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Works

The Baltimore Elite Giants: Sport and Society in the Age of Negro League Baseball.

The book highlights important games, relives the standout performances of individual players, and discusses key decisions made by management. The team's eventual major league stars Roy Campanella, Joe Black, and "Junior" Gilliam are on display. The contentious relationship between the team and major league baseball, before, during, and after the major leagues were integrated is described in detail.

 

Dean of Umpires: Bill McGowan

Hall of Fame umpire Bill McGowan controlled the field of play as much with his personality as with the rule book. Famous for his sense of humor, great dramatics, and wild gestures, he would turn a strike into a ball if he thought a player deserved a break, or eject half a team if they annoyed him.

 

The Most Famous Woman in Baseball: Effa Manley and the Negro Leagues

The book documents her baseball acumen and her social activism. She is the only woman in the Baseball Hall of Fame. She lived her life against the backdrop of Jim Crowism which forced most of Newark's blacks to live where prostitution flourished, housing was among the nation's worst, and only menial jobs were available. She provided black players and citizens with jobs, opportunities, and support.

 

Soldiering for Freedom: How the Union Army Recruited, Trained, and Deployed the U.S. Colored Troops.

Co-authored with John David Smith and drawing on primary sources, this book illusrates how how  former slaves and free blacks provided a variety of critical services and fought courageously for the Union Army during the last two years of the Civil War even though many whites held them in contempt and relegated the men of the U.S. Colored Troops to second class treatment compared to white soldiers.

Soldiering for Freedom: How the Union Army Recruited, Trained, and Deployed the U.S. Colored Troops.

Willie Wells: "El Diablo" of the Negro Leagues

Winner of the 2008 Robert Peterson Recognition Award.

 

Monte Irvin states in his foreword that Willie Wells, arguably the best shortstop of his generation, "could do it all. He was one of the slickest fielding shortstops to ever come along. He had speed on the bases. He was among the most durable players I've ever known." Drawing on primary sources, including printed conversations between himself and rookie pitcher Don Newcombe and Newark Eagles' general manager Effa Manley, among others, this book follows the Hall of Famer's career from the 1920's to the 1950's with teams in America, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Mexico, and Canada.

Willie Wells: "El Diablo" of the Negro Leagues

Integrating the Orioles: Baseball and Race in Baltimore

This book traces the path the Orioles took from being an all-white major league baseball team to becoming an integrated, championship squad by drawing on newspaper articles and more than 40 interviews with Oriole players and administrators, long-time Baltimore residents and sportswriters. The narrative also discusses the struggle for civil rights in the city, how the city's racial tensions affected the team and how the O's contributed to integration in the city.

Integrating the Orioles: Baseball and Race in Baltimore