Acclaim comes late for black baseball pioneer Bud Fowler

From Hillel Kuttler at the New York Times on April 14, 2013, with mention of SABR members Jeff Katz, Jeff Laing and Hugh MacDougall:

When the mayor of Cooperstown, N.Y., Jeff Katz, searched for an appropriate street to dedicate in Bud Fowler’s memory, he decided on one that led to Doubleday Field, the quaint brick stadium a baseball’s throw from the Hall of Fame. An old survey of the village indicated that the street had not been named, Katz said.

Like the street itself, Fowler had gone largely unnoticed, despite being the first African-American known to have played for a white professional baseball team. That happened when Fowler pitched for the Lynn, Mass., Live Oaks of the International Association in 1878.

He played 10 seasons and batted .308 as a pitcher, catcher and second baseman for integrated teams in the high levels of the minor leagues. Fowler played for teams in 21 states and territories, as well as in Canada, said Jeff Laing, whose biography of Fowler will be published in June.

The dedication of Bud Fowler Way on Saturday comes the same week as Monday’s anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, when all major leaguers will wear Robinson’s No. 42.

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Related link: Learn more about the Frederick Ivor-Campbell 19th Century Base Ball Conference, April 19-20 in Cooperstown

Originally published: April 14, 2013. Last Updated: April 14, 2013.