Students to Interview Negro Leaguers For New Book, Film

From Ball State University on March 15:

The days of Negro Leagues baseball in Indiana may be over, but a group of Ball State University students is capturing the memories of former players for an upcoming documentary and book. Under the mentoring of Geri Strecker, a Ball State English professor, 14 students are traveling the state to interview aging Negro Leagues veterans as part of Black Baseball in Indiana, an immersive learning project through Ball State’s Virginia B. Ball Center for Creative Inquiry (VBC).

“When we talk about Negro Leagues baseball, we know about the teams in Pittsburgh, Chicago, Kansas City and Birmingham, but Indianapolis’ legacy has long been forgotten,” said Strecker, who in 2009 rediscovered lost photos of Greenlee Field, home to the Pittsburgh Crawfords — one of the best teams in the Negro Leagues and possibly in all of baseball.


Strecker, a noted Negro Leagues historian, believes many Hoosiers are unaware of the deep roots the game has in the state.

“Few people know that former Major League home run champion Hank Aaron played for the Indianapolis Clowns at one point early in his career while Anderson’s Jumpin’ Johnny Wilson, known locally for his high school basketball exploits, was a member of the Chicago American Giants,” she said. “It has been decades since the leagues shut down operations, and we are losing former players, managers and coaches every day. This is our opportunity to record their thoughts. “

Read the full press release here:,1370,7273-850-65271,00.html

Originally published: March 17, 2011. Last Updated: March 17, 2011.