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#28daysofblacksportspioneers SHERMAN LEANDER “JOCKO” MAXWELL – FIRST African-American sports broadcaster (or so believed) in American history WENDELL SMITH - FIRST African-American: member of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, honoree of the J.G. Taylor Spink Award, and sportswriter to work for a white newspaper. Also played influential role in signing of Jackie Robinson No short narrative will do either of these men justice. The following quotes resonated quite a bit though. "He was turned down 25 times before someone finally got him to be a sports announcer…He never gave up." A quote from Sherman Maxwell’s sister in an article from Christian V. Baird ( “At nineteen years old, Smith pitched a shutout for his integrated American Legion team. After the game, he was approached by Detroit Tigers scout Wish Egan. Egan told Smith that he wished he could sign him to a Tigers contract, but he did not have the authority to sign a black man. Soon thereafter, Smith decided to pursue a career as a sportswriter, hoping he could someday help remove the barriers keeping black ballplayers from making the big leagues.” Photo Credits: and NY Times #celebrate #blackhistorymonth #baseball #mlb #journalism #media

12 0 Feb 27, 2018

#28daysofblacksportspioneers ARTHUR WHARTON – FIRST black professional footballer in the world (or so believed) Arthur Wharton was born in Jamestown, Gold Coast…now Accra, Ghana *GHANA STAND UP*…His father was Grenadian and his mother was of the Fante tribe. If you know Ghana, and their colonial heritage, it will come as no surprise that he traveled to England to train as a Methodist missionary. Quite the athlete, Wharton ran “the first 10 second 100 yard dash”, and he was also a solid sprinter as a cyclist. Wharton ultimately decided that football should be his thing. The goalkeeper would play amateur from 1885-1889. In 1889, he made history by signing professional terms for Rotherham Town and playing in the Football League. The move made him the first black full-time paid footballer in the history of Britain, and quite possibly the history of the world. He later joined Sheffield United (currently in the 2nd Division) and played in the First Division, which is now the Premier League. After his football days, Wharton also became a professional cricketer, and then ultimately a coal miner. He did that for about 20 years and then died a pauper. Sixty-seven years after his death, Arthur’s unmarked grave was fully restored thanks to the Sheffield United-based project Football Unites Racism Divides. In 2003 Arthur Wharton was inducted into The National Football Museum’s Hall of Fame. In 2012, a permanent display statue of Wharton was presented at FIFA HQ. *Andrew Watson of Scotland played with several amateur clubs including Corinthians and Queen’s Park. It is unknown if he was paid during his time with Bootle. Robert Walker, also of Scotland, who also played with Queen’s Park, was another early amateur. #celebrate #blackhistorymonth #soccer #worldfootball #uefa #sheffieldunited #worldsoccer

9 0 Feb 26, 2018

#28daysofblacksportspioneers LUCY DIGGS SLOWE – FIRST African-American woman to win a major sports title in the You know the name Althea Gibson, but how familiar are you with Lucy Diggs Slowe? You won’t find much information about her, but she shares my birthday and that’s pretty dope. I digress. While at Howard University, Slowe excelled at tennis. She became the first African-American woman to win a national title in any sport by winning the first women’s American Tennis Association’s national tournament in Baltimore. Very limited information about her athletic exploits, but like many others of her day, Slowe found numerous ways to be a trailblazer and affect those in her community. Slowe lost both of her parents by age six and went to live with her Aunt Martha Price. Moving from Lexington, VA to Baltimore, MD, she would be a product of the segregated public school system in Baltimore. An exceptional student, Slowe graduated from the Baltimore Colored School in 1904, becoming the first female graduate and the first scholarship recipient of the school to enter Howard University in Washington, D.C. Slowe graduated from Howard as class valedictorian in 1908 and accepted a teaching role in Baltimore. In 1915, she completed an MA that she began in 1911 at Columbia University. Slowe also taught in the Washington DC school system. In 1919, she was Principal of the first Black Junior High School in DC. She was hired by Howard University to be the Dean of Women – another first in 1922. In 1935 she helped organize the National Council of Negro Women. She was also a founding member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc – the first Greek letter sorority for black women as an undergraduate in 1908. A true pioneer, not only in athletics, but also in education…particularly reform for women of color. A residence hall at Howard, and elementary school in DC are named in her honor. Source: Maryland Women’s Hall of Fame #celebrate #blackhistorymonth #tennis #aka1908 #alphakappaalpha #hbcu #hbcupride

