Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

An Opportunity Lost as History Passes Away

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

An Opportunity Lost as History Passes Away

Article excerpt

Overheard rrconversation:

"We lost another one."

"Did you hear? Quincy Trouppe died. We lost another one."

The two men shook their heads.

Trouppe Sr. died Tuesday - a day after I'd noted in a story on thenew nostalgia for the old Negro Leagues that he still lived in St. Louis.

Attempts to arrange an interview with Trouppe for that story had failed. With a deadline looming, I ran out of time. So did he. Trouppe, 80, had been ill for some time suffering a stroke. One of his sons called me with the sad news.

To family and friends, the loss of a loved one is profound and painful. A service Friday at Wade Funeral Home was dedicated to Trouppe's soul.

Yet, I also mourn Trouppe's death for another reason. With his passing, so goes a bit of history. And not only the history of the Negro Leagues (from the 1920s through the 1950s), but the history of baseball, its segregated past, and the pure pleasure of playing the game, no matter what.

"My father was my first hero," Quincy T. Troupe Jr., an award-winning author and poet, said Friday. The legacy from his mother, Dorothy, and father: that Quincy Jr., could do anything he set his mind to.

"That's why I had the audacity to be a writer," added "Little Quincy," who once penned a poem in tribute to his father.

For 22 years, Trouppe played baseball - most of that time as a proud catcher in the Negro Leagues.

Trouppe played with the best.

He was a mere 17-year-old catcher for the St. Louis Stars when they won the Negro National League championship in 1931. He caught Leroy "Satchel" Paige on an integrated Bismarck, N.D., team that won a national semipro tournament in 1935.

He played with, against or saw legends in his lifetime: Josh Gibson, Oscar Charleston, James "Cool Papa" Bell, Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Ted Williams and Willie Mays.

He bounced around with several Negro Leagues teams, including the Homestead Grays, Kansas City Monarchs, Chicago American Giants and the Cleveland Buckeyes. During the winters, he'd play in Puerto Rico, Mexico or South America. (He added the extra "p" in his name because he liked the way Latin American sportswriters spelled it. …

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