Baseball Reliquary honoring baseball pioneers

From Jim McConnell at the Pasadena Star-News on May 1, 2012, with mention of SABR member Terry Cannon, Paul Dickson, Daryl Grigsby and Dick Beverage:

What better day to honor Lester Rodney than on May Day.

Today at the South Pasadena Public Library, the Baseball Reliquary opens an exhibit titled “And The Walls Came Tumblin’ Down: Pioneers of Baseball’s Integration.”

When you read that title you’re probably expecting another homage to Jackie Robinson and Branch Rickey. But the Reliquary does things a bit different, as regular readers of this column will know. The subjects of the South Pas exhibit include Bill Veeck, Larry Doby, Emmett Ashford and the aforementioned Mr. Rodney.

Who was Rodney? For many years, he was the sports editor of the Daily Worker, the American Communist Party newspaper. During his time at the Worker, Rodney helped push the subject of integration in sports.

No question, in its heyday during the 1930s and 1940s the Worker had clout, especially its stand on social issues. Baseball’s “color line” was an inviting target and Rodney didn’t hesitate to fire on it.

Rodney, who quit the Communist Party USA and the Daily Worker in the 1950s, lived out his long life – he lived to be 98 – in California, including a 10-year stint as religion editor for the Long Beach Press-Telegram.

The exhibit at South Pasadena will be on display through May 31. Call the South Pasadena Library at 626-403-7340 for hours and directions.

In conjunction with “And The Walls Came Tumblin’ Down” the Reliquary will present a discussion and book signing by Paul Dickson on

May 17, starting at 7 p.m., at the South Pasadena Library’s Community Room.

Dickson is the author of the recently published “Bill Veeck: Baseball’s Greatest Maverick,” which has been widely praised by critics and historians.

Joining Dickson on May 17 will be Daryl Grigsby, author of “Celebrating Ourselves: African Americans and the Promise of Baseball.”

If you miss Dickson at South Pasadena, you’ll have a second chance to see him May 19. On that date, the Reliquary will present a “VeeckFest” at the Arcadia Public Library starting at 1 p.m.

At Arcadia, Dickson will be joined by veteran sportswriters John Schulian, Ron Rapoport and Ken Solarz for a panel discussion on Veeck’s life and his influence on baseball.

For additional information on the Reliquary and its programs, call 626-791-7647.


Read the full article here:

Originally published: May 1, 2012. Last Updated: May 1, 2012.