My life in the Negro Leagues: an autobiography
To Wilmer Fields, the Negro Leagues represented more than simply a collection of all-black teams. To him and to the thousands of other players, owners, managers, and fans, it was a way of life that continued to exercise its magic even after the integration of the white majors. Five major league offers notwithstanding, Fields stayed with black baseball for two and a half decades.
As the author states in this charming and colorful account of life in the Negro Leagues, "as a child, my dream was to be a part of black baseball. Back then, black children had limited access to sports. We had to try and satisfy our needs in any way we could afford. We took advantage of every opportunity we had, and black baseball was one."
The dream came true for Fields in 1939, after a tryout game he pitched and won for the Homestead Grays, the premier black team in America.
Despite the grueling life on the road, the poor accommodations, the hectic schedules, the necessary winter games in Puerto Rico, Cuba, and Latin America, and the extra seasons in Canada, Wilmer Fields never left professional black baseball. He felt it an honor to be able to play side-by-side with the true giants of the era, Josh Gibson, Luke Easter, Buck Leonard, Sam Bankhead.
That sense of honor and heartfelt loyalty is evident on every page of this book, a rare and engaging portrait of a man, of an era of great baseball, and of a special group of ports figures truly deserving of the title, the Black Legends of Baseball.
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The Homestead Grays
Time Out for War
The End of the Road
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