Published on Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - 3:55pm
Please come out and join us on Thursday, June 20 at 6 p.m. There will be a book discussion -- Satch, Dizzy & Rapid Robert: The Wild saga of Interracial Baseball Before Jackie Robinson by Timothy M. Gay -- and a movie trailer viewing on #42, "Jackie Robinson."
This book, based on new research, tells the story of how Satchel Paige, Dizzy Dean, Bob Feller and barnstorming introduced integrated baseball to America. Before Jackie Robinson integrated major league baseball in 1947, black and white ballplayers had been playing against one another for decades — even, on rare occasions, playing with each other. Interracial contests took place during the off-season, when major leaguers and Negro Leaguers alike fattened their wallets by playing exhibitions in cities and towns across America.
These barnstorming tours reached new heights, however, when Satchel Paige and other African-American stars took on white teams headlined by the irrepressible Dizzy Dean. Lippy and funny -- and a born showman -- the native Arkansan saw no reason why he shouldn’t pitch against Negro Leaguers. Paige, who feared no one and chased a buck harder than any player alive, instantly recognized the box-office appeal of competing against Dizzy Dean’s "All-Stars." Paige and Dean both featured soaring leg kicks and loved to mimic each other’s style to amuse fans. Skin color aside, the dirt-poor Southern pitchers had much in common.
This program will be in the Large Meeting Room on the lower level.