23 8 Feb 24, 2018

#28daysofblacksportspioneers MARSHALL WALTER “MAJOR” TAYLOR – World Champion Cyclist, 2nd African American World Champion in any sport Major Taylor was born in Indiana to a couple who moved north from Kentucky around the time of the Civil War. His father was a veteran of the war, and he worked for a wealthy white family as a coachman in Indianapolis. Major was educated in the home of this family, and he received a bicycle from the Southards. Taylor became an expert trick rider such that he was hired by a bike shop owner to do stunts in front of his shop. An Indianapolis bicycle shop owner hired him to perform bicycle stunts in front of his shop. He’d wear a soldier’s uniform, earning the nickname “Major.” He’d also win his first bike race that year in 1892. Taylor would leave that job to take an opportunity to teach others to ride at another shop. In 1895, he’d move to Worcester, MA with Louis Munger, his boss, as that was the hub of the bike industry. A year later, Taylor unofficially broke two world track records in paced and unpaced 1-mile rides, in Indianapolis, offending members of the white establishment. He was banned as a result. By 1898, Taylor held seven world records. In 1899 he won the world 1-mile championship in Montreal, becoming the second black world champion. Three months later he’d set a new 1-mile record. Given the amount of racism he faced, Taylor only won his first national championship in 1900. From March – June 1901, Taylor defeated every European champion he competed against. Taylor retired from racing at 32. Over the next two decades, unsuccessful business ventures and illness consumed his earnings. He died in 1932 and was buried in an unmarked grave in Chicago. A group of former pro bikers, with money donated by Schwinn Bike Co, had Taylor’s remains exhumed and reburied in a more prominent part of Mount Glenwood Cemetery in Illinois. Read More at #celebrate #blackhistorymonth #cycling

9 0 Feb 23, 2018

#28daysofblacksportspioneers Curtis Charles Flood helped the St Louis Cardinals win the World Series in 1964 and ‘67. He batted .293, 85 HRs, 636 RBIs. 3X’s he was an All-Star and 7X’s he was a Gold Glove winner, and at his retirement, had the 3rd most games at centerfield. Outside of baseball, Curt was an artist. One of his portraits landed in George W. Bush White House, and he opened up Curt Flood Associates – a photography and portrait studio in St Louis, MO. “It's what Curt Flood didn't do in 1969 that helped change the game forever: He did not accept a trade.” Curt Flood also changed a system rife with inequities for the betterment of not only Major League ball players, but also for professional athletes in team sports. At the end of the 1969 season, the Cardinals traded him with several other players to the Philadelphia Phillies. Flood refused to go, and he went to his personal lawyer and then to Marvin Miller, founder and executive director of the Players Association, and told them he wanted to sue Major League Baseball. The decision sent shock waves not only through baseball but ultimately through all professional sports. Those waves reverberate even to this day. And though he was aware that it would cost him dearly, he never wavered. In 1969, players were still bound to a team for life by reserve clause. A player was a team's property. Unless the team chose to trade him or release him, his first big-league team would be his only big-league team for his entire career. A player's only recourse was retirement. The language of the reserve clause, however, was ambiguous. It merely said that if you played for a team, you must play for that team the next season as well. Miller recalls that he told Flood “…he didn't have a chance in hell of winning” and that if he did win, he'd never get a job in baseball again." Flood asked Miller if it would benefit other players. "I told him yes, and those to come. Flood responded, 'That's good enough for me.' His activism was years ahead of its time. Source: The Atlantic, Allen Barra, 2011 #celebrate #blackhistorymonth #cardinals #mlb #stlouis

