Catching Dreams: My Life in the Negro Baseball Leagues

By Frazier Robinson; Paul Bauer | Go to book overview
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3
The Kansas City Monarchs

After the 1939 season ended, a first baseman and nightclub owner out of Phoenix named Johnny Carter decided to put together a winter-ball team. He sent and got the guys that he wanted on his team. I was one of them. I stayed in Phoenix that winter, and he gave me money all the time -- enough to keep me going. I'd broke a thumb in '39, and I needed that practice because I was going back to the Paige's All-Stars in '40. Carter's team would play just twice a week, sometimes three times a week, but it was enough to stay in shape and put a little something in my pocket.

That spring I went to New Orleans to train with the All-Stars and Monarchs. Norman didn't go with me. The reason he didn't want to stay with Kansas City was that he didn't like the All-Stars manager, Newt Joseph. I liked Joseph a lot but Newt would cuss all the time -- especially if you made a bad play. Norman took this personally. I tried to explain to him that this was just Newt's way of living, but he wouldn't hear it. So Norman went to Baltimore to play.

The big promoter down there in New Orleans was a fellow that owned the New Orleans Black Pelicans and the Little Page Hotel on Dryades Avenue. His name was Allen Page and when we broke spring training, he booked us in a night exhibition game against the Grays. Late in the game we were leading them 5-3 with Hilton Smith on the mound when Jerry Benjamin dragged the ball and got on. Then Buck Leonard singled and Benjamin stopped at second. As Josh came up he was swinging four or five bats to loosen up. He came to the plate and said, "Hey Robinson, we got y'all again."

-51-

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