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A Forgotten Negro League Star: A Personal Look at Al Burrows

By Cheryl Holloway Robinson

It all started on a sandlot with a scrawny kid’s love for the sport and his ambition to play baseball with the big guys. It all ended with a missed opportunity to play major league baseball. WHY? Because it was the 1950’s and very few black ball players were allowed to cross the color line and join white ball players in major league organizations.

Cheryl Robinson's Creative Writing

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A Lot of Black Baseball History is in this Book!

  By Cheryl Robinson 


The book tells Al Burrows' story--the same story for many of the Negro League players--playing black baseball, while ultimately being denied the opportunity to join a white Major League organization, because of the color line drawn by segregation. Al Burrows' baseball career included playing a short time for the New York Black Yankees and several years playing for the Indianapolis Clowns.

The many in-depth interviews with the Negro League baseball players and fans tells a story often unheard in African American history. The mere fact that Negro League teams played white teams and won more games than they lost began to be a threat to white baseball players. They felt that their positions were in jeopardy if blacks were allowed to play with them. White players and fans often yelled racial epithets at any "colored" player within listening range. This was a time of heated emotions and white players were often extremely hostile towards black players.

Then, there is the dispute of whether black baseball players during the late 1940's and early 1950's are actual Negro League players or barnstorming players. The book tells about the missed opportunities, and the many trials and tribulations of the players, but also provides Negro League history, baseball trivia, black baseball facts, myths and rumors, as well as providing 26 black and white photographs, most unseen. It took me a year and a half to research most of the information. I wanted to provide educational and invaluable information about black baseball. The book includes a list of Negro League Teams by state, a list of surviving Negro League players and many black baseball facts that are not so well known. This book is loaded with historical facts about black baseball and is an easy read for adults, as well as children.

I enjoyed writing this book and I'm an avid New York Yankees fan!



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