Teen’s research brings Negro Leagues to life

From Anthony Castrovince at MLB.com on February 7, 2012:

The first check arrived in the mailbox at Paul Jones’ Hamilton, Ohio, address in June of 2010.

There it was, in permanent ink: “$833.33.”

Proof, finally, of a Negro League past of which few were aware. It was pension money long-deserved and newly claimed, decades after Jones suited up for the Cleveland Buckeyes, Homestead Grays and Memphis Red Sox.

To get something like that, something that belongs to you,” Jones says of that monthly pension, “it makes a big difference in your life.”

And for that, the 84-year-old Jones has an accomplice to thank. For he would not have had evidence of the extent of his Negro League service time and his pension eligibility if the Center for Negro League Baseball Research’s best gumshoe hadn’t been assigned to the case.

That researcher was Cam Perron, an Internet-savvy sleuth who has tracked down dozens of Negro League players whose stories had never been told. Perron scoured newspaper archives to find proof of Jones’ playing days, and that information was passed on to Major League Baseball to process the payments. Within a week of Perron’s discovery, the first check arrived at Jones’ home.

Jones now considers Perron one of his closest friends.

A close friend who happens to be a white teenager from suburban Boston.

“Boy, I tell you,” Jones says, “that kid is magnificent.”

Read the full article here: http://boston.redsox.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120206&content_id=26592208&vkey=news_bos&c_id=bos

Related link: Cam Perron spoke at a SABR Boston Chapter meeting last summer (July 30, 2011)

Originally published: February 7, 2012. Last Updated: February 7, 2012.