April 4, 2013 6:30 PM
Location: Conference Rooms
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Tom Dunkel will discuss his new book "Color Blind: The Forgotten Team That Broke Baseball's Color Line." A book signing will follow the discussion.
Registration is required. Tickets are free for NPC members and $5 for the general public. The author will only sign books purchased through the National Press Club.
During the Great Depression, in drought stricken Bismarck, North Dakota, one of the most improbable teams in the history of baseball was assembled by one of the sport’s most unlikely champions. A decade before Jackie Robinson broke into the Major Leagues, car dealer Neil Churchill signed the best players he could find, regardless of race, and fielded an integrated squad that took on all comers in spectacular fashion. Led by Satchel Paige, Moose Johnson, and Double Duty Radcliffe, the club participated in the 1935 National Semipro Tournament in Wichita, Kansas.
When baseball swept America in the years after the Civil War, independent, semipro, and municipal leagues sprouted up everywhere. With civic pride on the line, rivalries were fierce and teams often signed ringers to play alongside the town dentist, the insurance salesman, and the teen prodigy. Set against the backdrop of the Great Plains and the Great Depression, "Color Blind" immerses the reader in the wild and wonderful world of independent baseball, with its tough competition and its novelty—from all-brother teams and a prison team (who only played home games, naturally) to one from a religious commune that sported Old Testament beards.
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