2011 Jerry Malloy Negro League Conference

The 14th annual Jerry Malloy Negro League Conference was held July 21-23, 2011, at the J.W. Marriott in Indianapolis, Indiana.

The theme of the 2011 Malloy Conference was “Black Baseball in Indiana,” also the title of a half-hour documentary film produced by students at Ball State University’s Virginia B. Ball Center for Creative Inquiry, under the advisement of Negro Leagues historian and SABR member Geri Strecker, a two-time recipient of the McFarland-SABR Baseball Research Award.

“Black Baseball in Indiana” was screened on July 7, 2011, to SABR 41 attendees during the national convention’s Film Festival in Long Beach, California. Several of Strecker’s students were on hand to introduce the film and discuss it afterward.

As a result of their research, the Indiana Historical Society placed a commemorative marker on Friday, July 22, at the site of Washington Park, where the first Negro National League game was held in 1920. The old ballpark, on the grounds of what is now the Indianapolis Zoo, had been lost for decades.

In 2009, Strecker discovered photos at Carnegie Mellon University that revealed the location of Greenlee Field in Pittsburgh, home to the Pittsburgh Crawfords and Homestead Grays, powerhouse Negro Leagues clubs in the 1930s.

Essay Contest

In 2011, the Negro Leagues Committee awarded $2,500 scholarships to two graduating high school seniors as a result of its third annual national essay contest.

The selection committee of educators Philip Ross (New York), Tom Garrett (Virginia) and Stephanie Liscio (Ohio) selected Annie Yang of Watchung Hills Regional High School in Warren, New Jersey, and Emma Murphy of Osbourn High School in Manassas, Virginia. Yang’s essay, “Rube the Renaissance Man”, is an examination of the influence of Rube Foster that went far beyond the baseball diamond. Murphy’s essay, “A Dream Pursued”, focuses on the struggles of Jackie Robinson to overcome the barrier of segregation and to leave a legacy for so many to follow.

The contest was open to high school seniors planning to pursue a degree at an accredited U.S. post-secondary institution and carrying a minimum 2.5 GPA at the end of their junior year. Students had to write a 1,000-word essay answering one of the following questions: “What is the Legacy of Jackie Robinson?” or “What influence or impact did Rube Foster have on the African American Community by creating the Negro Leagues?”

Art Contest

The second annual Jerry Malloy Negro League Conference Art Contest attracted artwork from all over the nation in three categories: professional, amateur and youth. Art from the winners and runners-up were on display in a special area at the 2011 Malloy conference. The winners were:

Professional: “Smokey Joe Williams”, by Bill Cormalis Jr.
 “Color Ball”, by Michael Massenburg
“Baseball Legs”, by Seline Warrington

The winning entry in each category received a $400 prize and a certificate from the conference. The winners and runners-up art will also be displayed this summer at the National Art Museum of Sport in Indianapolis and photos of the art will also be included in an upcoming issue of Black Ball: A Negro Leagues Journal, published by McFarland.

Click here to view the winning artwork displays.

Library Grants

In 2011, the Negro Leagues Committee awarded $1,000 library grants to Liberty Middle School of Ocala, Florida, and Edward T. Bowser Sr. Elementary School in East Orange, New Jersey. School libraries from across the country were invited to submit grant proposals centering on educating students about black baseball and American history.

Liberty Middle School intended to use the grant to purchase new books for the library; to provide students with the chance to attend a 2011 Education Day game at Jackie Robinson Park in Daytona Beach, Florida; and to read two books, researching and presenting their findings to the class. More than 110 students were expected to be involved with this project. Terri Mayhew Adams is the school librarian.

Edward T. Bowser Sr. Elementary School intended to use the grant to purchase new books for the library; to create social awareness through projects that connect students through the history to the participants and their community; to invite the community to the school to view student projects; to create online video podcasts to archive their work; and to engage in Skype conversations with scholars, authors, researchers and former ballplayers. Ilia Kerstein is the school librarian.

One of our newest publications from the SABR Digital Library focuses on the end of an era in black baseball. Bittersweet Goodbye: The Black Barons, the Grays, and the 1948 Negro League World Series, edited by Frederick C. Bush and Bill Nowlin, was inspired by the last Negro League World Series ever played and presents biographies of the players on the two contending teams in 1948 — the Birmingham Black Barons and the Homestead Grays — as well as the managers, the owners, and articles on the ballparks the teams called home.

Also included are articles that recap the season’s two East-West All-Star Games, the Negro National League and Negro American League playoff series, and the World Series itself. Additional context is provided in essays about the effects of Organized Baseball’s integration on the Negro Leagues, the exodus of Negro League players to Canada, and the signing away of top Negro League players, specifically Willie Mays.

Click here to learn more or download the e-book. SABR members can download the e-book edition for free or get 50% off the paperback edition.

Who was Jerry Malloy?

Click a link below for highlights from past Jerry Malloy Conferences: