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Jackie Robinson, Willie Mays, and the Boston Red Sox

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    westsidegrounds
    Registered User

  • westsidegrounds
    replied
    Originally posted by EdTarbusz View Post
    The reason behind the tryout was pretty simple: Boston councilman Isidore Muchnik (sp?) told the Red Sox brass that if they did not make any effort to look at black players, he would see to it that the club would not receive their annual exemption to play games on Sunday. He must have had the pull to make that happen because the try-out was held.
    Isadore Muchnick (1908-1962), Boston City Council member 1941-1947. The law was that the City Council had to unanimously approve the Red Sox' exemption, so ...
    westsidegrounds
    Registered User
    Last edited by westsidegrounds; 02-16-2012, 05:39 PM.

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  • EdTarbusz
    091707 0657

  • EdTarbusz
    replied
    The reason behind the tryout was pretty simple: Boston councilman Isidore Muchnik (sp?) told the Red Sox brass that if they did not make any effort to look at black players, he would see to it that the club would not receive their annual exemption to play games on Sunday. He must have had the pull to make that happen because the try-out was held.

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  • WJackman
    Registered User

  • WJackman
    replied
    Cannonball Will Jackman -
    The Least Known Best Pitcher Ever

    Cannonball Will Jackman’s longtime battery-mate Burlin White fashioned a letter to the sports editor of the Brockton Enterprise, detailing their winter of 1926-27 playing in Florida. About a particular game, White wrote: “It was a grand ball game, and the Giants won, 3 to 2, before a capacity crowd of local fans that jammed every available inch of space around the playing field. At least 5,000 people must have crashed through the walk-over gates last night, although they tell us 3,200 cash customers were present."

    "With elongated Bill Jackman on the mound for the Giants, the Bearded Wonders kept splitting the atmosphere with their swishing bats most of the time. The children of David jumped on Bill in the first inning, gathering three hits for two runs. Thereafter, however, Mistah Jackman preceded to underhand his opponents to death. While the shades of night were falling fast, Jackman sent the white pill through the celebrated Alpine village with rare abandon, although he forgot to shout 'Excelsior.’"

    In July of '27, Boston Daily Traveler writer Herb Finnegan dubbed Jackman one of the best pitchers in the country, "... Walter Johnson, Flint Meadows and Grover Cleveland Alexander notwithstanding..."

    In 1930, the Taunton [MA] Daily Gazette called Jackman "...the world's greatest colored pitcher," crediting him with a 1929 record of 48-4 with two no-hitters.

    According to James A. Riley's "Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Leagues," Jackman was "52-2 one season with the Giants, bested Satchel Paige twice in two outings," earned "$175 a game" and $10 per strikeout in his prime.

    John McGraw once said that if he could sign Jackman, his biggest dilemma would have been deciding whether to use him as a pitcher or as an everyday player, because he was such a dangerous hitter. That was never said of Paige.

    On July 31, 1929, Jackman tossed a two-hitter against Reading of the Boston Twilight League. He fanned 13 and homered in both games of a double-header.

    Hank Martyniak, now 82, pitched against Jackman in the Taunton Twilight League championship of '42, and says Jackman was as fast as anyone he ever saw. Jackman beat Martyniak, 19, and his team 2-0, fanning 16. Jackman was 45 years old at the time.

    Gordon Ross of Keene, NH, who just passed at 87, batted against Robin Roberts, and told me Jackman, who was middle-aged when he faced him after World War II, was better.

    Printed the Baltimore Afro American, on Saturday, June 1, 1935:

    "The Eagles exhibited a pitcher of top class Sunday in big Will Jackman, six-foot-two underhand right-hander. Jackman stepped into the breach in the first game with a startling relief performance and then came back in the second game to replace Jim Reese after the later had thrown to only two batters. ”

    And from the same paper, eight years later: "The Watertown Arsenal A.A. baseball club has several colored aces, among them Will Jackson [sic], former Philadelphia Giants ace pitcher, who in his hey day put many a four-figured white pitcher to shame…[he] one pitched exhibition games all over the eastern seaboard, demanding and getting from $500 to $800 a game against white semi-pro teams."

    In the New York Times of July 17, 1944, there's an article about Jackman beating the Brooklyn Bushwicks, 3-1, at Dexter Park. That's notable for two reasons: Jackman was 47, and the Bushwicks were the premier semi-pro outfit of the era.

