May 27, 2004

Umpires of the Negro Leagues.: Learn more about the call for "race umpires" in the Negro Leagues and of Bob Motley, the last living Negro League umpire.

posted by Jugwine to baseball at 10:36 AM - 4 comments

Man, that's a lot of reading, but it looks fascinating. Consider it bookmarked for a future day. Thanks a lot, Jugwine. btw, how is it I've been to Kansas City a dozen or so times and never knew that's where the Negro League Museum is? Now I'm pissed.

posted by Ufez Jones at 07:46 PM on May 27

Well, I'm glad someone thought it was interesting. I stumbled across the Motley article this morning and thought it was worth sharing. I realized that I knew a decent amount about the Negro League players, but abosultely nothing about the umpires. Some quick googling led to the umpire site whidch I just thought was a treasure trove of good articles.

posted by Jugwine at 08:40 PM on May 27

I finally got to it today, Jugwine, it is a great post. Sometimes these really meaty links scare some people away. I love reading columns from the old days, they are written in such a funky style. Thanks for posting it. There's a new book out about the economic history of the Negro Leagues that the NY Times reviewed. Here is a NY Times link for it... It looks to be the definitive history of the business of the league.

posted by vito90 at 08:07 AM on May 28

"The first ball that came to the batter was a base hit," Motley said. "The second batter came up; there were two base hits. Third batter came up; it was a homerun. So the skipper comes running out there and he says, 'I thought you could pitch.' And I said, 'Yes, sir, I can pitch.' He said, 'Nobody else better get a base hit off you.' The next guy who came up - he hit the ball over the fence." Ha! Funny stuff. When Major League Baseball accepted Jackie Robinson and broke the color barrier, the Negro Leagues evaporated. Motley, who had worked for 10 years, also wanted to get into the majors. To do so, the veteran agreed to go to umpire school. He finished first in his class, but found the color barrier remained intact for umpires. That's just amazingly sad. On a brighter note, that photo of him leaping in the air calling the runner out is fantastic. I wish I had it for my wall. Thanks for the links Jugwine. A lot of good stuff. Probably one of the best posts we've had since sportsfilter's conception.

posted by justgary at 06:22 PM on May 28

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