16 0 Feb 22, 2018

#28daysofblacksportspioneers MARCENIA LYLE STONE – FIRST woman ever to play professionally in a men’s league Born July 1921 in St Paul, MN, Toni “Tomboy” Stone was better on the playing field than in the classroom. She excelled in ice skating and track & field, but baseball was her first love. She devoted many hours to sharpening her craft at a local park. Her parents didn't approve and asked a local priest to talk her out of it but the priest ended up asking her to join his Catholic league instead. Developing a reputation at 15, Stone was playing with the Twin City Colored Giants - a travel men's team. In the 1940s, Stone moved to San Francisco to help a sick sister. She worked two jobs to support herself and also began a reinvention by changing her name to Toni and presenting herself as 10 years younger to increase her appeal to ball clubs. She joined the San Francisco Sea Lions of the West Coast Negro Baseball League in 1949. She earned about $200 a month gaining more exposure to club managers and owners. In 1953 she was signed to the Indianapolis Clowns, Hank Aaron’s old team, one quite similar to the Harlem Globetrotters. Stone appeared in 50 games, hitting .243. One of her hits came off the arm of the legendary Satchel Paige. Stone faced quite a bit of adversity during the Jim Crow era, but as a woman, she dealt with even a bit more as both teammates and fans took their shots (i.e. sliding into base with spikes up). She persevered through it all and would be inducted into the Women's Sports Hall of Fame in 1993. Source: #celebrate #blackhistorymonth #baseball #girlpower

7 0 Feb 21, 2018

#28daysofblacksportspioneers Two-fer Tuesdays CHARLES LUTHER SIFFORD – FIRST African American to: play on the PGA Tour, be inducted into World Golf HOF. ROBERT LEE ELDER - FIRST African-American to play in the Masters Tournament in 1975 Charlie Sifford, born June 1922, in Charlotte, North Carolina broke golf’s color barrier in 1961 when he became the first black athlete to compete on the PGA tour. His early exposure to golf came as a caddie, making $0.60 a day on the course…which he’d give to his mother. Sifford was a quick learner, as he could shoot par at age 13. He wanted to be a pro and became both player and coach. He developed strong relationships with Sugar Ray Robinson, Don Newcombe, Joe Louis and many others. After first appearing on the PGA Tour in ’61, his first win came in ’67, becoming the FIRST to accomplish this feat. BTW he actually taught himself. Sifford competed in over 400 tournaments, earned over $1mm and paved a pathway for people of color. Lee Elder, was born in Dallas, TX 12 years after Sifford. He lost his father in WWII, and then lost his mother 3 months later. He moved to Los Angeles at age 12. In high school, he’d cut classes to work as a caddie. Golf was really his thing. He met his future wife, also a golfer, at a golf tournament. As a teen, Elder worked in pro shops, locker rooms, developing his game by watching his clients. Ted Rhodes discovered Elder when he played Joe Louis – a Rhodes pupil. Rhodes would instruct Elder for some time helping him improve his game and start playing tournaments. Drafted to the Army in 1959, Elder’s commander played frequently, so he did as well. When discharged, Elder joined the UGA for blacks and dominated. One highlight of Elder’s path was battling Jack Nicklaus to a playoff loss as a rookie. Another was agreeing to meet Gary Player in the South African PGA Championship during the apartheid era. In 1974, Elder earned his first win on the PGA Tour at the Monsanto Open, which gained him entry to the Masters Tournament in Augusta, Georgia the following year. First time in Masters history (1934) that a black man would be involved as a competitor. #celebrate #blackhistorymonth #golf

