Lowenfish: A fine weekend in Cleveland, farewell to Robert Creamer

From SABR member Lee Lowenfish at BookTrib on July 23, 2012:

Don’t let your East or West Coastal snob friends downgrade Cleveland. I just returned from a wonderful time in the historic city on Lake Erie. I spoke twice on my favorite subject BRANCH RICKEY and how his moral passion and baseball business intelligence contributed to his signing of JACKIE ROBINSON. And how its success was veritably the first triumph of the modern civil rights movement.

I never tire of making the point publicly that the years immediately after World War II were the particularly propitious time for baseball to do both the right thing and the economically profitable thing. And Rickey alone among the baseball moguls seized the moment. My only sadness is that he didn’t enjoy more of his triumph because WALTER O’MALLEY ousted him from Brooklyn after 1950. The last 15 years of Rickey’s life were not as successful as his earlier career and yet he never gave up hope of doing better and doing good.


My second speaking gig was as part of an author’s panel for the 15th annual Jerry Malloy Negro League Conference sponsored by SABR (the Society for American Baseball Research). The late Jerry Malloy was a pioneer researcher into the neglected story of the Negro Leagues and black baseball at its deepest roots.

Finding the gravesites of black ballplayers and digging new sites for rediscovered players are among the most widely and deservedly acclaimed activity of the Malloy group. The indefatigable DR. JEREMY KROCK announced at the conference that money has been raised for a new gravesite for SOL WHITE, a pioneering late 19th century/early 20th century ballplayer and historian of his craft. It will be dedicated in Staten Island sometime this fall. As will shortly three other new gravesites for former black baseball players.

On a Saturday author’s panel I was honored to share thoughts on research and writing with the eminent Cleveland sportswriter TERRY PLUTO; the multi-talented writer, author, singer, photographer BYRON MOTLEY who is currently working on a film on the Negro leagues; and THOMAS AIELLO, author of a searing new book “The Kings of Casino Park: Race and Race Baseball in the Lost Season of 1932” (University of Alabama Press, 2011) about the unknown story of a successful black baseball team in 1932 playing in Monroe, Louisiana, a heavily segregated town known infamously for its inordinate number of lynchings, and revealingly the home town of author Aiello.

Read the full article here: http://leelowenfish.booktrib.com/2012/07/23/a-fine-weekend-in-clevelanda-farewell-to-bob-creamer/

Originally published: July 25, 2012. Last Updated: July 25, 2012.