    In 1952 and '53, when the Red Sox front office was finally preparing to break their self-imposed color barrier, Jackman was one of the former Negro Leaguers they would consult on whom they should sign. The Boston Guardian and Boston Chronicle, Black weeklies, documented these meetings.

    By Bijan C. Bayne. Bayne is the author of "Sky Kings: Black Pioneers of Professional Basketball,” available on Amazon. Check out his blog, www.bbayne.com.





    .

    . .

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  • WJackman
    Registered User

  • WJackman
    replied
    Paige was the legend of the Negro Leagues the same Dizzy Dean was the legend of the National league; because they themselves perpetuated that legend by smoozing writers and providing good ink.

    Jackman was "semi-pro" rather than Negro League because he favored living in Boston where he found the social injustices less restrictive. The fact that he was at least a decade older, and possibly 15 years older, than Paige was the reason he did not play in the majors. The Boston African-American papers campaigned for Jackman's major league inclusion once the color line was broken.

    Jackman played with and against all of the same people that Paige did. Legend has it that Jackman defeated Paige in two of the three contests they faced off in. When Negro League researches cannot account for gaps in the various careers of players, they would do well to look for them in New England.


    SABR has fallen to crap because it has become too much of fan-based, and not a true research organization (other than the smaller core based researcher it has always had).

    Baseball history should be about pushing yourself to the limit in order to gather information. It shouldn't be about being able to do a google search.

    Bill James says....

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  • leecemark
    History Mod

  • leecemark
    replied
    --So Jackman was a legend of the semi-pros the way Paige was a legend of the Negro Leagues. He confirmed his greatness by a brief period of success in the Negro Leagues when close to 40, the same way Paige confirmed his by his success past 40 in the majors. I think you can see why most are going to see Paige as better.
    -- BTW, McGraw was once of the opinion that Rube Marquard was the best pitching talent on the planet. He was wrong then. He may well have been this time too (although 100,000 had become the going rate for the very best talent by the 20s if thats when McGraw made his comment). OTOH, I'm guessing Jackman was your Grandpa or something, so your partisanship is understandable.

    Leave a comment:

  • WJackman
    Registered User

  • WJackman
    replied
    Originally posted by bkmckenna
    Who said he was the best? Your local newspapers? School kids? Sparky Anderson?

    As Mr. Riley's book The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues says, "Most of his career was spent with independent teams of lesser status..."

    Did you take your meds today? You're having delusions of grandeur for someone else.

    Just what I expected from the current crop of SABR stat geeks and computer freaks. Bill James says... John Holway says... Jim Riley says...

    Let me ask you this, do you have any opinions of your own? Ever done any original research? I doubt both.

    Jackman, despite pitching about 20 games in the offical Negro Leagues - and those coming when he was close to 40 years old - was named to the often mentioned 1951 All-time All-Star squads. Do you think that reputation was earned from those 20 games in the 1935 and 1936?

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  • Brian McKenna
    Registered User

  • Brian McKenna
    replied
    Originally posted by WJackman
    "I'm sorry but Paige pitched against the top competition of the day. Jackson was no where near his equal on the mound."



    Well, the name was Jackman, not Jackson, and you don't have the first clue who he pitched against. He was often referred to as the Black Walter Johnson and John McGraw compared him to Babe Ruth, saying he would be willing to pay $50,000 to the man who could turn Jackman white.

    The only difference between Paige and Jackman was the hype.
    Who said he was the best? Your local newspapers? School kids? Sparky Anderson?

    As Mr. Riley's book The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues says, "Most of his career was spent with independent teams of lesser status..."

    Did you take your meds today? You're having delusions of grandeur for someone else.

    Leave a comment:

  • yanks0714
    Yanks Fan Since 1957

  • yanks0714
    replied
    Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules
    Can imagine Williams, Robinson, and Mays all on the same team?
    It goes even further. The BoSox HAD Ruth and Tris Speaker. They traded/sold both away. They had a shot, actually the inside track to Joe Dimaggio, and blew it. They had a shot at getting a young Willie Mays and blew it off due to racist leanings.

    Look at it this way:

    Speaker and Ruth together until Tris retired; Ruth on his own unti '35; Dimaggio arrives in '36 and Williams joins him in '39; Mays joins them as Joe D retires after '50. Throw in Jackie playing for them from '47 to '57 and you had the nucleus of a Dynasty that would have bumped the Yankees from the top.

