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Gary Ashwill
Recent Activity
Let me suggest, gently, that it is maybe not the greatest idea in the world to have something called the Pre-Integration Committee, and then to give it the job of inducting only white people into the Hall of Fame. Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Agate Type
(Crossposted at Today we’re used to complaining that too much of the sports news takes place off the field of play—strikes, business deals, scandals, crimes. We may not realize it, but this is nothing new. The story of the... Continue reading
Posted Sep 27, 2015 at Agate Type
A few years ago I wrote about the baseball career of Jim Hugh Moss, a man who was executed for murder in Georgia in 1928 on what certainly seems to be dubious evidence (including the phrenological investigations of the governor... Continue reading
Posted Sep 17, 2015 at Agate Type
Tito Rondon sent me this story about Babe Ruth's trip to Cuba almost exactly a year ago. Various things got in the way, and I never posted it—but here it is at last. Tracer: Papi Fabré (with apologies to Rob... Continue reading
Posted Aug 27, 2015 at Agate Type
Brian Campf sent along his latest acquisitions, two great postcards. The first one shows an unknown white player batting, with two black players in the background. Here’s a detail of the two players in the background: Todd Peterson has identified... Continue reading
Posted Aug 22, 2015 at Agate Type
(Crossposted at The 1932 East-West League, plus four independent east coast teams from that year, forms the latest addition to the Seamheads Negro Leagues Database. This was the year when Pittsburgh numbers operator Gus Greenlee really got serious about... Continue reading
Posted Aug 13, 2015 at Agate Type
Mark Blauer, a SABR member who is currently writing a history of African American baseball in Hot Springs, Arkansas, sent along these two photos of unidentified ball players, plus a couple of (also unidentified) guys in suits: Here’s Mark: “These... Continue reading
Posted Jul 29, 2015 at Agate Type
Very briefly, I want to call attention to a new(ish) feature on the right hand side of the blog, “Bingles,” which is where I put links to noteworthy items related to this blog’s areas of interest (especially black, Latin American,... Continue reading
Posted Jul 26, 2015 at Agate Type
(See UPDATE below.) The 29-year-old rookie Pat Venditte caused a stir the other day with his ambidextrous debut for the A’s, pitching two scoreless innings against the Red Sox with both his right and left hands. (He has since appeared... Continue reading
Posted Jun 8, 2015 at Agate Type
Dwayne Isgrig sent along this advert from the Delphi Journal (Delphi, Indiana), August 1, 1912. The ad includes both the photo of Dizzy Dismukes I posted a while back and one of Steel Arm John Taylor pitching, an image I’ve... Continue reading
Posted May 8, 2015 at Agate Type
Brian Campf has shared one of his latest acquisitions, a 1914 postcard showing the Hubbard Giants of Portland, Oregon, featuring Jimmy Claxton (bottom row, farthest right). Here’s a detail of Claxton: And for comparison, here’s a photo of the Hubbard... Continue reading
Posted Apr 28, 2015 at Agate Type
A while back I wrote about Benjamin Harrison attending a New York Gorhams game in 1891, which appears to be the only instance of a sitting U.S. president watching a professional all-black baseball team play. Harrison saw the Gorhams defeat... Continue reading
Posted Mar 25, 2015 at Agate Type
A few weeks ago, writing about the Eastern Colored League’s failed 1926 entry, the Newark Stars, I commented that their main claim to fame was hiring Sol White for what would be his last job in organized baseball. As it... Continue reading
Posted Feb 19, 2015 at Agate Type
(Crossposted at New to the Seamheads Negro Leagues Database: the 1931 eastern black teams. Once again, there was no league on the east coast. As in the case of 1930, we are at this time including only games between... Continue reading
Posted Feb 11, 2015 at Agate Type
From the Outsider Baseball Bulletin, Vol. 1, No. 9 (August 4, 2010): This is the death certificate for Cristóbal Torriente, showing that he passed away of pulmonary tuberculosis at Riverside Hospital in the Bronx on April 11, 1938, having been... Continue reading
Posted Feb 5, 2015 at Agate Type
While researching the 1930 Negro leagues recently, I was checking a Brooklyn newspaper for a doubleheader between the Stars of Cuba and the Brooklyn Royal Giants. On the same page as the Negro league box scores I was surprised to... Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2015 at Agate Type
(Crossposted at We’ve added games between the 1930 eastern Negro league teams to the Seamheads Negro Leagues Database. It was an astonishing year in black baseball history, a year that saw the first Negro league games played at night,... Continue reading
Posted Jan 25, 2015 at Agate Type
From the Baltimore Afro-American, October 2, 1926, a case of premature advertising: Continue reading
Posted Dec 27, 2014 at Agate Type
From Daniel Okrent’s 1989 book Baseball Anecdotes, p. 72: You might be expecting a Bill James or Rob Neyer-style debunking in which I demonstrate that no such thing ever happened, or that the circumstances were totally different, or whatever. Actually,... Continue reading
Posted Nov 26, 2014 at Agate Type
Doing some research recently I was surprised to run into this photo, which I’ve never seen, of Dizzy Dismukes with the West Baden Sprudels in 1912. (Indianapolis News, September 28, 1912, p. 10) Continue reading
Posted Nov 19, 2014 at Agate Type
Bud Clark of the Los Angeles Giants (Los Angeles Herald, October 25, 1908, p. 24); Walter Johnson, shown in the uniform of the Kids of Weiser, an Idaho team, in 1906-07. Nearly two years ago I wrote about Walter Johnson... Continue reading
Posted Nov 5, 2014 at Agate Type
(Crossposted at The newest addition to the Negro Leagues DB, the 1926 Eastern Colored League (the Negro National League and World Series will arrive later), showcases the Atlantic City Bacharach Giants' breakthrough season. After three years of playing .500... Continue reading
Posted Nov 4, 2014 at Agate Type
In June 1919, the San Antonio Black Aces of the Texas Negro League raided the Waco Black Navigators for six players, the core of their team: “the famous ‘Highpockets’, who goes by the name of Hudspeth,” along with “Catcher Mackey,... Continue reading
Posted Nov 3, 2014 at Agate Type
James Tate sent me this photo a while back (almost two years ago, actually). I was able to confirm for him that the Almendares player on the right was definitely the father of Omara Portuondo. But the guy on the... Continue reading
Posted Nov 3, 2014 at Agate Type