CHARLEY SYKES, MIDD ’57, goes to the hoop: “He plays with the ease of a pro and is the picture of poise and composure.” Photo courtesy of the family
Editor’s note: This is the latest in a series inspired by the centennial of baseball’s Negro Leagues. “Whether confronting the challenges of world population growth or the nutritional needs of children, building a hospital or overseeing disaster relief, you have been there to serve and to care for the present and future needs of some of the world’s most impoverished people. Your lifetime commitment to CARE and the needs of people in developing countries is a matter of great pride for your alma mater and serves as an inspiration for others who will follow you from this place.” These are the...

MOST RED SOX fans know that Elijah “Pumpsie” Green (above left) was the first African American player for the Boston Red Sox, the last team in Major League Baseball to integrate.
Latest in a series of reflections inspired by the 2020 centennial of Baseball’s Negro Leagues. Larry Doby was the second Black player in the major leagues, first appearing for the Cleveland Indians on July 5, 1947, just 10 weeks after Jackie Robinson’s debut for the Dodgers. Every year on April 15, Major League Baseball celebrates Jackie Robinson Day. There’s no Larry Doby Day.  Unlike Robinson, 28, who had a terrific year for Brooklyn, Larry Doby, just 23, struggled in his first season, playing in only 21 games and batting just .156. The next year, however, along with the ageless Satchel...

THE ILLUSTRATIONS IN Kadir Nelson’s “We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball” will take your breath away. The book is a must-read for baseball fans.
Editor’s note: Third in a series on the centennial of baseball’s Negro leagues. Perhaps you have seen the cover of the New Yorker magazine from June 22. It has been widely circulated. This cover is a stunning portrait of George Floyd, from his head to his waist. Floyd’s expression is sober, impassive, expressionless; he looks right out at the viewer — you, me, as if to say, “and what are you going to do about it?” The painting is nearly monochromatic — dark tones, black and gray and brown against a pure white background. Powerful symbolic images of America’s violent racial past are depicted...

THE MOUNT ABRAHAM Eagles Senior Babe Ruth Team on Aug. 15 won the Vermont championship, defeating St. Johnsbury, 6-2, in the title game. The Eagles were made up of Mount Abraham Union High School baseball players and were coached by longtime program head Jeff Stetson. Photo courtesy of Sydney Perlee
BRISTOL — Before the COVID-19 pandemic struck this spring and canceled their season, Coach Jeff Stetson and his veteran Mount Abraham Union School team were convinced they could make a run at a Division II title. The Eagles might have had a point. On Saturday, their Senior Babe Ruth team — made up of 14 Mount Abe baseball players, including six who were seniors this past spring — rolled over St. Johnsbury in the Senior Babe Ruth Vermont championship game, 6-2, in a contest played in Dorset Park in South Burlington. Nolan Whitcomb tossed a two-hit complete game in the final, Ryan Whitcomb hit...

STARKSBORO’S JAKE HILL starts off the bottom of the second inning in Saturday’s game at the Bristol Recreation Field by connecting with the pitch and driving the ball for a home run. Photo by Buzz Kuhns
This past weekend the five town community of Bristol, Lincoln, Monkton, New Haven and Starksboro crowned their Five Town Little League champion. Despite a season that almost wasn’t, it was great to hear, see and smell the game of baseball on a perfect summer night under the lights. However, there was one large presence missing — Alan Curler. Alan was a fixture in our local Addison County Little League community for over 25 years, having served as Mt. Abe Little League President from 2003 to 2020. Alan passed away on Jan. 20. Our program would not be what it is today without the guidance and...

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA tips his Chicago White Sox cap. He might have more aptly tipped the cap of the Homestead Grays, one of the greatest of the Negro League teams, which played many games in Washington, D.C., now the home of the Obamas. Photo courtesy of
This is the first in a series. Perhaps you have seen this “tip your cap” campaign celebrating the centennial of baseball’s Negro Leagues. In December 1920, Andrew “Rube” Foster, the owner-manager of the Chicago American Giants, gathered seven other owners of Black traveling independent teams and formed the Negro National League (Read about that online at Our four living former Presidents all tipped their baseball caps to acknowledge this landmark date, and other dignitaries, athletes, entertainers, political figures followed with their own tributes. Do check...

JULES TYGIEL’S HISTORY of the integration of baseball is among columnist Karl Lindholm’s favorite non-fiction books on the sport because of it’s first-class scholarship and narrative appeal.
SABR, the Society of American Baseball Research, is in its 50th year. Begun in 1971 by 16 serious baseball fans, the organization today has over 6,000 members. To celebrate it 50th anniversary, SABR is publishing a book of 50 essays, “SABR 50 at 50: The Society for American Baseball Research’s Fifty Most Essential Contributions to the Game,” one for each year. One of those essays, (“The Book”) from SABR’s research journal, The National Pastime, (1996) is by our sports columnist Karl Lindholm and is included in this volume. Here is a condensed version of that piece.   “I never play by the book...
GEORGETOWN, Texas — The Middlebury College baseball team opened its season by taking two out of three games this past Saturday and Sunday from Southwestern University in Texas. The Panthers return to action this weekend with three games in Pennsylvania, one on Saturday at Muhlenberg, followed by two at Swarthmore on Sunday. On this past Sunday the Panthers edged Southwestern, 9-8, in 11 innings. In the decisive 11th, Andrew Gough doubled, Justin Han was hit by a pitch and Henry Strmecki reached on an error to load the bases with nobody out. An error on a ball hit by Andrew Hennings scored...

RUBE FOSTER, THE “Father of Black Baseball,” founded the Negro National League of teams from Chicago, Dayton, Detroit, Indianapolis, St. Louis, and Kansas City in 1920.
I grew up a baseball-obsessed boy at a time when there were lots of boys who shared my obsession. I was born in Boston and raised in Maine, a suburb of Boston, so I was a Red Sox fan. It was unavoidable, a birthright. The 1950s was an era of excellence for the Red Sox — unfortunately, that excellence was exclusive to one player, Ted Williams, a prickly hero. The team itself was mediocre at best, year after year. I was thrilled by the excitement of baseball’s integration, of the breakthrough and careers of Jackie Robinson and other early black players for the Dodgers, Giants, Indians, and,...
SOUTH BURLINGTON — Longtime former Clemson University Baseball Coach and American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame Member Jack Leggett will be speaking at South Burlington High School clinic on Saturday morning on behalf of the Vermont Baseball Coaches Association.  Vermont coaches association member Jeff Stetson said coaches at all levels are welcome to attend, registration at the door is welcome and the cost for youth coaches is $15. Leggett, who Stetson said recently spoke to thousands of guests at a national baseball convention, will present from 9 a.m. to noon.  Stetson...


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Addison County Independent

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