Whirty: John Donaldson’s greatness on film and how to help

From SABR member Ryan Whirty at Home Plate Don’t Move on March 16, 2018, with mention of SABR member Peter Gorton:

John Donaldson was a fireballing, curve-balling African-American pitcher who, over the first few decades of the 20th century, became the first great barnstorming black player. He was Satchel Paige before there was Satchel Paige. The man traversed much of this country — including pretty much all of the Midwest — earning the respect of white and black fans with his immense talent, keen savvy and impeccable character.

What’s more, unlike many early barnstorming stars, Donaldson was caught on film, and a snippet of such footage — 39 seconds, to be precise — was discovered in 2011.

Which, quite naturally, thrilled [Peter] Gorton, the founder and director of the Donaldson Network, which for nearly 20 years has worked tirelessly and toiled persistently to research every nook and cranny of Donaldson’s life and career.


The Network has recruited a film production team to produce a documentary about Donaldson called, “39 Seconds,” which, as the title suggests, will center around the discovery of that vintage, rare film footage.

The group launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $43,000 to help fund the production of the documentary. Gorton said the raised money will be used to gather interviews with experts that hopefully will be part of the film. While the $43,000 would only be a portion of the production budget, Gorton said it will nonetheless be a crucial part of the process.

Read the full article here: https://homeplatedontmove.wordpress.com/2018/03/16/john-donaldson-greatness-on-film-and-how-to-help/

Originally published: March 16, 2018. Last Updated: March 16, 2018.