Long before blacks gained entrance into major league baseball, some of the greatest athletes ever to play the game were performing remarkable feats in the Negro Leagues. Fans today look back on the legendary Negro Leagues with reverence and awe, yet Long before blacks gained entrance into major league baseball, some of the greatest athletes ever to play the game were performing remarkable feats in the Negro Leagues. Fans today look back on the legendary Negro Leagues with reverence and awe, yet there has been woefully little visual documentation of the leagues' history. This treasure trove of images by Ernest Withers, the unofficial team photographer for the Memphis Red Sox, captures the peak of Negro League action through the years of groundbreaking integration, as well as the community in which black baseball was played.
Satchel Paige, Jackie Robinson, and Hank Aaron are among the superstars portrayed in 150 photographs, reproduced in stunning duotone plates, introduced by baseball legend Willie Mays, and accompanied by an informative text by Daniel Wolff. From pictures of Indianapolis clown King Tut, the baseball equivalent of a Harlem Globetrotter, and pitcher Charley Pride, who went on to become a country/western singing star, to shots of visiting celebrities and ballplayers relaxing at local clubs, these astonishing photographs evoke a long-gone era and form an essential visual archive of a near-mythological aspect of baseball history. AUTHOR BIO: Ernest C. Withers has photographed the African-American community for more than 50 years, documenting the struggle for civil rights, the black social world, and the Negro Leagues. He lives and works in Memphis. Daniel Wolff has published poetry, short stories, and critical writing on photography, as well as a biography of Sam Cooke, You Send Me. He lives in Nyack, New York. Willie Mays, the baseball Hall of Famer, began his career in 1948 with the Negro Leagues and went on to play in 24 All-Star games and participate in four World Series. ...Continua Nascondi