    Only the Boston red Sox could do that.

    Leave a comment:

  • WJackman
    Registered User

  • WJackman
    replied
    "I'm sorry but Paige pitched against the top competition of the day. Jackson was no where near his equal on the mound."



    Well, the name was Jackman, not Jackson, and you don't have the first clue who he pitched against. He was often referred to as the Black Walter Johnson and John McGraw compared him to Babe Ruth, saying he would be willing to pay $50,000 to the man who could turn Jackman white.

    The only difference between Paige and Jackman was the hype.

    Leave a comment:

  • Brian McKenna
    Registered User

  • Brian McKenna
    replied
    Don't you sleep Mr. Fro. I think I miss the 1970s more. I was young (almost 40 now) but boy we had some good teams and all I ever thought about was playing third base for the Orioles like Brooks.

    On your end I was a big Yaz fan and Luis Tiant - man he was fun just to watch. Didn't understand why Fisk left.

    I've always viewed you guys as hard. Your papers rarely say anything nice and you always seemed to have problems with the great ones - Williams, Rice, Fisk, Greenwell, Boggs - sure I'm missing someone. You get a lot of bad press for not having a black player until 1959 but the Tigers didn't field a black regular until two years later.

    I went to Fenway once - neat place.

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  • oscargamblesfro
    Registered User

  • oscargamblesfro
    replied
    i don't think yawkey was either a totally good or totally bad guy, i think he was fairly complex- the racial stuff and the cronyism is surely a negative, but he also had good points too.


    as for me, i also wish the orioles were competitive again. i actually liked the game more in the 80's than i do now, when you usually didn't know at the beginning of the year who would wind up in 1st place. from 81 until the tigers won again in 87, every team except cleveland won the division. admittedly part of this is the inevitable "old fogeyism" that i find myself slipping into as i get older ( just turned 35) i miss that.

    when i first got into the game, the orioles ( along with new york) were the club to be feared and respected because they were always in the hunt. they have a beautiful park, and it's a shame that angelos and his meddling have ruined such a smart and classy franchise.what's worse is that the team has been so boring , for the most part- the 70's orioles never were. i hope the franchise turns things around and the a.l. east can be more of a dogfight again.

    my brother and several friends have been to camden ( i never have) and always praise the friendliness and knowledge of baltimore fans.

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  • Brian McKenna
    Registered User

  • Brian McKenna
    replied
    Originally posted by WJackman
    The city of Boston was not racist toward African-American players.

    .
    No city in this U.S. can make that claim. That is just wishful thinking, or civic pride or something you tell your kids so you can sleep at night.

    I'm sorry but Paige pitched against the top competition of the day. Jackson was no where near his equal on the mound.

    I appreciate the recount of Negro league ball in Boston - much of it I didn't know.

    People are way off in their assessment of major league baseball being racist. The facts are true but the context is way off. Baseball is just a very, very, very small microcosm of society. Baseball in no way deserves the level of antipathy that exists. I can't believe the people who love the game the most, bad mouth it so much. I guess that is human nature to find more faults with what we love than with what we don't (holding it to a higher standard so to speak). It is a complement to the game that people regard baseball as being above it all.

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  • Brian McKenna
    Registered User

  • Brian McKenna
    replied
    Mr. Fro

    Sure, I'd love to have a nice boss. I used to have one that called me every morning and cussed me out. It was his motivational tool. I agree with you to a point about Comiskey but... It was a different era - business was done much different back then. I hate to judge considering those factors.

    I'm not saying Yawkey was a bad guy. In fact, I try very had to just view history in a positive (economic term meaning what happened happened) sense without putting any normative values on things. I often think if I had all that money I would buy a team and do the groupie-type things like Yawkey.

    I never said ballplayers were overpaid and I strongly fell that they are not. The industry produces a lot of money and the talent fully deserves its fair %. And that % is significant. To me, they are in no way overpaid. The money is there. I wish my line of work had that kind of money floating around but alas I was born too slow and, frankly, a baseball whipping at me at 90 mph scares the hell out of me.

    I agree about the draws in Oakland. It was pathetic, especially, around the time Billy Martin came in. Hell, I live in Baltimore and they never drew well until the 1980s.