10 0 Feb 20, 2018

#28daysofblacksportspioneers ERNEST DAVIS - FIRST African-American to: win Heisman Trophy, be #1 overall NFL Draft pick Ernie Davis moved from Uniontown, PA to Elmira, NY where he’d prove to be an athletic prodigy earning All America high school honors in football and basketball. He also played baseball while at Elmira Free Academy but his first love was football. During the college recruitment process, Jim Brown convinced Davis that Syracuse would be the most welcoming for a black athlete. Rest is history. Teammates called Davis “The Elmira Express” because of his speed and power. Davis helped the Orangemen to a national championship with 2 TDs in the 1960 Cotton Bowl. Like others from the era, Davis dealt with his unfair share of racism. As Cotton Bowl MVP, Davis was told he could accept his trophy at the awards banquet, but then must vacate the segregated facility. The Washington football team – last to be integrated, was founded by a devout racist who vowed to keep his team all white. Given an ultimatum by Interior Secretary Stewart Udall to sign a black player or have his lease for the RFK stadium revoked, the GM drafted Davis, who then refused to play for Washington. He was traded to Cleveland, where he could play with the man he so admired – Jim Brown. A bit awkward as Cleveland coach Paul Brown had orchestrated the trade without owner Art Modell’s consent. Nevertheless, Davis signed the richest contract for an NFL rookie at the time – 3yrs, $200,000. Davis was diagnosed with leukemia the summer he was drafted. Modell, given his resentment, brought in doctors who deemed Davis healthy enough to play [WTF?!]. Davis died Spring of ’63. Both houses Congress eulogized Davis. Syracuse erected a statue in his honor. A dorm would also bear his name, and he’d be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame (2008). He was also acknowledged by JFK, rival high schools in Elmira who combined their athletic programs to be renamed The Elmira Express, a motion picture movie based on the book Ernie Davis: The Elmira Express, and both Syracuse and Cleveland football teams who retired his #44 and 45 jersey. #celebrate #blackhistorymonth #syracuse #orangemen

14 0 Feb 19, 2018

#28daysofblacksportspioneers FREDERICK WAYMAN “DUKE” SLATER – FIRST African American: offensive linemen in NFL, inducted into College Football Hall of Fame, member of Chicago Supreme Court Duke Slater was born 1898 in Illinois and moved to Clinton, Iowa in 1911 when his father was called to pastor a church there. Dad forbade him to play football due to the physical nature, but Slater did so anyway. Dad went on hunger strike, but ultimately acquiesced on condition that Slater avoid injury. Players had to provide their own shoes and helmet, but Slater’s father could not afford both. Thinking he needed shoes more, Slater played without the helmet and helped Clinton High win the state title as an offensive tackle in 1914. Duke went on to Iowa, lettering as a freshman and making first team All-B1G. Amongst his many accolades – Iowa’s first black All American. As a senior, he helped Iowa to 7-0 and its first B1G title in 21 yrs. Also lettered in track & field. After graduating from Iowa, Slater became the first African-American lineman in NFL history when he played for the Milwaukee Badgers, Rock Island Independents and Chicago Cardinals for 10 years. If you recall with Fritz Pollard, all the black players EXCEPT Slater were banished from the league. By 1931, Slater was a six time All-Pro, started 96 of 99 games, and never missed a game due to injury. In retirement Slater coached the all-black teams. During the off-seasons, Slater would return to Iowa to complete a law degree. Post NFL, he became an assistant district attorney in Chicago and also 2nd African-American elected as a judge in 1948. In 1960 he became the first black member of the Chicago Superior Court, the highest at the time. Slater became the first black player inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. In the ‘60s, Iowa named a residence hall after Slater, the only one named after an athlete. Iowa fans voted him to the All Centennial Team. Slater was a finalist for the Professional Football Hall of Fame in 1970 and 1971, but failed to gain sufficient votes. The generation who remembered him as a player grew old and died. #celebrate #blackhistorymonth #iowa #hawkeyes #nfl #chitown

20 0 Feb 18, 2018

#28daysofblacksportspioneers WENDELL OLIVER SCOTT – FIRST African American to win race in Sprint Cup Series Wendell Scott was born in August 1921 in Danville, Virginia. His father worked for wealthy white families as a driver and auto-mechanic. He started teaching his son about cars early on. Scott dropped out of school and was drafted for World War II. Upon his return, he opened an auto-repair shop, and took up a profession that would lead him into car racing, running moonshine whiskey. Scott had to know how to build and drive fast cars so he could get away from the police. With Danville’s racecar business struggling, owners decided to recruit a black driver to attract more people. Police were asked who was the best black driver in Danville. Because of his habits of escaping the police, all fingers pointed towards Scott. The next day, May 23, 1952, Scott became the first African American to drive in an official stock car race. His car broke down, but he knew he wanted to be a racecar driver. Scott tried many times to get into official National Association for Stock Car Racing (NASCAR) races, but he was turned down on several different occasions because of race. Because of this discrimination, Scott decided he would stick to non-NASCAR speedways, like the Dixie Circuit. Eventually, Scott got into the NASCAR circuit by taking over the auto racing license from a white driver. He worked his way up to what is now known as the Sprint Cup Division, the top division in NASCAR. On December 1, 1963, Scott became the first African American to win a race in the Sprint Cup Division at Speedway Park in Jacksonville, Florida. Scott, however, was NOT ANNOUNCED the Winner. Instead, the 2nd place finisher was crowned champion, until a correction was issued days later. Scott continued racing throughout the 60s, consistently placing top ten among NASCAR drivers. In 1973, an injury forced him to retire. Scott returned to his auto-garage business which now attracted customers from all over the country because of his reputation as driver and mechanic. In 1977, Scott was inducted into the National Black Athletic Hall of Fame. #celebrate #blackhistorymonth #nascar

