Negro Leagues star James Robinson fondly recalls college days

From Ryan Whirty at The News & Observer on July 7, 2013, with mention of SABR member Larry Lester:

Children from Edward T. Bowser Elementary School in East Orange, N.J., swarmed around James “Jim” Robinson outside the Renaissance Hotel that played host to the Society for American Baseball Research’s annual Jerry Malloy Negro Leagues Conference last month.

The children had just presented a dramatic presentation about Negro League baseball legends to rave reviews from conference attendees. Just minutes later, the kids’ attention was focused on Robinson and his fellow ex-Negro Leaguer Pedro Sierra, who were besieged with autograph requests.

For Robinson, 83, the Newark setting wasn’t too far from his hometown in Harlem, N.Y., but it was more than 500 miles from Greensboro, where his career as a professional baseball prospect was launched as an infielder for North Carolina A&T’s powerhouse baseball team.

It was in Greensboro where Robinson, who graduated in 1953, helped the Aggies to the first three of six straight Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association titles. (A&T won 14 CIAA crowns before claiming three MEAC championships). Robinson then competed for the Goshen Red Wings, a black Greensboro semi-pro team that dominated the local sandlots back in the day.

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Originally published: July 8, 2013. Last Updated: July 8, 2013.