

Joe Dimaggio had trouble hitting Satchel Paige, partly-I suppose-because Satch made him wait. Satch once committed the ultimate insult of walking a man deliberately to get at Joe, and then getting Joe to pop out. It was DiMaggio’s temperament to be a solid professional, to show no emotion, but you knew that Joe burned inwardly at the gratuitous slap and was hurting to get back at Satch. And so Satch would fiddle around on the mound until he saw he had Joe anxious, then he’d give him the three loop-de-loop windups and have Joe ready to catch the ball in his teeth and spit it out by the time it got the plate. Page 238 Hustler’s Handbook Ivan R. Dee edition

So did Paige ever IBB walk a player to get to Joe and how did Joe do against Paige?

Paige shows up in the major leagues in 1948 and plays for Veeck’s Indians until 1949. He then shows up with Veeck’s Browns in 1951 which is also Joe’s last season. So we have three seasons in which Paige was in the AL and Dimaggio was playing.

In 1948 Paige faces the Yankees 5 times for a total of 7.2 innings. Fortunately we have PBP for all 5 of those games. So did it happen in 1948? Nope. Paige faced Dimaggio twice and got him to fly out and strike out (though Joe did reach base on that strikeout) . The strikeout was to lead off the inning and the flyout did not happen after a walk. In fact he didn’t walk anybody in that game and he only walked one Yankee and that was in a game in which he didn’t face Dimaggio.

In 1949 Paige faced the Yankees 4 times for a total of 9 and a third innings. That year, according to Retrosheet, Paige had no IBB against the Yankees but he did have 3 walks against them. So perhaps one of those was of the unintentional intentional variety. Well, in Satch’s only start against the Yankees Dimaggio did not play and that was the game in which Paige gave up his 3 walks. So we definitely know it didn’t happen this year. Joe was 0-3 against Paige this year with a pop out, fly out, and a strike out. One of the outs had Joe as the leadoff hitter of the inning while the other two outs came after a double play and a flyout.

So all we have left is 1951 and in that year Paige faces the Yankees 3 times for a total of 14 and a third innings. Unfortunately Retrosheet has only PBP for two of the three games against the Yankees that year. Paige does give up 7 walks to the Yankees this year though none of them are recorded as IBB. Perhaps some of them were since it appears Retrosheet has none of his walks recorded as IBB for that year. In Paige’s first start he gives up 5 walks but Dimaggio did not play that day. In their final matchup of the season Dimaggio faces him once and hits into a fielder’s choice. So that just leaves us with the one game in which we only have the boxscore. In that game Paige pitches 4.1 innings and gives up one walk. Unfortunately the other two Browns’ pitchers give up 4 walks so there are a ton of walks to go around. Woodling batted in front of Dimaggio and he did draw a walk. I believe Paige faced him Joe 2 times in that game. So we’ll have to go to the newspapers to find out and the newspapers reveai that Woodling was walked by Pillette in the 4th and not by Paige. Paige walked Joe Collins who subbed for Johnny Mize in the 6th spot while Joe Dimaggio was in the 4th spot. Dimaggio goes 0-2 against Paige in that game and might have struck him out once or twice.

So Joe never faced Paige during the regular season after somebody else had been walked, intentionally or otherwise. Perhaps it happened during spring training. The Yankees held their Spring Training in St. Pete’s during this era except for 1951 when they played in Phoenix. The Indians after WWII moved out to Arizona so it is unlikely that Paige and Dimaggio faced each other when Paige was an Indian. The Browns it appears held their spring training in Burbank, CA in 1951. So it doesn’t appear that his could have happened during spring training.

I’m not sure if they still had exhibition games in the late 40’s and early 50’s or if Veeck heard about some barnstorming game from the 30’s but it appears this part of the story is false.

But on the other hand Dimaggio was 0-8 against Paige so Bill Veeck was very much correct in saying Joe wasn’t very good against Paige.

McCoy Posted: September 28, 2011 at 07:40 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball geeks, cardinals, hall of fame, history, indians, negro leagues, orioles, yankees



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