Bud Fowler an untold hero of baseball

From Pete Iorizzo at the Albany Times-Union on April 22, 2013, with mention of SABR members Jim Gates and Jeff Laing:

The first African-American man to integrate a professional baseball team was honored in Cooperstown on Saturday, and no, he’s not the protagonist of the movie “42.”

Bud Fowler, born John W. Jackson, is a name foreign to all but the history buffs who think mid-inning commercial breaks are for studying 19th-century box scores.

In baseball legend, Fowler is no Jackie Robinson, and that’s a century-long slight a growing number of baseball historians are working to correct.

On Saturday, the village of Cooperstown, where Fowler was raised, named a street adjacent to Doubleday Field, “Bud Fowler Way.”

Sure, it’s not the same as having all of Major League Baseball wear No. 42 once a season, but it moves Fowler’s name to within a few blocks of the Hall of Fame — which, some historians argue quite compellingly, is where he belongs.

Read the full article here: http://www.timesunion.com/sports/article/Fowler-an-untold-hero-of-baseball-4450767.php

Related link: For more coverage of the 2013 Frederick Ivor-Campbell 19th Century Conference and Bud Fowler Day, click here

Originally published: April 23, 2013. Last Updated: April 23, 2013.