The Outsider Baseball Notebook
By Adam Darowski
The Outsider Baseball NotebookJan 19, 2023
Episode 4: Bill Staples, Jr. - 25th Infantry Wreckers, Kenichi Zenimura, and Negro Leaguers in Japan
Today’s guest is Bill Staples, Jr. Bill is a baseball historian and author in Arizona. I met Bill through my 25th Infantry research. His post on the series between the 25th Infantry and Casey Stengel’s traveling all-star team was a huge help when writing my Heavy Johnson and Dobie Moore bios.
I highly recommend that you watch the YouTube video instead. Bill provided some excellent slides that I think you’ll really enjoy.
Here is a list of relevant links:
- Bill’s Blog (zenimura.com)
- Bill on Twitter (@billstaplesjr)
- The Making of a Monarch: Dobie Moore, Casey Stengel, and the Lost Box Scores of 1919
- Gentle Black Giants: A History of Negro Leaguers in Japan
- Kenichi Zenimura, Japanese American Baseball Pioneer
Episode 3: Jorge Colón Delgado - The Puerto Rico Baseball Hall of Fame and the Negro Leagues
Today's guest is Jorge Colón Delgado, the Official Historian of the Puerto Rico Professional Baseball League and General Coordinator of the Puerto Rico Professional Baseball Hall of Fame. Jorge and I first started working together on the Negro Leaguers in Puerto Rico live webinar series. I have learned so much about the incredible melting pot that the Puerto Rican league was. Many of the very best players on the planet traveled to the island in the Winter to continue playing (and to continue making money). It is impossible to fully appreciate the careers of pre-integration Black and Afro-Latino ballplayers without considering all the different places they plied their trade. Because they were barred from the American and National League, they played wherever they could—and the Negro Leagues was only a part of that.
We discussed the Puerto Rico Professional Baseball Hall of Fame, the stellar first class from 1991, and Jorge's role in reviving the Hall of Fame. Finally, we briefly touched on the new Class of 2022 (which features well-known players like José Cruz and Mike Cuellar). Throughout the episode, we mention several projects that Jorge has been involved in. Here’s where you can find more about those exciting projects:
- Jorge Colón Delgado on Twitter
- Salón Fama Béisbol Profesional Puertorriqueño on Twitter
- Negro Leaguers in Puerto Rico on Twitter
- Negro Leaguers in Puerto Rico Website
- Negro Leaguers in Puerto Rico: Grand Premiere: Negro Leaguers in Puerto Rico on YouTube
- Negro Leaguers in Puerto Rico: Episode 1: They were our heroes, too on YouTube
- Negro Leaguers in Puerto Rico: Episode 2: Facts and feats on YouTube
- Negro Leaguers in Puerto Rico: Episode 3: Joshua Gibson in Puerto Rico on YouTube
- Béisbol 101 Website
- Béisbol 101 on Twitter
Jorge and I have plenty more to cover, so look for a follow-up episode on the remaining Hall of Fame classes in the future.
Episode 2: Phil S. Dixon
Today’s guest is author Phil S. Dixon. Phil has written several books on the Negro Leagues and interviewed hundreds of Negro League veterans and their families. One of Phil’s books in particular has been inspirational to me: Wilber “Bullet” Rogan and the Kansas City Monarchs. In telling Rogan’s story, Dixon recounts his years in the military with the 25th Infantry Wreckers (my current area of focus in my research). One of Phil’s interviews was with William “BIg C” Johnson, a teammate of Rogan’s on the Wreckers and a long-time Negro League player. We specifically discussed Oscar “Heavy” Johnson, as I’m in the process of writing Johnson’s SABR bio. We spoke about how Phil got started with his research, Negro League statistics, the context needed to tell the story of the Negro Leagues, and so much more. You can visit Phil’s website at nlbalive.com. You can follow him on Twitter at @NegroLeagueMan. You can purchase his books at his website.
Episode 1: Scott Simkus - Introduction to Outsider Baseball
The first episode of The Outsider Baseball Notebook is with Scott Simkus, author of Outsider Baseball: The Weird World of Hardball on the Fringe, 1876–1950 (2014, Chicago Review Press). Scott is a contributor to the Seamheads Negro League Database and was a consultant on the Strat-O-Matic Negro League Stars card set. We talk about how Scott became interested in outsider baseball and how that led to him writing the definitive book on the topic. We discuss my primary area of interest these days: the 25th Infantry Wreckers army team that was stationed in Hawaii before World War I. Scott collected the Wreckers data for the Seamheads database and shared stories about some of the prominent players of the Wreckers and those who played against them. Finally, Scott takes us through all the branches of the outsider baseball tree, noting particularly strong teams and famous players. Follow Scott on Twitter at @scott_simkus.