Wulf: Negro League umpire Bob Motley called the game with grace

From SABR member Steve Wulf at ESPN.com on February 26, 2015:

Satchel Paige is on the mound, Josh Gibson is behind the plate, and Martin Dihigo is up at bat.

It could be a dream, but it’s not. It’s the Field of Legends at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, a hauntingly beautiful tableau of bronze statues standing on a baseball diamond. There’s a faux dugout along the first-base line, and in the shadows between home plate and the dugout is a display case with the uniform and paraphernalia belonging to former Negro American League umpire Bob Motley.

His puffy hat is there, as are his ball bag, his whisk broom, his ball and strike counter, his shoes, his shin guards, his chest protector and a photograph of him making an out call while jumping in the air. But the most stunning thing about the display is his black suit, freshly pressed, with a white shirt and bow tie.

“Handsome, isn’t it?” says Motley. “Like formal wear. We were the men in black, not the men in blue.”

Read the full article here: http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/page/blackhistorymotley150226/bob-motley-called-game-grace-dignity

Originally published: February 26, 2015. Last Updated: February 26, 2015.