Elston and Me: The Story of the First Black Yankee (Sports by Arlene Howard, Ralph Wimbish

By Arlene Howard, Ralph Wimbish

Of the entire nice ballplayers to put on Yankee pinstripes, Elston Howard used to be one of the proudest. awesome temperament and braveness made him the Jackie Robinson of baseball's so much storied franchise. No Yankee carried himself with extra dignity. No Yankee had larger recognize for his teammates or love for his spouse and kin. And nobody enjoyed being a Yankee greater than Elston Howard. In Elston and Me, Howard's widow, Arlene, and coauthor Ralph Wimbish keep in mind the lifetime of the 1st black to play baseball for the recent York Yankees. Howard, who performed fourteen major-league seasons, used to be signed through the Yankees in 1950, however the reluctance of the yank association to wreck the colour barrier held Howard again from the most important leagues till 1955 while he was once twenty-six years outdated. through 1961, the 12 months he batted .348 for the Yankees, Elston had develop into the standard catcher. Voted the yank League's most beneficial participant in 1963, Howard used to be a three-time Gold Glove winner, and his fielding normal of an analogous yr continues to be one of many optimum between catchers in major-league background. In 1967, with the yank dynasty in decay, Elston used to be traded to the Boston pink Sox, even though Yankee administration had promised him that he may end his profession in pinstripes. After considering retirement, he moved to Boston past due that season and helped the purple Sox win the "Impossible Dream" pennant. After another season with the purple Sox, he again to the Yankees because the first black trainer within the American League. Howard died on the age of fifty-one with no satisfying his dream of changing into baseball's first black supervisor. starting with Howard's early years as a St. Louis teen, the publication relates his encounters with racism and his love of baseball. He started his expert occupation for the mythical Negro League staff the Kansas urban Monarchs. His 3 many years with the recent York Yankees comprise quite a few anecdotes approximately fellow Yankee legends comparable to Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford, and Yogi Berra. With numerous own moments and never-before- released pictures and clippings from relations albums, Elston and Me is the touching tale of 1 of baseball's nice avid gamers.

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Additional resources for Elston and Me: The Story of the First Black Yankee (Sports and American Culture Series)

Sample text

We were going to invite Travis to the wedding, but all our plans changed just after Thanksgiving when the Yankees called. They told Elston they wanted him to play winter ball in Puerto Rico. The spring wedding was off. Right then, we decided to get married as soon as we could. And so we 26 Elston and Me did, on December 4, 1954, in my mother’s living room. Reverend Baker performed the ceremony. Loyette was the maid of honor, and my brother Nathaniel was Elston’s best man. Travis didn’t come. We spent our honeymoon in Puerto Rico.

He lives in St. Louis. ” Elston would have signed with the Cardinals, but he never heard back Emmaline’s Son 17 from them. They were not ready to sign any black players. They didn’t bring up their first black player until Tom Alston made it in 1954. In the spring of 1948, Elston had scholarship offers from several colleges. Three Big Ten schools—Illinois, Michigan, and Michigan State— recruited him for football. Nine schools wanted him for baseball, basketball, or track. That summer, Teannie saw something in Elston that he did not like.

Catching four innings of a 4–3 win over Washington, he drove in two runs with a triple off of left-hander Dean Stewart. Elston ran so hard rounding second base that he lost his cap and didn’t realize it until third-base coach Frank Crosetti pointed it out to him. “It’s a thrill I’ll never forget,” Elston told the press afterward. “I admit I was nervous for an inning or so and I didn’t feel too good when I grounded out in the third inning. Yes, sir, I certainly do feel good. ” On March 16, Elston was the catcher and had an RBI single in a 5– 3 loss to Detroit.

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