Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Interracial barnstorming tours featured some of game's greats

Nearly two decades before Jackie Robinson broke baseball's color barrier, another African American legend was facing off against major leaguers in front of full houses, packed with both black and white fans. In the 1930s Satchel Paige paired up with Cardinals ace Dizzy Dean on barnstorming tours of the United States. Later in the decade, after years of abuse burned out Dean's arm, Satch found a new foil in young Bob Feller, then emerging as one of the game's greats.

These often lucrative barnstorming tours and the stories of the colorful figures who participated are detailed in Timothy Gay's "Satch, Dizzy & Rapid Robert: The Wild Saga of Interracial Baseball Before Jackie Robinson." This one's got a chance to make the Best of 2010 list at the end of the year. Check out my full review on BaseballAmerica.com to learn more.

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