Bolton: Kyle McNary’s 10 days with three Negro League legends

From SABR member Ron Bolton at Baseball History Comes Alive on December 5, 2017:

Although I started researching the Negro Leagues during college while playing baseball and working for the school newspaper at Winona State University, and though I interviewed about a dozen Negro Leaguers before a 10-day period in November of 1992 and eventually interviewed 60 players, it was that 10-day period that will stay with me until I die.

In early 1992, fresh out of college, I was given the Chicago home address of Double Duty Radcliffe by an acquaintance, who warned me that he wasn’t sure if the player was still alive. I wrote Radcliffe a letter and was pleasantly surprised when I received a handwritten note from the 90-year-old player asking me to call him anytime at midnight and he would tell me anything I wanted to know about Satchel Paige, the Negro Leagues, etc.

I got the courage to call Radcliffe a few weeks later, at midnight, and I barely got a word in as Radcliffe told me in great detail about the Negro Leagues, Satchel, and the career of the greatest player he had ever seen: himself. Without the internet, and very few books available about the Negro Leagues, I didn’t know if Radcliffe was just bragging or if he was truly as great as he said. He was both.

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Originally published: December 5, 2017. Last Updated: December 5, 2017.