Jeremiah Paprocki becomes Cubs’ first African American public-address announcer

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, United States on 2021-10-11 23:36Z by Steven

Jeremiah Paprocki becomes Cubs’ first African American public-address announcer

The Chicago Sun-Times
2021-05-17

Russell Dorsey


Jeremiah Paprocki is the Cubs’ first Black PA announcer and at the age of 21 also becomes one of the youngest in baseball. Photo courtesy of the Chicago Cubs

Many fans dream of having their voices echo around historic Wrigley Field while reading the names of Cy Young Award winners, MVPs and future Hall of Famers.

One lifelong Cubs fan is getting a chance to do just that.

There’s a booming new voice in Wrigleyville, and it belongs to 21-year-old Jeremiah Paprocki. The Cubs hired Paprocki to be their new public-address announcer, making him the first African American in team history to hold the position. He also is thought to be the youngest P.A. announcer in Major League Baseball

Read the entire article here.

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MLB’s Ian Desmond, in a powerful post about racism and social injustice, opts out of the 2020 season

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Social Justice, United States on 2020-06-30 16:42Z by Steven

MLB’s Ian Desmond, in a powerful post about racism and social injustice, opts out of the 2020 season

Cable News Network (CNN)
2020-06-30

Scottie Andrew and Jillian Martin, CNN


Ian Desmond of the Colorado Rockies won’t play in the upcoming 2020 MLB season.

(CNN) Major League Baseball player Ian Desmond is opting out of the truncated 2020 season. Coronavirus concerns factored into his decision, but so did the national reckoning with racism — something Desmond says needs to happen within the league, too.

The Colorado Rockies outfielder, in a lengthy and emotional Instagram post, detailed how he made his decision and how racism impacted his life within the sport and outside of it as a biracial Black man.

Desmond, an 11-year MLB veteran, has played the past three seasons with the Rockies after signing a five-year, $70 million contract…

Read the entire article here.

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Effa Manley

Posted in Articles, Biography, History, Media Archive, Passing, United States, Women on 2019-08-16 20:09Z by Steven

Effa Manley

Ebbets Field Flannels
2019

Joe Swide


c. 1938. Wonderful image of Effa in a dress and wearing a Newark Eagles ball cap while being instructed on how to hold a bat by one of her players.

The most powerful woman in baseball

In the summer of 1947, the most powerful woman in baseball received a call from Bill Veeck, the owner of the Cleveland Indians. Veeck had spent the last five years scouting the Negro Leagues for the right ballplayer to integrate the American League and shortly after the Brooklyn Dodgers of the National League had broken baseball’s color line by acquiring Jackie Robinson from the Kansas City Monarchs, Veeck set his eyes on Larry Doby of the Newark Eagles. However, whereas the Dodgers managed to acquire Robinson without paying a cent to the Monarchs, Veeck found himself in a very different sort of negotiation with the owner of the Eagles, Effa Manley.

Manley was born into a biracial family in Philadelphia in 1897. Her mother was a white seamstress who was married to a black man but had an affair with her white employer, leading many to believe that he was Manley’s biological father. In any case, Manley was raised in a predominantly black community with a biracial identity like that of her siblings, and her ability to pass as either black or white enabled her to navigate both sides of the country’s racial divide…

Read the entire article here.

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Celebrating the 1st Annual Mixed Heritage Day at Dodger Stadium

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, United States on 2016-08-29 23:58Z by Steven

Celebrating the 1st Annual Mixed Heritage Day at Dodger Stadium

(not) Mixed (up): A Biracial Swirl in a Black and White World
2016-08-28

Shannon Luders-Manuel

What happens when a young, mixed race boy asks his mother what ethnic day is meant for him? The Los Angeles Dodgers have special days for certain ethnicities, but none celebrating mixed race heritage… until now…

Read the entire article here.

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Former Duquesne, Penn State athlete Cumberland Posey elected to Basketball Hall of Fame

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, United States on 2016-06-16 20:08Z by Steven

Former Duquesne, Penn State athlete Cumberland Posey elected to Basketball Hall of Fame

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
2016-04-05

Stephen J. Nesbitt, Beat Writer


Courtesy of the Baseball Hall of Fame Library, Cooperstown, N.Y.

Will become only person inducted into both professional basketball, baseball halls of fame

The grass-roots campaign to get Cumberland “Cum” Posey enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame began one day in 2002 when two men met at a Starbucks in Pittsburgh and drafted a plan to unearth the story of one of the best athletes the area has seen.

On Monday, 14 years later, Claude Johnson and Rob Ruck were together again to celebrate the campaign’s joyous conclusion. Mr. Posey will be inducted in September, the hall announced.

Mr. Posey, who was born in Homestead in 1890 and died in 1946, was the first black athlete at Penn State and Duquesne and was a player, manager and owner of the Homestead Grays baseball team. He will be the first to be voted into both the professional basketball and baseball halls of fame.

