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HOME NEWS National Departments Diaspora Releases HISTORY OP-ED ABOUT US

HOME NEWS National Departments Diaspora Releases HISTORY OP-ED ABOUT US

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Published by: Andrew Machado on Oct 20, 2009
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06/17/2010

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DEPARTMENTS
Black Colleges Played Important Role inNegro Leagues
 
by Tony McClean
Special to the NNPA from BlackAthlete.net 
 
''You pitched in high school with the idea of moving up toeither college or the Negro Leagues. I went the collegeroute and pitched with the idea of moving up to the Negro Leagues. It was my dream, just like a white teen's dream would have been to move up to the Dodgers or RedSox''.-- Garnett Blair, Homestead Grays pitcher.NEW HAVEN, Conn. (NNPA)
 –
In the formative years of the Negro Leagues, the talentpool of players stretched out from the local sandlots to the college ranks. Mostimportantly, players like Blair, a standout for Virginia Union of the CIAA, began theirbaseball careers on Black college campuses.Schools like Morris Brown, Howard, Tuskegee, Clark Atlanta, Wilberforce, and otherswere the training grounds for some of the elite players in Negro League history.Longtime Negro League icon Buck O'Neill attended Edward Waters College in Floridabefore beginning his career with the Miami Giants in 1934.One of the early pioneers of Negro League baseball, Frank Leland attended FiskUniversity in Tennessee. Leland would later help form the Chicago Leland Giants in1909.One of the pitchers for Leland in those formative years was a fellow by the name ofAndrew ''Rube'' Foster, the father of Negro League baseball.Even Foster's brother, William had HBCU ties before beginning his Negro Leaguecareer. The younger Foster attended Alcorn State before going to the Windy City toplay with his older brother for the Chicago American Giants in 1923.The impact of Black college players are a huge part of Negro League baseball. Fromplayer-manager Dick Lundy (Bethune-Cookman) to future Brooklyn Dodger Joe Black(Morgan State), the HBCU influence was felt throughout the entire existence of theNegro Leagues.While a comprehensive list of players would be too long to mention, what follows is abrief summary of some players that made a significant impact on their schools andtheir professional teams.PITCHERS LAYMON YOKELY AND BUN HAYESThese two rivals from the CIAA were a big part of a pitching staff that helped lead theBaltimore Black Sox to the Negro American League pennant in 1929.A 6-foot-2 righty from Livingstone College, Yokely led Baltimore starters with a 19-11mark that season. The Winston-Salem, N.C. native threw six career no-hitters duringhis eight-year run (1926-33) with Baltimore.While hurling for LC, Yokley had several duels with his future teammate Hayes, whohurled for Johnson C. Smith University and briefly for North Carolina Central. Hayes'best season also came in 1929 when he finished 4-0 for the Black Sox.THE 1946 NEWARK EAGLESThe Negro League champs of that season had several players that attended HBCUschools, including third baseman Andrew ''Pat'' Patterson (Wiley College) andoutfielder Bob Harvey (Bowie State University).However, it was the contributions of future Hall of Famers Larry Doby (Virginia Union)and Monte Irvin (Lincoln, Pa.) that helped put Newark over the top.A year before he became the American League's first Black ballplayer, Doby hit a
 
http://www.blackpressusa.com/news/Article.asp?SID=4&Title=Departments&NewsID=4503 (1 of 2) [9/25/09 12:20:07 PM]

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