    I hope one day we can start to give you guys a fight again. And, as in every year, I hope you beat the Yankees every time out.

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  • WJackman
    Registered User

  • WJackman
    replied
    The city of Boston was not racist toward African-American players. Boston had a number of black teams in the 20s and 30s. The Providence (RI) Colored Giants were the second half champs of the 1931 Boston Twilight League - an organization that likely had about 30 players with big league experience.

    The Philadelphia Colored Giants started barnstorming New England in 1923 and were huge draws virtually everywhere they played in the 20s and 30s. It wasn't unusual to find 6,000 or 7,000 fans show up for their games, especially if Bill Jackman was pitching for them. Eventually the team was based out of Boston and became the Boston Colored Giants. The frequently played in Fenway Park and Braves Field; Jackman being the first black hurler to work in both parks.

    Jackman played in New England rather than the more formal Negro Leagues because he was so well accepted by the white fan mass in New England. He was a legend and likely the equal of Satchel Paige in both ability and longevity, pitching professionall from 1917-1952.

    It was also not unusal for the traveling black teams like the Pennsylvania Red Caps to tour New England. In 1928, and again (I think) in 1932, the famed Lincoln Giants traveled to New England to play series with the Jackman's Philly Giants.

    On time up in Biddeford, Maine, a heckler from the all-white crowd started hurling racial comments toward the beloved Philly Giants. A couple of innings later black smoke started billowing over the centerfield fence; originating from the parking lot. Seems the other Mainers went out and tourched the car of the fellow heckling the Aftican-American players.

    Major league baseball may have been racist but New England wasn't.

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  • oscargamblesfro
    Registered User

  • oscargamblesfro
    replied
    well, i never claimed it made him unique, i'm sure there's other owners of whom similar things could be said...

    regarding your points-

    if i was a player back then, or even now, forgetting about salaries and what not, i would still rather play for an affable owner than a tyrant like steinbrenner, andrew freedman, etc. and i think it DOES make him better than comiskey, at least regarding financial matters. i'm not going to get into the 1919 thing, but comiskey was indeed a cheap guy, and in my view, though i know things like this happen all of the time, i find it highly hypocritical that a former ringleader of the player's league was such a tightwad...i'd rather have a boss i liked wouldn't you? i had one when i was a kid once, a real sour jerk who called me a mick, among other things, and although it didn't hurt or anything, calling me a mick was about the nicest thing he said. i'd rather work for a job that maybe pays less than put up with such nonsense.

    people were claiming that ballplayers were overpaid in 1876. they will still be claiming that in a hundred year's time, it is perennial and not likely to change any time soon. that being said, while ballplayers were overpaid in yawkey's time as opposed to the average person, a lot of them were still working off -season jobs to make ends meet. i see nothing particularly wrong with yawkey or any other owner overpaying for players in that era. some of these men were underpaid back then.

    i agree with you that players are way overpaid now, and i think both players and owners, as well as the baseball union, ARE greedy, self- centered, and so on. but think of it. you had no union, and congress saying the reserve clause is valid, giving baseball a special ( and probably unconstitutional) exemption. whatever their flaws, and i know they have them, unions are better than NO unions. regardless of how any one feels about their jobs, i think we'd all like the right to seek a new one if we're unsatisfied instead of being beholden to just one. a lot of how we feel about unions and this issue in general is tied in with our own backgrounds, politics, etc..

    as for rebuilding the team, it may not make him unique, but it's still a big plus.chicago, new york, and maybe philadelphia were big enough cities to support 2 clubs. based on population, i don't think boston and st. louis justified 2 teams in those days. i don't know - ask a st. louis fan or ask a philly fan. when you factor in TWO dreadful clubs for a long time, i do think you need to give credit to someone who comes along and rescues one of those clubs. and renewing enthusiasm depends on the team...cities react differently to renewal of competitive clubs. take oakland..they've been up and down there, but even when they're great they don't draw, possibly because of the proximity of the giants.

    as for parks- they get renewed -if the team's got the cash. farm systems...yeah eventually, sure...but keep in mind that the idea was pioneered by the cardinals and then the yankees. poorer clubs like the browns or senators weren't able to have nearly as many of these minor league satellites. i give yawkey some props for eventually realizing that developing and not just purchasing players is vital.
    oscargamblesfro
    Registered User
    Last edited by oscargamblesfro; 10-14-2005, 02:34 PM.

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