Emptying the hard drive, Part II

Here are a couple more unpublished stories I’ve written for various publications only to have them summarily rejected or subsequently ignored. It’s one of the frustrating realities of freelance journalism — you can receive a slew of assignments, but every once in a while, your effort goes for naught, for whatever reason, and your product doesn’t get published. Meh …

So I’m opening up the dustbin and unloading these rejects on y’all. 😛

I dumped the first pair in this post, and here’s a couple more, each one a profile of one personality in the history of African-American baseball. They’re both in PDF format, and there’s no illustrations, and they’re both pretty long, so hopefully they won’t be tooooooooo dull. 🙂

This one is about Charles H. Sheldon, a black business magnate and colorful character in late-19th century Evansville, Ind. One of his ventures came in the late 1880s, when he operated a base ball (two words at that time) aggregation based in that city:

An Evansville dandy

This second article profiles the man who is arguably, at least on a national scale, the most well known Negro Leaguer from the Big Easy, Johnny Wright. Why is he so well known? Because he was signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers a couple months after Branch Rickey famously inked Jackie Robinson in late 1945.

Thus triggered an ongoing debate that exists, full-fledged, to this day: Was John Wright, who never made it out of the minors, signed because Rickey truly believed he had the talent to eventually join the big-league club, or because Rockey simply wanted to provide Jackie with a fellow African-American as Jackie, Rickey’s “chosen one,” dealt with the racism and other challenges of being a trailblazer?

And if the former is the reason why Wright was signed, why didn’t he actually make it to the majors? Many believe he simply crumpled under the pressure, unable to handle the burden that Robinson did so memorably and admirably. Others, though, say the Homestead Grays ace simply didn’t have, at least talent-wise, what it took to become a major-league pitcher.

But this article below, I tried to focus on Wright’s roots here in the Crescent City and his lifelong connection to his hometown:

Wright NOLA

Well, in a couple hours I’m off to the semi-annual meeting of the Louisiana chapter of the Society for American Baseball Research, and I’ll try to issue a report later tonight or tomorrow. I’m also working on the next installment of the Winfield Welch story …


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