Whirty: 2014 Malloy Conference highlights Detroit’s rich legacy of black baseball

From SABR member Ryan Whirty at Hour Detroit on August 1, 2014:

Detroit baseball isn’t just about Ty Cobb, Hank Greenberg, or Charlie Gehringer. This August, baseball enthusiasts from all over the country will gather in the Motor City to discuss another important part of the sport’s rich legacy.

The respected Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) is hosting its 17th annual Jerry Malloy Negro League Conference from Aug. 14-16 at the Courtyard Marriott downtown. The theme of this year’s event is certainly appropriate — “Turkey Stearnes and Black Baseball in Michigan.”

Norman “Turkey” Stearnes was a heavy-hitting outfielder whose tenure with the Detroit Stars in the days before baseball integration was marked by towering home runs that rivaled those of the more storied Negro Leagues power hitter Josh Gibson. Stearnes’ career lasted for two decades (from the early 1920s to 1940), and he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2000.

“Stearnes was the greatest black ballplayer in Detroit baseball history,” says author and conference co-chair Dick Clark. “Not Major League or Detroit Tigers history, but baseball history.”

Read the full article here: http://www.hourdetroit.com/Hour-Detroit/August-2014/A-Rich-Legacy/#.U93kOUiEi2M

Originally published: August 3, 2014. Last Updated: August 3, 2014.