Posts Tagged ‘The Negro Leagues’

Michael Hogue’s Portrait of Willie Mays

October 10, 2011

The following art and text by Michael Hogue of The Dallas Morning News is reproduced here in The Pecan Park Eagle by written permission from Michael Hogue. Today’s next to final portrait in this series features a look at Willie Mays, the “Say-Hey” kid and arguably greatest center fielder in the history of all baseball, black, white, or whatever. Willie Mays will always be remembered as a Giant, regardless of his final fumbling season as a Met. From New York to San Francisco, he was the A&P oceanic answer to “who was the last and first great man in either central pasture to play this game as a Giant on both of our east-west coasts?” Willie Mays hit 660 career home runs as a major leaguer.

Willie Mays is our “Offering # 13″ in this series and a continuation of this fine Texas artist’s work, Portraits of the Negro Leagues. Today’s subject will leave us with one old Negro Leagues subject to go after today and you may even be able to figure out in advance who that Wednesday, October 12th, subject is going to be. He was a significant gate-crosser from the world of black baseball and into the formerly all white game of so-called organized baseball. – Thank you again, Michael, and for the umpteen hundredth time, for allowing The Pecan Park Eagle to further share the beauty and joy of your work with those readers who care about the Negro Leagues and their place in baseball history.

For more on Michael Hogue’s work, check out his website:

http://www.michaelhogue.com

Willie Mays, Outfielder, Negro Leagues, 1948-49, Major League Baseball, 1951-1973, Baseball Hall of Fame, 1979.

 

Willie Mays by Michael Hogue of The Dallas Morning News

“(Willie) Mays broke into the (Negro Leagues) ranks at age 16 with (the) Birmingham (Black Barons). He played only on Sundays during the school year. After two seasons, he signed with the majors’ New York Giants.”

 

 

Michael Hogue’s Portrait of Judge Landis

October 8, 2011

The following art and text by Michael Hogue of The Dallas Morning News is reproduced here in The Pecan Park Eagle by written permission from Michael Hogue. Today’s portrait features a look at Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis, the Commissioner of Baseball who stood in the way of racial integration in organized baseball for the greater part of his near quarter century in office.

Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis is our “Offering # 12″ in this series and a continuation of this fine Texas artist’s work, Portraits of the Negro Leagues. Today’s subject, Judge Landis, was Baseball’s first solo authority Commissioner and the man who got the job to clean up baseball after the World Series gambling and player fix behavior in the infamous 1919 Black Sox Scandal. Thank you again, Michael, for allowing The Pecan Park Eagle to further share the beauty and joy of your work with those readers who care about the Negro Leagues and their place in baseball history.

For more on Michael Hogue’s work, check out his website:

http://www.michaelhogue.com

Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis, Baseball's First Commissioner, 1920-1944, Baseball Hall of Fame, 1944. Landis ruled baseball with an iron fist. When he died, he was immediately elected to the Hall of Fame by a collection of baseball people from that era that still behaved in deference to Landis as though they had no other choice but to instantly accord him the game's highest honor.

 

Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis by Michael Hogue of The Dallas Morning News

“(Kenesaw Mountain) Landis helped keep the big leagues segregated. He ordered major leaguers to stop competing against black clubs, reportedly because he was embarrassed by losses. ‘They just aren’t organized,’ Landis said of the Negro Leagues. Homestead Grays first baseman Buck Leonard replied, ‘We were organized, we just weren’t recognized.’ “

 

Michael Hogue’s Portrait of Cool Papa Bell

September 25, 2011

The following art and text by Michael Hogue of The Dallas Morning News is reproduced here in The Pecan Park Eagle by written permission from Michael Hogue. Today’s portrait features a look at the incredible Negro Leagues speedster base runner, Cool Papa Bell. Satchel Paige offered a number of accounts designed to put Cool Papa’s speed in perspective, but I’ve always preferred this one to all others. According to Satchel, Cool Papa once hit a blazing shot back through the box. It quickly went through Paige’s legs, but never made it to the outfield. “It would’ve gone to center field,” Satchel said, “but it hit Cool Papa Bell in the back as he was sliding into second base.”

Cool Papa Bell is our “Offering 6″ in this series and a continuation of this fine Texas artist’s work, Portraits of the Negro Leagues. Thank you again, Michael, for allowing TPPE to further share the beauty and joy of your work with those who care about the Negro Leagues and their place in baseball history.

For more on Michael Hogue’s work, check out his website:

http://www.michaelhogue.com

James "Cool Papa" Bell, Center Fielder, Negro Leagues, 1922-1950, Baseball Hall of Fame, 1974.

James “Cool Papa” Bell by Michael Hogue of The Dallas Morning News

“Contemporaries considered Bell the fastest man in baseball history. He was once clocked rounding the bases in an astounding 12 seconds. He was so fast that gold medalist Jesse Owens refused to race him.

“A teammate (Satchel Paige) once said, ‘Cool Papa could turn off the lights and be in bed before the room got dark.’

“In exhibition games against major league competition, he compiled a .391 average.

“Bell played until age 43, when he retired with a batting average of .341.

“After his baseball career, he worked as a custodian at the St. Louis City Hall, retiring in 1970.”

Michael Hogue’s Portrait of Willie Wells

September 23, 2011

The following art and text by Michael Hogue of The Dallas Morning News is reproduced here in The Pecan Park Eagle by written permission from Michael Hogue. Today’s portrait features one more look at another Texan, shortstop Willie Wells. It is our “Offering 4″ in this series and a continuation of this fine Texas artist’s work, Portraits of the Negro Leagues. Thank you again, Michael, for allowing TPPE to further share the beauty and joy of your work with those who care about the Negro Leagues and their place in baseball history.

For more on Michael Hogue’s work, check out his website:

http://www.michaelhogue.com

 

Willie "Devil" Wells, Shortstop, Negro Leagues, 1924-1948, Hall of Fame 1997.

Willie “Devil” Wells by Michael Hogue of The Dallas Morning News.

“Wells, a native of Austin, combined superior batting skills, slick fielding and speed on the bases to become an eight-time All-Star in the Negro Leagues. A power-hitting shortstop with sure hands, he ranks among the all-time Negro League leaders in doubles, triple, home runs and stolen bases. He recorded a lifetime .392 batting average against major leaguers in exhibition games.

“He is also credited with being the first player to wear a batting helmet. One day after being knocked unconscious by a bean ball, the story goes, Wells borrowed a hard hat before a game and wore it to the plate.”


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