Baseball season is in full swing! The sport has a noteworthy history in Kentucky including a strong minor league presence having had teams based in at least 32 Kentucky cities. Were you watching when the Valley Sports American Little League Team defeated the Sendai, Japan team to win the 2002 Little League World Series World Championship?
Kentucky’s Baseball Scandal…
Did you know that the National League’s first major gambling scandal occurred in Louisville? The Louisville Grays were a charter member when the National League formed in 1876 and finished fifth during the first season. During the following year, the team led the league through season before suddenly going through a slump and ultimately losing the league pennant to the Boston Red Caps. It was later discovered that gamblers had paid four Louisville players to lose games so that Boston would win the championship in 1877. The National League’s first major scandal led to the demise of the Grays and the four team members who were involved were banned from playing professional baseball for life.
African American Baseball
Kentucky also has a strong history in the African American baseball story. In 1887, the Louisville team, Falls City, joined the League of Colored Baseball Clubs, which was the first national league for black players. Several independent semiprofessional black teams played in exhibition tours before the formation of the Negro National League in 1920. Louisville was home to the Negro National League’s White Sox (1931), the League’s Black Caps (1932) and the Buckeyes (1949).
Former Kentucky governor, A.B. “Happy” Chandler, served as commissioner of baseball from 1945 to 1951 and is credited as being instrumental in the racial integration of the major leagues in 1947.
More than 200 Kentucky natives have played major league baseball and four Kentuckians have been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame: Earl Combs, A.B. Chandler, Jim Bunning and Harold “Pee Wee” Reese.
Oral history interviews with former major and minor league baseball players can be found at http://passtheword.ky.gov. "Pass the Word” is a discovery tool for oral histories throughout the state of Kentucky.
Pass the Word Challenge Week 3
The week’s challenge is to find two oral history collections that represent sports other than baseball on Pass the Word. Include both the collection names and the respective sports in your answer.
Submit your answer through the About section on Pass the Word. See the image below to find out where the About section is on the Pass the Word homepage:
Your name will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a professional quality digital recorder when you respond to a challenge with a correct answer. Make sure to include “Pass the Word Challenge” in the subject line and submit your answers by 8am EST on Friday morning. Only correct answers submitted via this method will be eligible to be entered into the drawing. Correct answers for the weekly challenge will be posted to the site’s homepage on Friday afternoon. The results of the drawing will be announced at the end of August. Happy Exploring!