7 0 Feb 17, 2018

#28daysofblacksportspioneers OLIVER LEWIS – FIRST ever Kentucky Derby winner Lewis was born…free…in 1856 in Fayette Country, Kentucky. In 1875, Oliver Lewis became the first jockey to win the Kentucky Derby, America's longest continuous sporting event. The Kentucky Derby was then held at the Louisville Jockey Club, what is now Churchill Downs. 10,000 tuned in as Lewis rode on a horse named Aristide – one of two colts entered by the owner. The other horse, Chesapeake, was favored to win the $2,850 purse. Lewis was instructed to lead most of the race to tire out the other horses. Out of the fifteen jockeys in the field, at this first Kentucky Derby, thirteen of them were African American. Aristide's trainer was also an African American. Lewis followed his instructions and was pushing most of the field while trailing a horse named Volcano for most of the race. However, in the last stretch, Chesapeake was unexpectedly far back in the pack while Aristide and Volcano were running neck and neck for first place. Lewis and Aristide pulled away near the finish line and won the race by two lengths.  With that victory Lewis became the first jockey to win the Kentucky Derby. Later that season, Lewis came in second in the Belmont Stakes in New York and won three more races at the Louisville Jockey Club, riding Aristide in all of them. He would never ride in the Kentucky Derby again, however, and would retire after that racing season for unknown reasons. Source: #celebrate #blackhistorymonth

12 2 Feb 16, 2018

#28daysofblacksportspioneers WILLIAM ELDON O’REE FIRST black player in the National Hockey League Born in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada, Willie O’Ree was the youngest of 13 children. O’Ree’s grandparents escaped to Canada from the United States through the Underground Railroad (~30,000 slaves escaped to Canada between 1840 and 1860). O’Ree started playing hockey at age three and organized hockey at age five with an instant passion. He played regularly on the backyard rink of the family home and skated to school when weather permitted. At 14 O’Ree played organized hockey with his older brother who taught Willie how to bodycheck. The next year he was playing in the New Brunswick Amateur Hockey Association playoffs. At 19 O’Ree moved to Québec and played the 1954–55 season with the Quebec Frontenacs of the Quebec Junior Hockey League, where he had 27 goals and 17 assists for 44 points in 43 games. In 1955–56, O’Ree played for the Kitchener Canucks of the Ontario Hockey Association. After being hit in the right eye with the puck, which broke his nose and cheekbone, O’Ree lost 95 per cent of vision in his eye. He was advised by a doctor to stop playing hockey but was back on the ice within two months. NHL bylaws forbids players who are blind in one eye from competing so O’Ree kept the injury secret. Playing with the Quebec Aces the 1957–58 season, a working relationship with the NHL’s Boston Bruins enabled Aces players to be called up to the Bruins any time. O’Ree made hockey history on January 18 1958 as the first Black hockey player to appear in an NHL game when the Bruins beat the Montreal Canadiens. After playing only two games in the 1957–58 season, O’Ree returned in the 1960–61 season becoming the first black player to score a goal on New Year’s Day 1961. After his playing career, Willie became Director of Youth Development for the NHL/USA Hockey Diversity Task Force, a non-profit encouraging youth to learn and play hockey. O’Ree also hosts an annual all-star weekend that brings children of diverse economic and ethnic backgrounds together for a tournament. Source: #celebrate #blackhistorymonth #nhl