“Today, we honor a man who could be called Pittsburgh’s forgotten champion,” said Duquesne president Charles Dougherty at a ceremony Monday night on Duquesne’s campus, with a number of Mr. Posey’s descendants in attendance.

Mr. Posey is best known for helping build the Grays into a national power, and his basketball prowess seemed lost to history until Mr. Ruck, a history professor at Pitt, wrote the book “Sandlot Seasons,” which told of prominent people and places in Pittsburgh’s black sports history…

…While leading Duquesne in scoring every season from 1916-18, Mr. Posey played under the alias “Charles Cumbert.” There are a few theories as to why — eligibility concerns is one — but Mr. Johnson said Mr. Posey tried passing as white because opponents would refuse to play a black person…

Read the entire article here.

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She Loved Baseball: The Effa Manley Story

Posted in Biography, Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, United States, Women on 2016-01-21 01:56Z by Steven

She Loved Baseball: The Effa Manley Story

Balzer + Bray (an imprint of HarperCollins)
2010-10-19
32 pages
8.5 in (w) x 11 in (h) x 0.25 in (d)
Hardcover ISBN: 9780061349201
eBook ISBN: 9780062184801

Audrey Vernick

Illustrated by Don Tate

Effa always loved baseball. As a young woman, she would go to Yankee Stadium just to see Babe Ruth’s mighty swing. But she never dreamed she would someday own a baseball team. Or be the first—and only—woman ever inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

From her childhood in Philadelphia to her groundbreaking role as business manager and owner of the Newark Eagles, Effa Manley always fought for what was right. And she always swung for the fences.

From author Audrey Vernick and illustrator Don Tate comes the remarkable story of an all-star of a woman.

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Queen of the Negro Leagues: Effa Manley and the Newark Eagles

Posted in Biography, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, United States, Women on 2016-01-19 16:25Z by Steven

Queen of the Negro Leagues: Effa Manley and the Newark Eagles

Scarecrow Press (an imprint of Rowman & Littlefield)
January 1998
298 pages
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-57886-001-2
eBook ISBN: 978-1-4617-0708-0

James Overmyer, Member
Negro Leagues Committee of the Society for American Baseball Research

The first woman inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, there was no one like Effa Manley in the sports world of the 1930s and 1940s. She was a sophisticated woman who owned a baseball team. She never shrank from going head to head with men, who dominated the ranks of sports executives and considered sports their exclusive domain. That her life story has remained unchronicled can only be attributed to one thing: her team, the Newark Eagles, belonged to the Negro Baseball League.

This book furthers a growing awareness of black baseball before integration and profiles many of the other highly-competitive owners in the Negro league. It also describes a thriving black community in Newark that took the Newark Eagles into their hearts, creating a fascinating relationship between a community and their sports team.

This book was the first to draw extensively on Eagle team records, left behind by Mrs. Manley when she left Newark in the 1950s, and rediscovered nearly intact thirty-five years later. The files are the most comprehensive source of information about the Newark Eagles. They reconstruct the relationship between the baseball team and the community to an extent never thought to be possible. Also included is material from Mrs. Manley’s scrapbook chronicling her days as a baseball owner and an active home front volunteer during World War II. Her scrapbook is now part of the collection of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

This important work shines the spotlight on a previously unsung segment of baseball history.

Originally published in cloth as Effa Manley and the Newark Eagles, No. 1 in the American Sports History Series.

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Was pro baseball’s first African-American player passing for white?

Posted in Articles, Biography, History, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2015-04-12 01:55Z by Steven

Was pro baseball’s first African-American player passing for white?

Vox
2015-04-11

Jenée Desmond-Harris


William Edward White on the 1879 Brown baseball team. White is in the second row, seated and wearing a hat. (Source: Brown University Archives via Slate)

A story about professional baseball’s little-known first black player (well, possible first black player) raises as many questions about racial identity as it does about the official list of African-American sports pioneers.

In a fascinating February 2014 piece for Slate, Peter Morris and Stefan Fatsis explain that William Edward White, who played one game for the National League’s Providence Grays in 1879, publicly identified as white but was actually born to a white Georgia man and an enslaved biracial woman.

William Edward White was born in 1860 to a Georgia businessman and one of his slaves, who herself was of mixed race. That made White, legally, black and a slave. But his death certificate and other information indicate that White spent his adult life passing as a white man. Since the 1879 game was unearthed a decade ago, questions about White’s race have clouded his legacy.

The laws in most states at the time would have categorized someone like White — who had one black-identified parent and roughly one-quarter African ancestry — black. But he was identified as “white” on his death certificate and several census forms, and according to Slate’s reporting, it’s unlikely that even his wife knew he was the child of a mixed-race mother.

So should he be considered the first African-American baseball player? Should we start celebrating him among other black trailblazers every February, right along with Jackie Robinson?…

Read the entire article here.

