“I remember one game I got five hits and stole five bases, but none of it was written down because they didn’t bring the scorebook to the game that day.” —“Cool Papa” Bell
Emmy Award-winning storyteller Bobby Norfolk is coming to Hayner next week to present a program on the Negro Baseball Leagues from 1922–1947. Through the stories of James “Cool Papa” Bell and Leroy “Satchel” Paige, Bobby’s performance will take us through the heyday of the Negro Baseball Leagues, when segregation kept black and white players on separate teams in separate leagues, until the ascension of Jackie Robinson into the major leagues. Join us on Nov. 5 at 6:30 p.m. in the Alton Square Performance Room. The program is free, but please register by calling 1-800-613-3163. You can learn more about Bobby on his website, http://folktale.com/.
Baseball fever is in the air as the St. Louis Cardinals take on the Boston Red Socks in the World Series. But if we were living in the 1920s we might also be rooting for the St. Louis Stars, the area’s home team in the Negro National League. The Stars enjoyed considerable success during their run, capturing the NNL pennant in 1928, 1930, and again during the league’s final season in 1931. http://coe.k-state.edu/annex/nlbemuseum/history/teams/stloustars.html. Three Stars players eventually made it into the National Baseball Hall of Fame: James “Cool Papa” Bell, Willie Wells, and George “Mule” Suttles.
The Cardinals have honored the Stars by wearing replica uniforms during regular-season baseball games on several occasions, including July 4, 1997 (at home vs. Pittsburgh), August 1 and 2, 1998 (at Atlanta), June 29, 2003 (at Kansas City), August 12, 2006 (at Pittsburgh), August 14, 2007 (at Washington), and July 23, 2011 (at Pittsburgh).
There’s more information about all teams in the Negro Leagues on the website for the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, http://www.nlbm.com/. The museum is located in Kansas City, Mo., and if you’d like to plan a visit, you can find more information on their website.
Hayner owns a variety of well-reviewed books on the Negro Baseball Leagues for all ages.
Black Diamond: The Story of the Negro Baseball Leagues
Coretta Scott King Award Honor Book
Available at Alton Square Library: Young Adult Section, call number Y796.357 BRA
We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball
Winner of the Coretta Scott King Award
Available at Alton Square Library: KidsSpace, call number j796.35764 NEL
Shades of Glory: The Negro Leagues and the Story of African-American Baseball
Available at the Downtown and Alton Square Libraries, call number 796.35 HOG
Curveball: The Remarkable Story of Toni Stone, the First Woman to Play Professional Baseball in the Negro League
Available at Alton Square Library, call number B STONE