9 0 Feb 15, 2018

#28daysofblacksportspioneers THEODORA ANNE PICKETT FIRST African-American woman to compete for the US in the Olympic Games Born 1914 in Chicago, Tidye Pickett, as she was known, began running as a teenager. She developed a reputation as a dominant runner back in her high school days at Englewood High in Chicago. Pickett was discovered by former long jumper John Brooks. She eventually found her way to the US Olympic Trials, making the 8 woman 4x100m relay team. In fact, both Pickett and and Louise Stokes, another African-American woman, expected to compete at the 1932 LA Games, only to be left out. Tidye was also an alternate sprinter in the 80m hurdles, the broad jump, and the 100m. Tidye would return for the 1936 Games in Berlin to compete in the 80m hurdles. She injured herself in the semifinal heat, but would become the first black woman representing the US at the Olympics. Tidye earned her bachelor’s degree from Pestalozzi Froebel Teachers College in Chicago, and her master’s degree in education from Northern Illlinois University in 1956. Upon graduation, Tidye accepted an elementary teaching role at Cottage Grove Elementary in East Chicago Heights. After one year, Pickett was promoted to principal of Woodlawn School in the same district. She would be principal for 23 years, and then retire in 1980. In recognition for her many years of distinguished service, the district renamed the school after her. Source: #celebrate #blackhistorymonth #trackandfield #chitown

10 1 Feb 15, 2018

#28daysofblacksportspioneers Two-fer-Tuesdays. LAWRENCE EUGENE DOBY – 2nd black player to break MLB’s color barrier. 2nd black manager in MLB ELSTON GENE “ELLIE” HOWARD – FIRST black player on the Yankees roster and FIRST black player to win the AL MVP Larry Doby started his career with the Newark Eagles of the Negro Leagues. He was drafted into the military and served with future NFL Hall of Famer Marion Motley while on duty. Honorably discharged in 1946, Doby rejoined the Eagles, to marry his longtime sweetheart Helyn Curvy, and play in an All-Star Game against Josh Gibson and several other Negro League stars. That season, his team won the Negro League World Series by defeating the Kansas City Monarchs, whose team included Satchel Paige. Doby would join the Cleveland Indians in the ’47 season. He would become the first Negro League player to go straight from there, to the bigs without having to stop in the minors. Met with anything but a warm reception, the outfielder helped the Cleveland win the ’48 World Series, and he was the first black player to hit a homerun in the World Series. A 7 time All-Star and 2x AL homerun leader, Doby once again was second, this time as a manager, when he took over the Chicago White Sox in 1978. His number was retired by the Indians in 1997 on the 50th anniversary of his debut. Elston Howard turned down scholarship offers from B1G Universities to join the KC Monarchs of the Negro League. During his 2 seasons he roomed with Ernie Banks prior to joining the Yankees as a left fielder and catcher, despite the presence of Yogi Berra. Original black-on-black crime may have first been coined in 1955 when Howard took Don Newcombe yard in the World Series. Yankees would lose that series, but Howard would do the same to Newcombe the following season to help them win that season and several more. Ultimately, Howard would go on to assume the full-time catcher role after Berra, as he would also be a 12x All-Star, 6x World Series Champ and 2 time Gold Glove winner. He’d also join the Yankee coaching staff becoming the first black coach in MLB. Source & Photo Credits: #celebrate #blackhistorymonth #mlb #indians #yankees

10 1 Feb 14, 2018

#28daysofblacksportspioneers WAYNE RICHARD EMBRY FIRST black GM and Team President in NBA History Out of New Carlisle, OH Wayne Embry played college basketball at Miami University (OH), where he’d also become a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. The all-conference center who led his team to a pair of NCAA Tournament bids, still holds the school record for average rebounds/game. He also holds the school record for most rebounds in a game (34). Embry would earn a BS in education before joining the Cincinnati Royals (now Sacramento Kings) where he’d be a 5x All-Star alongside teammate Oscar Robertson. Embry left the Royals to join the Celtics, with whom he won the 1968 NBA title while playing a crucial backup role to Bill Russell. Prior to that season, Embry was talked out of retirement by Russell. Embry would play one final season with the Milwaukee Bucks before finally retiring as a player. He then became an assistant manager for the Bucks, signing his former teammate Robertson, pairing him up with Lew Alcindor to deliver an an NBA title. He was named GM of the Bucks in 1972, Cleveland Cavs (1986-99), and Toronto Raptors (2006). Since then, Embry has served as Senior Basketball Advisor for the Raptors. He has been a founder and CEO of his own businesses, and member of numerous nonprofit and corporate boards of directors and he has been a community activist and mentor for youth everywhere he has lived. He is a member of the Ohio Basketball HOF and the Naismith HOF, and a portion of a US 40 in Ohio is named in his honor. Source: Wikipedia Photo Credits: Sports Business Daily #celebrate #blackhistorymonth #nba #raptors #bucks

