Whirty: The legend of Bruce Petway and Nashville’s Negro Leagues

From SABR member Ryan Whirty at Nashville Lifestyles on July 19, 2016:

When Nashville native Bruce Petway passed away in the Windy City on the fourth of July in 1941—75 years ago—the Chicago Defender newspaper eulogized the popular baseball catcher by reflecting on his 20 year-plus career plying his trade and playing the game he loved in the Negro Leagues.

Several decades before Jackie Robinson integrated the Major Leagues, Petway and his peers toiled in the shadows of the national pastime in the all-black leagues that existed parallel to so-called “Organized Baseball.” From roughly 1905 to 1925, there was no better backstop in African-American hardball than Bruce Petway, and the Defender’s article made sure to point out Petway’s genesis.

“Although ball players and friends knew him as Buddy,” the paper stated, “the former catcher of the [Chicago] American Giants was christened Bruce Petway down in Nashville, Tenn., where he was born.”

Read the full article here: http://www.nashvillelifestyles.com/bestof/the-legend-of-bruce-petway-and-nashvilles-negro-baseball-leagues

Originally published: July 19, 2016. Last Updated: July 19, 2016.