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"A Pitch Colored Black"
by Rev. Darnell
A. Carruthers

There's a trail blaz'n
through an emerald haze in
the main vein of "some folks"
ever since birth.
"These people" first praise God,
Then second the Turf....

The unquenchable thirst of victory
Is all that you see in their eyes.
As they look to the skies –
and with dusty hands block the sun,
hoping to stop the run.

For the game to them is "serious"
though it's billed as "fun."
And their hearts and eagles soar –
Searching still for a higher peak.

Ya' see,
Their skin is thick,
but their hearts are fragile
and don't take easy to defeat...

Now, there are some men
scared to rise,
And then there are those
that are scared to fall,
And as if that ain't enough –
and that ain't all.

Still, American History has forgotten
one other fact:
Before Baseball even had an umpire
– There was a Pitch Colored Black.

© 2000 Rev. Darnell A. Carruthers

by Bryan Steverson

The indicator in a game that your team faced trouble,
Was when one of the battery was nicknamed Double
The writer Damon Runyon gave him this name
Double Duty was our catcher and pitcher of fame

In a doubleheader his team may call on him to pitch,
But in Game 2 he would catch as part of the switch
Caught Satch for the Crawfords as he won 5 to naught
Pitched Game 2 in a shutout, the great Gibson caught

One three great teams Double Duty would play
Some have said they were the best in their day
The Stars, the Grays and Pittsburgh Crawfords of ’32
He won 38 games in three years, hitting over .300 too.

He played in Canada, Latin America, Cuba and Mexico
In a time of discrimination, they were the places to go
He had a brother named Alec, an All-Star at 3rd base
The Radcliffe’s were good, among the best of any race

Double Duty was quick, so no base would they rob
Three times he threw out the legendary Ty Cobb
He was an All-Star, MVP and manager of late
For the Crawfords in ’32 he won 19 and lost 8.

He has lived to be over 100, barely slowed by age
This centenarian pitcher who caught Satchel Paige
In may be the way he’s lived, this real Dapper Dan
It may be the social life of this true ladies man

Double Duty is older now, but good he does feel
This great Negro Leaguer from the town of Mobile
We wish him the best; he’s been a credit to the game
He deserves our vote for baseball’s Hall of Fame!
©2003, Bryan Steverson

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Paintings by Nancy Valelly

Charles Grant


Bill Monroe.......Bullet Rogan

Jimmie Crutchfield....Crush Holloway
View more of Nancy Valelly's paintings.


"Don't look back. Something might be gaining on you!" --Satchel Paige

by Shane Smith

Call it barnstorming and showboating,
The game was still baseball.
Label him cocky and flamboyant,
This clown prince wowed them all.

A whooping crane with a golden arm,
Blacks and whites marveled the same.
Could this be, and dare we say. . .
A colored man conquering a white man's game.

No finer phenom ever sprouted up,
>From such obscurity to national fame.
This unheralded string bean from Alabama,
You know, that negro leaguer with the funny name.

Where's his name in the baseball annals?
Overshadowed by less "colorful" players of his time.
For when Leroy "Satchel" Paige joined the show,
He was a 42 year old rookie, well past his prime.

I think of the adage that Satchel coined,
"Don't look back. . ." were the words he lived by.
Although the only thing that ever "gained on" Satchel,
Was something greater than father time's watchful eye.

Just count the great ones that baseball "gained",
Jackie, Willie, and Hank to name a few.
And let's not forget the great ones we missed,
How 'bout giving Josh and Cool Papa their due.

Some say he pitched well over 2,000 games,
50 no hitters according to his own score.
But the greatest achievement of his 40 year career,
Was that Satchel made baseball see more.

Fans finally saw baseball played in color,
All eyes opened up to a brand new game.
Today we praise Jackie for crossing the line,
But let's not forget that pitcher with the funny name.

©2002, Shane Smith
To contact Shane, click here.




Painting by John Wolfe

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