8 0 Feb 12, 2018

#28daysofblacksportspioneers JAYNE KENNEDY FIRST African-American female to host a network sports television broadcast. Born in Washington DC and raised in Ohio, Kennedy was actually the first African-American crowned Miss Ohio USA in 1970. In a contest that didn’t see many people of color, if any, she would be one of the 15 semi finalists of the Miss USA Pageant. As an actress, model, corporate spokeswoman, producer, writer, public speaker and philanthropist, Kennedy has graced the covers of Jet, Ebony and Essence magazines. She has also been a recipient of multiple Emmys and NAACP Image Awards (acting and producing). As far as sports, Donna De Varona, Jeannie Morris and Jane Chastain are amongst the pioneers of female sportscasting. Chastain was the first woman to work for a large network (CBS). In 1974, Phyliss George became the first woman to have a prominent role in sports coverage when CBS promoted her to the cast of NFL Today. Jayne Kennedy replaced George on The NFL Today in 1978, becoming the first African-American female to host a network sports television broadcast. So yes, long before Cari Champion, long before Pam Oliver, long before Cheryl Miller, five years before Robin Roberts, Jayne Kennedy happened! SALUTE. In recent years, Kennedy has been a spokesperson for the Children's Miracle Network, helping to raise millions of dollars for various children's hospitals across the country. Source: BleacherReport, Wikipedia Photo Credits: Getty Images #celebrate #blackhistorymonth

13 0 Feb 11, 2018

#28daysofblacksportspioneers DONALD NEWCOMBE FIRST and ONLY Major League Ball player to win Cy Young, MVP and ROY (until 2011) FIRST black pitcher to start a World Series game Madison, NJ native Don Newcombe’s career started off with the Newark Eagles of the Negro Leagues. After one season, he signed with the then Brooklyn Dodgers. Along with catcher Roy Campanella in 1946, Newcombe and the Nashua Dodgers (minor league) represented the first “racially integrated” baseball team in America. Newcombe moved up through the minors and debuted for Brooklyn in 1949. The starting pitcher won 17 games, pitched 32 consecutive scoreless innings and led the league in shutouts. His immediate impact helped the Dodgers win the NL Pennant. Newcombe’s dominance would continue the following two seasons, and then hew would go on to serve two years in the military during the Korean War. Upon his return in 1954, Newcombe struggled to regain form before recording a 20-5 record in the ’55 season, and helping the Dodgers win their first World Series. He followed up in ’56 with 139 strikeouts, 18 complete games, 5 shutouts, 3.06 ERA and a 27-7 record. Newcombe would become the first Cy Young Award winner, and he was also named NL MVP that year. Aside from his dominance on the mound, Newcombe’s .271 batting average is the 9th best amongst pitchers. He also had 238 hits (15 HRs, 33 doubles, 3 triples) and 94 runs scored. Upon relocation from Brooklyn to Los Angeles, Newcombe’s career began to trend in the opposite direction. He was traded to Cincinnati after a slow start in ’58 and then moved to Cleveland halfway through the ’60 season. Newcombe would admit that the decline in his career was in part due to his battle with alcoholism. Newcombe has maintained sobriety since 1967 and has been able to help others manage this very same problem. He is quoted as saying “What I have done after my baseball career and being able to help people with their lives and getting their lives back on track and they become human beings again — means more to me than all the things I did in baseball.” Voted 19th Greatest Dodger by LA Times readers. #celebrate #blackhistorymonth #mlb #dodgers

12 1 Feb 11, 2018
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