By Bengie Molina
Manhattan occasions Bestseller
“An perfect Father’s Day present...It’s this year’s baseball ebook probably to be made right into a fantastic movie.” —The Chicago Tribune
“Affecting...A easily informed, deeply relocating tale, particularly in contrast to the standard baseball book.” —Kirkus experiences (starred review)
A baseball principles ebook. A tape degree. A lottery price tag.
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Probably O’Neil’s most conspicuous and valuable save was reaching out to a homesick minor leaguer playing in San Antonio. Billy Williams was from Mobile, Alabama, missed his family, and had lost his confidence. O’Neil spent time with him, boosted his spirits, and talked him into sticking with the team. Soon enough Williams was in the majors and on his way to a Hall-of-Fame outfielding career. O’Neil had been a spring training assistant, working with young players. But when the perennially losing, desperate Cubs adopted the most exotic and rarest of operations to manage a Major League club, O’Neil received the official big-league title of coach.
13 Johnson conceded that this was a form of cheating, but only one of many types of cheating that revolved around the type of stuff pitchers hurled, from mud balls to shine balls, to emery balls and spitters. “That kind of thing was real common,” Johnson said. “When we threw the shine ball, we used to load it up with so much Vaseline it would make your eyes blink on a sunny day. On mud balls, the mud on the seams made the ball sink. ”14 22 AFRICAN AMERICAN PIONEERS OF BASEBALL Johnson recorded many of his best-hitting seasons in the 1920s when he played in Philadelphia, but when the Negro National League and the Eastern Colored League folded, in 1930 he joined the Homestead Grays, which was temporarily an independent team.
It was not until he was nearly twenty-seven that he hooked on with the Grays. The late start cost Leonard in terms of statistical accomplishment, but is hard to quantify. 324. He had a good glove, as well. “He was a line drive hitter who could wear out the fastball,” said Buck O’Neil, a first baseman for the Kansas City Monarchs when Leonard played. “He was a good hitter. ” O’Neil laughed. ”1 When O’Neil wrote his autobiography in 1996, the year before Leonard passed away, he had great praise for his former competitor, calling him “the greatest of us still alive.