Birth date: March 25, 1910
Current home: Chicago
Occupation: Retired ballplayer
Playing career: Birmingham Black Barons, Indianapolis ABCs, 1930; Pittsburgh Crawford's, 1931-36; Newark Eagles, 1937-38; Toledo Crawfords, 1939; Indianapolis Crawfords, 1940; Chicago American Giants, 1941-42, 1945; Cleveland Buckeyes, 1943-44
"It Was July 24, 1934. The hottest day on record in Chicago, and we were playing against the Philadelphia Stars. A doubleheader in those flannels? We didn't have a dressing room, but at the end of those two games we were wet like we took a shower. And we drove all the way to Philadelphia like that. We knew that it wasn't until we got to the top of the mountains that there was a place we could eat; had to send someone round back to get us some sandwiches. We took off our shirts and tied them onto the windows of the bus and drove off. You had to love the game to put up with all that. But it was love, love for the game. And we knew we were good enough to play in the majors.
"I remember in the '30s playing the Brooklyn Bushwicks, a white team with a lot of ex-major leaguers. We were playing a couple of miles from where the Brooklyn Dodgers were playing. A Sunday game, we drew 16,000 fans, and the Dodgers drew 8,000. Satchel Paige was the best drawing card in baseball. Branch Rickey knew something was wrong when we were outdrawing him on a Sunday. Years later, when we heard he signed Jackie [Robinson], we didn't think it was true. There were a lot of players better than Jackie; but he was the right one. He was a college boy, and we knew he could handle the situation. But Jackie Robinson killed our league. Soon each team could see what was happening. But it was a thrill to prove we could play baseball with anyone."
Birth date: Oct. 30, 1016
Current home: Baltimore
Occupation: Retired bartender
Playing career: Baltimore Black Sox, 1934; Brooklyn Eagles, 1935; Newark Eagles, 1936-43, 1946, 1949; Scranton Miners, Eastern League, 1952; Canada, 1949-55: Winnipeg Buffaloes, Toronto Maple Leafs, Edmonton Eskimos, Winnipeg Goldeyes
Position: Righthanded pitcher
"The best thing about playing in the big league parks was the showers. Really great showers, lot of water pressure. And they always had plenty of soap and towels. Sometimes we would see no water for a long time after a game. If we were staying in a private home, three of us would sometimes have to take a bath using the same water. But the big league parks, now they were special. There'd be soap all over. We'd load up, stuff it everywhere. I remember the Dodgers used Lifebuoy. And the managers would give us socks, those real nice white kind to play in. A lot of the major leaguers wouldn't wear them if they'd been worn before, so they'd just give them to us. Everything helped in those days. I started at $60 a month but probably saw only $40 the first few months I was there. Getting paid was tough. But once I got more established, I got paid regular.
"The toughest team to pitch to was the Homestead Grays. They had Josh Gibson and Buck Leonard, and some days I should have just stayed home. You couldn't walk them both. You had to get one of them out.
"In 1946, Opening Day against the Philadelphia Stars, I threw a no-hitter. I didn't realize it, though, until the last out, when everyone came running out of the dugout. I said, 'What? What?' We celebrated good into that night. I threw quite a few one-hitters after that. In 1942 against the Baltimore Elite Giants, their leadoff got a single, and it was the only hit they got. Had 18 strikeouts that game. Had 19 in a game in Puerto Rico once. That was sure fun to me. Heck, I would have played for nothing."