Monday, July 19, 2010

Where I've been

You might have noticed that I haven't posted for about a week. What, with the crazy rule lawyers over at Gint-A-Cuffs II and heading out for a mini-vacation with my wife, I haven't really had time or great desire to blog here. But that has passed and I'm back.

I've been in Birmingham, Alabama to attend the 13th Annual Jerry Malloy Negro League Conference.

The first day was an education symposium. I skipped that. Thursday night was a "Meet and Greet" at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. Feeling like a fish out of water by only knowing one other attendee, I floundered and soon found my comfort zone. I hid behind some columns until my friend Bryan was done talking with some other people. I don't remember the exact chain of events, but soon I was introduced to Billy Ray Haggins who played with Memphis Red Sox. I squatted down beside him, asked a few questions and started to listen. He told marvelous stories. About how the industrial teams provided him with all the equipment that he needed, save his glove. How he only had three or four gloves in his whole career, and only one of them was new. How his last glove "wandered off" after he was involved in an old timers game somewhere. How he wanted to own one again, even though he knew he'd never use it.

The conference was held at the Sheraton-Birmingham. Talks were given about players and teams, barnstorming sessions and race relations. There was a player panel and an authors panel. There was a trip to Rickwood Field and then on to Regions Park where the Barons beat the Diamond Jaxx, 8-3.

I met some wonderful people, learned some good research techniques, made memories and gave a nickname to a fellow SABR-ite. Hi, "Raybro".

And in the goody bag that I got at the registration table were some goodies.

2005 Judy Johnson Negro League Night Card - Bill Cash

The Judy Johnson Memorial Fund's purpose is to "educate the general public on the interesting forgotten history of Negro League Baseball", among other things. If you like this card, you can purchase it and many more through the JJMF blog.

2010 Rickwood Field Advertising Card

Rickwood Field is an interesting place. It was built 100 years ago. And they're getting ready to celebrate. Thousands of young men and women have played there over the years.

Click on photo for a larger image. For more photos of the conference, please visit my Picasa folder. There's only 141 other images. Click the link. You know you want to.

In the coming days I'll be sharing other stories and images from the conference.

1 comment:

  1. Sure. . . make me look bad by pointing out that we went together. :)

    Sorry I neglected you on my blog.