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Southern League - A True Story of Baseball Civil Rights and the Deep South's Most Compelling Pennant Race - cover
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Southern League - A True Story of Baseball Civil Rights and the Deep South's Most Compelling Pennant Race

Larry Colton

Narrator Fleet Cooper

Publisher: Hachette Audio

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Summary

"Birmingham is probably the most thoroughly segregated city in the  United States.  Its ugly record of brutality is widely known.  Negroes  have experienced grossly unjust treatment in the courts.  There have  been more unsolved bombings in Negro homes and churches in Birmingham  than in any other city in the nation."   Martin Luther King, Jr.  Letter from a Birmingham Jail  1963Anybody  who is familiar with the Civil Rights movement knows that 1964 was a  pivotal year. And in Birmingham, Alabama - perhaps the epicenter of  racial conflict - the Barons amazingly started their season with an  integrated team. Johnny "Blue Moon" Odom, a talented pitcher  and Tommie Reynolds, an outfielder - both young black ballplayers with  dreams of playing someday in the big leagues, along with Bert  Campaneris, a dark-skinned shortstop from Cuba, all found themselves in  this simmering cauldron of a minor league town, all playing for Heywood  Sullivan, a white former major leaguer who grew up just down the road in  Dothan, Alabama. Colton traces the entire season, writing about  the extraordinary relationships among these players with Sullivan, and  Colton tells their story by capturing the essence of Birmingham and its  citizens during this tumultuous year. (The infamous Bull Connor, for  example, when not ordering blacks to be blasted by powerful water hoses,  is a fervent follower of the Barons and served as a long-time  broadcaster of their games.)  By all accounts, the racial jeers and taunts that  rained down upon these Birmingham players were much worse than anything  that Jackie Robinson ever endured.More than a story about  baseball, this is a true accounting of life in a different time and  clearly a different place. Seventeen years after Jackie Robinson had  broken the color line in the major leagues, Birmingham was exploding in  race riots....and now, they were going to have their very first  integrated sports team. This is a story that has never been told.
Duration: about 12 hours (12:02:19)
Publishing date: 2013-05-14; Unabridged; Copyright Year: — Copyright Statment: —