Melendez: Diamonds in the dust: Negro Leagues spirit lives on in S.C. league

From Gerry Melendez at on September 29, 2015:

For the past 75 years — and maybe even longer, people here say — folks in these communities have congregated every weekend in a family reunion fashion on forgotten fields. Children parade their innocence, laughing and chasing one another. Adults sit on makeshift benches, some sipping on strong drinks. Cigarette smoke swirls around the scent of fried okra and BBQ ribs in the air. Neighbors of all ages have come together for decades, for fun and food, but most importantly, for baseball.

Here the spirit of Negro Leagues isn’t dead.

Teams from 12 communities in western South Carolina and Georgia made up the Community AllStar Baseball League this season, which ran from March until September. Players range in age from 15 to 61. A few are Latino, and a couple are white. But the league is distinctly and unapologetically black. And it doesn’t cost much to watch.

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Originally published: September 30, 2015. Last Updated: September 30, 2015.