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Tue Mar 16, 2021, 07:38 PM

US Negro League stars found better pay, integration and fame in Mexico



Cool Papa Bell slides into third during a game in Washington D.C. on Negro League opening day in May 1943. He was renowned for his speed.

New James Bell biography discusses his years playing baseball for teams in Mexico
By Rich Tenorio
Published on Tuesday, March 16, 2021

In 1940, Mexican League baseball player James “Cool Papa” Bell had a season to remember.

Playing for the champion Azules of Veracruz, Bell became the first player in league history to achieve a feat called the Triple Crown — leading all players in three separate statistical categories: batting average, home runs and runs batted in (RBIs).

A few seasons earlier, Bell had come to Mexico as a highly successful player in his home country, the United States. Yet, his career there had been limited because of his race. Through an unofficial color barrier, the American major leagues banned Black players, who found an alternative in the Negro Leagues.

Many Negro League stars, including Bell, were described as being as good as, if not better than, their celebrated white major league counterparts. The Mexican League gave Bell and fellow Negro Leaguers a chance to play on integrated teams.

More:
https://mexiconewsdaily.com/mexicolife/negro-league-players-in-mexico/

Also posted in Editorials and other articles:
https://www.democraticunderground.com/1016289943

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Reply US Negro League stars found better pay, integration and fame in Mexico (Original post)
Judi Lynn Mar 2021 OP
cachukis Mar 2021 #1
oswaldactedalone Mar 2021 #4
abqtommy Mar 2021 #2
Marcuse Mar 2021 #3
abqtommy Mar 2021 #5

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Mar 16, 2021, 07:50 PM

1. He was so fast that after turning the light switch off

he was in bed before it was dark.

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Response to cachukis (Reply #1)

Wed Mar 17, 2021, 08:44 AM

4. That was actually true

and, if you haven't heard the story, it goes like this. Satchel Paige and Bell were roommates on the road, and one of the hotel rooms they were in had a defective connection in the light switch. Bell had noticed this before Paige arrived and bet Paige that he could flip the switch and get in the bed before the room got dark. He won the bet and both told the story to teammates. That's how the seemingly impossible story of Bell's speed turned out to be literally true.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Mar 16, 2021, 08:03 PM

2. U.S. Black Blues Musicians of both genders "found better pay, integration and fame"

in Europe.

https://duckduckgo.com/?q=black+u.s.+blues+musicians+who+found+fame+touring+in+europe&t=ffnt&ia=web

This is the best I could find in a short time.

At the end of the movie Cadillac Records the characters of Muddy Waters and Willie
Dixon are apprehensive as their flight is about to land in England. They're swept away
by the adulation of a crowd there to greet them in this true account.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cadillac_Records

I saw Freddie King perform live. He does a song that describes his experiences performing in Europe titled Living In The Palace Of The King with the following line
in the song:

"Yeah, I played the blues in England, I visit with the queen
She really dug my style, but queen is not my thing..."

What's the old saying about a prophet not being without honor except in his own country? That sure fits...

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Response to abqtommy (Reply #2)

Wed Mar 17, 2021, 08:22 AM

3. Same thing with Jazz

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Response to Marcuse (Reply #3)

Wed Mar 17, 2021, 09:29 AM

5. You're right, but I don't have the same passion for jazz that I do for The Blues. The point is

that it's sad that Black athletes or musicians find a better life outside the U.S. Can we change that? Do we want to? Stay tuned...

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