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Baseball’s Secret Pioneer

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2014-02-14 22:40Z by Steven

Baseball’s Secret Pioneer

Slate
2014-02-04

Peter Morris, Baseball Historian
Haslett, Michigan

Stefan Fatsis, Sports Writer

William Edward White, the first black player in major-league history, lived his life as a white man.

On June 22, 1937, Joe Louis knocked out James Braddock with a right to the jaw to become the world heavyweight champion. At a time when Major League Baseball was still a decade from integration, Louis’ victory in Chicago’s Comiskey Park was a triumph for black America, and for racial progress. “What my father did was enable white America to think of him as an American, not as a black,” Joe Louis Jr. told ESPN in 1999. “By winning, he became white America’s first black hero.”

Three months before the fight, another notable moment involving race and sports occurred in the same city: the death of a 76-year-old man named William Edward White, of blood poisoning after a slip on an icy sidewalk and a broken arm. Fifty-eight years earlier, White played a single game for the Providence Grays of baseball’s National League to become, as best as can be determined, the first African-American player in big-league history. Unlike Louis’ knockout, though, White’s death merited no coverage in the local or national press. A clue as to why can be found in cursive handwriting in box No. 4 on White’s death certificate, which is labeled COLOR OR RACE. The box reads: “White.”

William Edward White was born in 1860 to a Georgia businessman and one of his slaves, who herself was of mixed race. That made White, legally, black and a slave. But his death certificate and other information indicate that White spent his adult life passing as a white man. Since the 1879 game was unearthed a decade ago, questions about White’s race have clouded his legacy. If he didn’t want other people to think of him as black, did he actually break the sports world’s most infamous racial barrier? Or is the reality of his racial heritage, and the difficult personal issues it no doubt forced him to confront, enough to qualify him as a pioneer? Should William Edward White be recognized during Black History Month alongside Joe Louis and Jackie Robinson and other groundbreaking African-Americans?

These are complicated questions. Allyson Hobbs, an assistant professor of American history at Stanford, says the practice of “racial passing” in America dates at least to runaway slaves in the 1700s. Slaves, she says, often attempted to pass as white to gain their freedom but then lived out their lives as black. By the Jim Crow era, when William White came of age, the social and economic advantages of living as white—and the disadvantages of living as black—were so profound that people who could successfully pass did so and never looked back.

“People who passed did not want to leave a trace,” says Hobbs, whose book A Chosen Exile: A History of Racial Passing in American Life will be published by Harvard University Press in the fall. “They did not want to leave records, they did not want to have anyone find them, to discover that they were passing. It’s very difficult to get a well-rounded image of these people’s lives, and that’s by their design. It’s a hidden history, and it’s one that can be very frustrating because there is often so little data available about these people.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Penny Marshall Directing A Dennis Rodman Documentary + Effa Manley Project In Development

Posted in Articles, Biography, Media Archive, Women on 2013-09-12 00:34Z by Steven

Penny Marshall Directing A Dennis Rodman Documentary + Effa Manley Project In Development

Shadow and Act: On Cinema of the African Diaspora
2012-09-25

Courtney Singer

Lately, she has been working on a documentary about the basketball player Dennis Rodman, some of which she has been shooting via Skype. That came up because a) Ms. Marshall is a big sports fan. (“You can yell and scream at a game and no one’s taking you away in a white coat.”) And b) “I have a little radar to the insane,” she said. “They seek me out. Dennis and his agent asked if I would do a documentary.”

That was from a recent Wall Street Journal profile of actress/producer/director Penny Marshall, on account of the publication of her book My Mother Was Nuts.

I must admit that Penny Marshall’s name probably won’t be the first one I’d think of if I were to come up with a short list of directors for a Dennis Rodman documentary. But as the director of memorable films like Big, Awakenings, A League Of Their Own, The Preacher’s Wife (and several others) says of herself, she’s drawn to the *insane;* or rather, the *insane* are drawn to her – the supposition there being that Dennis Rodman is *insane.*…

But what I did find there was a project she has in development to direct titled Effa. I almost ignored it when I looked closer, and read the project’s synopsis which reads:

Effa Manley is a white woman “passing” as black during segregation. Outspoken, dynamic and beautiful, she crashes through barriers in the male-dominated world of sports as the first woman to own and manage a professional sports team.

The name didn’t immediately ring the bell, so I looked up Effa Manley to learn that she was also the first woman inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame; She co-owned the Newark Eagles baseball franchise in the Negro leagues with her husband Abe Manley from 1935 to 1946, and was sole owner through 1948 after his death.

She was also active during the America civil rights movement and was a social activist. She died in 1981 at 84 years old.

It’s said that Manley’s racial background is not fully known. Her biological parents may have been white, but she was reportedly raised by her black stepfather and white mother, which lead to assumptions that her stepfather was her biological father and therefore many thought she was black—or at least, bi-racial.

This calls for further research…

Read the entire article here.

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