My Life in the Negro Baseball Leagues
Narrated by Korbid Thompson
Approximately 8 hours
Book published by Syracuse University Press
Told simply, this is an honest and entertaining view of the black baseball diamond through the catcher's mask. It is Robinson's first-hand account of his 25 year career in Negro League baseball, offering a rare and personal perspective of the men, teams and time that shaped this unique American subculture.
Frazier Robinson played professional baseball in parts of four decades beginning in the 1920s. He caught for Hall-of-Fame pitchers Satchel Paige and Leon Day and played with many other legendary Negro Leaguers.
“A behind-the-plate memoir by a catcher from the Negro Leagues' glory years. Perhaps Robinson (who died in 1997) was nicknamed ``Slow'' for lumbering around the bases, but his memories and observations are quick and lively, capturing a homey slice of African-American history. Co-author Bauer, a baseball book antiquarian, allows the Oklahoma native to speak with local color. Back in 1940, when Robinson made $325 a month with the Kansas City Monarchs, he recalls a trash-talking opposing batter in friendly terms: ``Hed jive to you and wed jive at him. You might be mad that he got you [homered off your pitcher], but you couldnt be mad at him.'' This laid-back spirit suffuses the books best portions. In a haphazard baseball world where team rosters were a matter of which stars were barnstorming where, some impromptu games pitted a Negro League team against a colorful white bunch of Gospel fundamentalists like the Israelite House of David, whose players sported waist-long hair and shaggy beards. When games with the New York Cubans brought him to New York, Robinson visited the Apollo Theater or hung with Red Foxx and Count Basie, but off-field lifes most memorable episodes involved cruising country roads with Satchel Paige, who could barely drive his Chrysler and once wouldnt pitch because he had 52 traffic violations and was afraid hed be arrested on the mound. Robinson also caught for other greats, like Leon Day and John Markham. Jackie Robinsons breakthrough changed all their lives for the better but meant the end of the Negro Leagues. The fan gets a rare glimpse at some Negro League players, like Larry Doby, before they crossed over, and at many stars who would have had Hall of Fame careers if theyd had the chance. Authentic Americana, with enough balls, strikes, players, and pennant chases to keep the hardcore fans happy. ”
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University Press Audiobooks
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