Whirty: A North Carolina Negro League that never got off the ground

From SABR member Ryan Whirty at Home Plate Don’t Move on December 20, 2014:

I’ll start off with a little bit about an example of one of the facets of Negro Leagues research that truly fascinates me — all the seemingly “little” semipro, sandlot and industrial leagues that came and went over the years. A great deal of them were specifically regional in nature, encompassing and including cities in a limited geographic area, often in spots from which you’d never imagine any sort of higher-level baseball circuit sprouting.

And, unfortunately, despite the best of intentions and the level of excitement behind their creation, many of these league’s last only one or two years tops, and a lot never got off the ground at all. I tripped across an example of this existing in the late 1940s in the coastal plains of North Carolina.

A little background … I was raised (as I’ve annoyingly yet proudly mentioned many times before) in Rochester, N.Y. But when I was a junior in college, my father and step mother moved to a small city in eastern North Carolina called Rocky Mount. As a very important side note, Rocky Mount was the hometown and lifelong residence of the great Buck Leonard.

When I graduated at Indiana U., I decided to head to NC and see what life was like there. I eventually spent two years living and working in Tarboro, N.C., which itself has its own surprising Negro Leagues connections, as my article here in the Raleigh News & Observer demonstrates regarding Hall of Fame hurler Bill Foster.

Read the full article here: https://homeplatedontmove.wordpress.com/2014/12/20/an-nc-league-that-never-got-off-the-ground/

Originally published: December 29, 2014. Last Updated: December 29, 2014.