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Bittersweet Goodbye

This book was inspired by the last Negro League World Series ever played and presents biographies of the players on the two contending teams in 1948 - the Birmingham Black Barons and the Homestead Grays - as well as the managers, the owners, and articles on the ballparks the teams called home. Also included are articles that recap the season's two East-West All-Star Games, the Negro National League and Negro American League playoff series, and the World Series itself. Additional context is provided in essays about the effects of Organized Baseball's integration on the Negro Leagues, the exodus of Negro League players to Canada, and the signing away of top Negro League players, specifically Willie Mays. The lack of detailed press coverage of the Negro Leagues, the fact that not every player was a star with a lengthy career, and gaps in public records of the era (especially in regard to African Americans) present a situation in which it is not possible to detail the life of every single player as fully as in other SABR publications. In the face of such challenges, the SABR researchers who have contributed player biographies and feature articles to this book have done utmost diligence to uncover every possible nugget of information that is currently available and, in many instances, new discoveries have been made. Many of the players' lives and careers have been presented to a much greater extent than previously. This book represents the collaborative efforts of 49 authors and editors from the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR). Contents: Willie Mays Letter to Jim Zapp THE BIRMINGHAM BLACK BARONS Lloyd Pepper Bassett, Frederick C. Bush Herman Bell, Margaret M. Gripshover John Britton, Bill Nowlin Lorenzo "Piper" Davis (player/manager) Jeb Stewart Bill Greason, Frederick C. Bush Wiley Griggs, William Dahlberg Jay (Jehosie) Heard, J. W. Stewart Willie Mays, John Saccoman Jimmie Newberry, Jeb Stewart Alonzo Perry, Dennis D. Degenhardt Nat Pollard, Jay Hurd Bill Powell, Mark Panuthos & Frederick C. Bush Norman (Bobby) Robinson, Bob LeMoine Joe Scot, t Charles F. Faber Ed Steele, Will Osgood Bob Veale, Joseph Gerard Samuel Williams, Bob LeMoine Artie Wilson, Rob Neyer Jim Zapp, Bill Nowlin Tom Hayes (Owner) James Forr Abe Saperstein (Co-Owner, 1939-45) Norm King Rickwood Field, Clarence Watkins THE HOMESTEAD GRAYS Ted Alexander, Rob Neyer Sam Bankhead, Dave Wilkie Lefty Bell, Frederick C. Bush Garnett Blair, Bill Nowlin Bob Boston, Bill Johnson Clarence Bruce, Frederick C. Bush Luther Clifford, Richard Bogovich Luke Easter, Justin Murphy Clarence Evans, Dennis D. Degenhardt Wilmer Fields, Frederick C. Bush Ervin Fowlkes, Dave Forrester Charles Gary, Chris Rainey Robert Gaston, Chris Rainey Cecil Kaiser, Brian Baughan Larry Kimbrough, Chris Rainey Buck Leonard, Ralph Berger Luis Marquez, Amy Essington Eudie Napier, Tom Hawthorn Tom Parker, Bill Johnson Willie (Bill) Pope, Skip Nipper Willie D. Smith, Alan Cohen Frank Thompson, Michael Mattsey Bob Thurman, Rick Swaine Bob Trice, Jack Morris R. T. Walker, Irv Goldfarb John Wright, Niall Adler Vic Harris (manager) Charlie Fouche Cum Posey (Owner to 1946 d.) Brian McKenna Ethel Posey (Co-Owner) Leslie Heaphy Rufus "Sonny Man" Jackson (Co-Owner) Ralph Carhart Forbes Field, Curt Smith Griffith Stadium, John Schleppi FEATURES Players Omitted from the Rosters, Frederick C. Bush The 1948 East-West All-Star Games, Thomas E. Kern The 1948 Negro American League Playoff Series (Birmingham v. Kansas City Monarchs) Japheth Knopp The 1948 Negro National League Playoff Series (Homestead v. Baltimore Elite Giants) Steve West The 1948 Negro Leagues World Series, Richard J. Puerzer Baseball's Integration Spells the End of the Negro Leagues, Japheth Knopp The Signing of Willie Mays, John Klima From the Negro Leagues to the Quebec Provincial League, Jack Anderson Epilogue: Birmingham, Pittsburgh, and the Negro Leagues Since 1948, Frederick C. Bush Bibliography for Further Research
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